|English Name||Inukai Castle|
|Year Founded||late 15th C.|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Prefectural Historic Site|
|Historical Period|| Pre Edo Period
|Access||Mita Matsumoto Sta. (Shinonoi Line), 20 min walk.|
|Visitor Information||Park, open any time|
|Time Required||45 mins|
|Website||http://youkoso.city.matsumoto.nagano.jp/wordpress index-p 67-htm|
|Location||Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 14' 44", 137° 57' 16"|
|Visits||October 31, 2015|
The early history of Inukai Castle is unknown but it seems to have been around from very early times. The location allows great views of the entire Matsumoto plain and is naturally defended by cliffs on the west side. As the Ogasarawar extended their influence over the Matsumoto area during the Muromachi Period, the Inukai were absorbed as retainers. Ogasawara's trust in the Inukai was rewarded with further influence as the Kirihara clan was created as a branch of the Inukai clan to build Kirihara Castle and hold the lands around it. Although historical records are thin for Inukai Castle it would have fallen to Takeda Shingen in 1550.
A very small ruin with only a few baileys and trenches to see. If you didn't know any better, you'd just think it was part of the park. If you have some time when you are in Matsumoto it is worth the visit at least for the views. The hill/mountain up from the Matsumoto Station area is much longer and steeper than I expected. It was the day I biked from Haibara Castle to Hayashiko Castle to Hayashioh Castle and since I had a little time left before dark I thought I'd bike here too since it's just north of Matsumoto Station but it was a tough climb. I probably pushed the bicycle more than half the way. The ride back was fun though.