|English Name||Iwadono Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, Prefectural Historic Site|
|Historical Period|| Pre Edo Period
|Access||Otsuki Sta (JR Chuo Line, Fujikyuko); 15 min walk to the trail head, 45 more mins to the top|
|Location||Otsuki, Yamanashi Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 37' 18", 138° 57' 0"|
|Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
634 metres high, Iwadono Castle sits at the gateway to the country of Kai. It was also used for smoke-signalling and was a vital part of the effective Takeda communications network. It was considered very strong because of its commanding views and massive unscalable bare rock face with only a few entry points.
In 1582, Takeda Katsuyori, escaping from Nobunaga`s forces, sought refuge at this castle but was denied entry by Oyamada, essentially making Katsuyori`s case hopeless. Oyamada was later executed by the Oda, ostensibly for betraying his lord and being un-samurai-like. Later taken over by the Tokugawa, this time to protect Edo/Musashi province.
Access, from either Otsuki or Sarubashi (longer) station on the Chuo line. (The thing to do would be to do a hike from Otsuki via Iwadonoyama down to the old bridge, which i didn`t, but it looks fantastic). About 10 - 15 minutes to base of mountain. Free information centre. Very well kept trails. Sigposting in japanese only but English hiking maps available. all text and photos by Kris