Iwamatsu Iezumi built this castle in 1469. Yokose Narishige, a retainer of the Iwamatsu family, came to rule over it 1528. Around 1565, the Yokose changed their name to Yura. Kanayama Castle was attacked several times by some of the strongest powers in the area including Uesugi Kenshin (1574), Takeda Katsuyori (1580) and Satake Yoshishige (1583). It withstood all these attacks demonstrating its tough construction and great location.
In 1584, Yura Kunishige and his brother Nagao Akinaga (lord of Tatebayashi Castle) were captured by the Hojo of Odawara. In exchange for their release, they turned over the castle to the Hojo. During Hideyoshi's campaign against the Hojo, Maeda Toshiie took over of Kanayama Castle in 1590. It was decommissioned and not used after this time.
Kanayama Castle is one of the Top 100 Castles, one of the Seven Famous Kanto Castle and a National Historical Site.
The picture above is of the Ote Koguchi, the main entrance to the castle. The gate combined with the entrance road that is bordered on both sides with stone walls and baileys is very strong and elaborate. There are few such structures throughout the country.
Ota City has done a splendid job taking care of this historical site. The ruins are well maintained, good signs explain points of interest, and the website is very detailed. The new Information Center also enhances the experience. They've done this much already, so a little more English information would be appreciated.
|English Name||Kanayama Castle|
|Alternate Names||Ota Kanayama-jo|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Top 100 Castles, Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, National Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Features||trenches, stone walls|
|Access||Ota Sta. (Tobu Isezaki Line); 50 min walk|
|Visitor Information||The park is open year round. The Guidance Center is open 9am-5pm, closed Mondays except holidays, and the day following a Monday holiday.|
|Time Required||180 mins|
|Location||Ota, Gunma Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 19' 3", 139° 22' 40"|
|Year Visited||2007, 2013|
|Visits||June 23, 2007; May 23, 2013|