The Kasugayama Castle we see today was constructed by Nagao Tamekage and his son Uesugi Kenshin. There was an older castle on this site that dates to the 14th century, but little is known about it. Kenshin's successor, Kagekatsu became lord of the castle after Kenshin's death in 1578. 20 years later, Kagekatsu moved to Aizu and Hori Hideharu became lord of Kasugayama Castle. Hori built a new castle, called Fukushima Castle, on a more flatland location closer to the harbor and in 1607 Kasugayama Castle was abandoned.
Kasugayama Castle was one of the largest and strongest fortresses built in the Sengoku Period. The castle had no stone walls but there were many enclosures and dry moats built around the mountain. Kasugayama Castle was also protected by a network of forts and other castles in the area. Kasugayama Castle was never attacked so we'll never know how well it may have withstood an invasion.
There aren't many structures or stone walls to impress you but the castle grounds are well kept and very vast. In addition to the main part of the castle ruins, there are two museums nearby, Rinsenji Temple, and the Eastern Fortress area. If you have the time, I highly recommend you begin your exploration of the castle from the Ote-do Road. It is a road the winds up the side of the mountain past several historical sites. It was the main road used to enter and exit the castle. Also be sure to visit the nearby Takada Castle for a most fulfilling day of castle exploring.
|English Name||Kasugayama Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Top 100 Castles, Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, National Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Kasugayama Sta. (Shin'etsu Line); 45 min walk|
|Location||Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture|
|Coordinates||37° 8' 48", 138° 12' 20"|
|Visits||October 10, 2011|