Records for Kawamura Castle date back to the late Heian Period, but it is not known exactly when the castle was built. In 1353 the Kawamura were defeated by Hatakeyama Kunikiyo and several different lords ruled over the castle until it came under the control of the Odawara Hojo. The Hojo fortified the castle into what you see today. The unebori, or raised ridges, you see on some of the moats are typical Hojo devices. Kawamura Castle was an important fortification in the their network of castles that faced off against Takeda Shingen. The castle fell to Hideyoshi in the Battle of Odawara in 1590 and was abandoned.
The unebori, ridged moats, at Kawamura Castle are incredible. Nearly all the trenches have them. If you zoom in on the Google map you can even see them in the satellite imagery. These ridges make it more difficult to traverse the trenches. If they fill with water, even more so.
In the southwest corner of the Honjo Bailey (本城郭) , deep left as you enter it, there is a path leading to several other baileys and horikiri trenches. The trail itself is not marked so it's easy to miss it. Don't blindly go on to the bridge but visit this section first. It's highly recommended. Yamakita Station is also famous for cherry blossoms. Try to visit in the spring if you can.
|English Name||Kawamura Castle|
|Year Founded||late Heian Period (794-1185)|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Prefectural Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Yamakita Sta. (Gotenba Line), 10 min walk|
|Visitor Information||Hiking trails open any time.|
|Time Required||75 mins|
|Location||Yamakita, Kanagawa Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 21' 21", 139° 4' 38"|
|Visits||April 13, 2014|
|Added to Jcastle||2014|