Kazurayama Castle

From Jcastle.info
Castle Properties
English Name Kazurayama Castle
Japanese Name 葛山城
Alternate Names Katsurayama Castle
Founder Kazurayama Clan
Year Founded Muromachi Period (1336-1573)
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Local Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period


Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Iwanami Sta (Gotenba Line), 45 min walk
Visitor Information Trails open any time, follow the path through the cemetery to the left of the temple.
Time Required 45 mins for the castle and 15 mins for the yakata grounds.
Website http://www.sengoku-shizuoka.com/castle/3111007/
Location Susono, Shizuoka Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 12' 22", 138° 53' 36"
Admin Visits
Year Visited 2014
Visits June 20, 2014
Added 2014
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Kazurayama9.jpg


History

It's not clear when the castle was first founded on this site, but it was the Kazurayama family center and home from some time in the latter Muromachi Period. Since the Kazurayama lands border the Imagawa, Takeda, and Hojo, they were continuously in a difficult position to maintain friendly relations with all the clans. In 1568, the Kazurayama took clear sides with the Takeda who were pushing into the Suruga region. The Hojo and Imagawa sided together and temporarily took control of Kazurayama Castle from the Kazurayama/Takeda. The castle was eventually taken back, but then Takeda forced Kazurayama Ujimoto to adopt his 6th son. Ujimoto was accused of treason and inciting rebellion in 1573 and executed. With Ujimoto's death, compete control of the castle was effectively gained by the Takeda. The castle was abandoned in 1582 after the Takeda clan perished.

This site is actually very special for castle fans and castle research because all three components of a typical Sengoku Period castle fortification are well preserved. The main Kazurayama Castle in these pictures is a mountaintop castle and the primary wartime fortification. The Yakata (palace) grounds is the peace time lightly fortified lord's home. There is also another mountaintop fortification another 1.5km deeper into the mountains. This is the tsume no shire (詰の城), the last defensive holdout of the castle. I did not have enough information and was not able to go out to visit this castle ruin yet, but will try it again some day.

Visit Notes

This little castle was better than I had expected. I'd like to give it more than 1 star because the grounds are kept up very well and it's well signposted. It's a place that wouldn't normally be on many people's radar but if you are nearby or a big castle fan, it is worth a trip. I visited in June but I noticed that the grounds were full of maple trees so I imagine the fall colors will be very nice. In the Honmaru there is a sign "The best view of Mt. Fuji in Japan". It was cloudy the day I was there, but I don't doubt it would be a great view. I would recommend to visit in the fall for red leaves and a nice Mt Fuji. Also be sure to stop by the Kazurayama Yakata (Kazurayama family home/palace). It's just off the main road before you reach the temple. Many people list this up as a separate castle but I'm combining it with the main castle.

Japanese Notes

この小さい城跡は思ったより大変良かったです。遺構がよく残っているし、公園としてよく整備されているので多分いつ行っても遺構が確認できると思います。案内版などもおおくてわかりやすいです。普通ならお城ファンでもあまり行こうと思わない所かもしれませんが、近くによった際は是非訪れてみてください。私は6月に行きましたが、その時にモミジの木が多いことを気づいたので紅葉も素晴らしいでしょう。本丸に「日本一の富士山」という看板もあるのですが、この日はあいにく曇りでした。秋に行って紅葉と富士山を一緒に楽しむのをお進します。近くの葛山館も見逃さないでください。山城と館と詰の城のセットがよく残されているので戦国のお城ファンには必見です。今回は手持ちの情報が少なくて詰の城(古城)まで行けませんでしたが、また秋に挑戦します。

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