|English Name||Mariko Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Top 100 Mountaintop Castles|
|Historical Period|| Pre Edo Period
|Access||Shizuoka Sta. (Tokaido main line), bus 20 mins, walk 10 min|
|Location||Shizuoka, Shizuoka Prefecture|
|Coordinates||34° 57' 4", 138° 19' 41"|
|Visits||June 3, 2011|
HistoryIt's not known exactly when the castle was built but it was around at least during the time of the Imagawa, and possibly earlier as it sits at an important point to watch over the Tokaido Road. Historical records of Mariko Castle dry up until it appears in 1568 when Takeda Shingen stationed troops here to secure the province of Suruga. In 1581, Mariko Castle was surrendered to the forces of Tokugawa Ieyasu in his attacks on Takatenjin Castle. Tokugawa maintained the castle until he moved to Edo and it was abandoned. Mariko Castle is considered to be a very intelligently designed castle utilizing all the best defensive structures available to mountaintop castles of this time. The site today is heavily wooded and no doubt much eroded over the last 400 years but you can still see many of those structures today and there are signs (in Japanese) pointing out many of them.
The picture above is what is known as a kuichigai guchi. The two moats are offset so that the route between them is like an S shape.
Mariko-juku was a well known post town at this point of the old Tokaido Road. Today, there is a bit of a touristy crafts center here and behind it is the start of the trail up to the castle.