|English Name||Minowa Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Top 100 Castles, National Historic Site|
|Historical Period|| Pre Edo Period
|Features||trenches, stone walls|
|Access||Takasaki Sta. (Takasaki Line), 40 min. bus, 15 min. walk|
|Location||Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 24' 18", 138° 57' 3"|
|Visits||November 6, 2008|
Nagano Narihisa established his base here around 1500 from which his family ruled for 4 generations until the castle fell to Takeda Shingen in 1566. After the fall of the Takeda, the castle was taken over by Oda Nobunaga in 1582 and ruled by Takigawa Kazumasa. Less than a month later, the castle was taken over by the Gohojo and was ruled by Hojo Ujikuni from Hachigata Castle. In 1590, after the fall of the Hojo, Tokugawa Ieyasu stationed Ii Naomasa here. Ii Naomasa undertook a large reformation of the castle and most of the castle structure and remnants are thought to be from this period. In 1598, Ii Naomasa moved to Takasaki Castle and Minowa Castle was decomissioned. The picture above is of one of the very few remaining sections of stone walls. It's located near the Kotomon entrance of the Sannomaru.
The route to get to this castle from Takasaki Station was not very clear, but it was worth the efforts to figure it out and go. There are a few nice signs explaining different points around the castle but they need to have better maps showing the layout. It was fun to walk all around the different paths around the mountain through all the different baileys and moats.