|English Name||Nirayama Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Top 100 Mountaintop Castles|
|Historical Period|| Pre Edo Period
|Features||samurai homes, trenches|
|Access||Nirayama Sta. (Izu Hakone Railway), 30min walk|
|Visitor Information||Egawa Residence: open 9am-430pm (Weds until 3pm); closed 12/31-1/1; 300yen for the house 400yen for house and museum|
|Time Required||40 mins for the castle, 2 hrs including the Egawa residence|
|Location||Izunokuni, Shizuoka Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 3' 12", 138° 57' 19"|
|Visits||Nov. 10, 2012|
When Hojo Soun defeated Ashikaga Chachamaru in 1493 he built Nirayama Castle and moved his base here from Kokokuji Castle. Hojo Soun kept Nirayama as his home castle throughout all his campaigns. Besides the main castle, it was also protected by 4 forts on nearby hills. Along with Yamanaka Castle and Ashigara Castle, Nirayama Castle formed an important part of the western fortification network of Odawara Castle. In 1590, when Hideyoshi began his attack against Odawara he sent over 40,000 troops under Oda Nobukatsu to take Nirayama Castle. The 3600 defenders under Hojo Ujinori outlasted the attack for 3 months before surrendering about the same time that Odawara fell. After the fall of the Hojo, Tokugawa Ieyasu's retainer Naito Nobunari moved into Nirayama Castle until he was transferred to Sunpu Castle in 1601. Nirayama Castle was abandoned permanently at this time.
Visit NotesIf you visit Yamanaka Castle and want to visit another castle, this is a very easy trip from Mishima station since you'll be there already. There is not too much to see so you should also visit the <a href="http://www.egawatei.com">Egawa Residence</a> to make it worth your time. I actually wanted to visit here for awhile since Egawa proposed the Shinagawa Battery Islands. There are some maps, photos and artifacts of the battery islands in one of the storehouses and in the museum.
I was a bit disappointed with the castle ruins. For a well known castle there are almost no signs on the site identifying parts of the castle. The people at the Egawa museum and the tourism center also could not give me any information or maps on how to get to the forts that existed on the surrounding hills. It looks like they've been cutting back the trees around the Honmaru and Ninomaru areas of the castle so I hope they develop this site more.