Shinpu Castle

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History

Takeda Katsuyori built Shinpu Castle in order to increase the defenses of his territory under the continuous threat posed by Nobunaga and Tokugawa forces in the area. The area where Shinpu Castle is located was the most central location of all their lands at the time and Katsuyori envisioned creating a new castle town such that he even ordered his retainers to move their homes here. It is ironic that his plans may have actually weakened his overall defensive position and quickened the fall of the Takeda clan. After suffering a terrible defeat to Nobunaga forces at Suwa, Takeda Katsuyori's forces retreated back to Shinpu Castle. By this time his forces had dwindled from over 20,000 to a mere 3,000 men. On March 3, 1582 Katsuyori set fire to Shinpu Castle and fled with his remaining 300-400 men. By March 11, all of the remaining Takeda forces had been destroyed and the days of the Takeda clan came to an end.

Visit Notes

This is a great site to visit. Most people will go straight to the Honmaru from the steep stairs next to the sign, but I would recommend taking the side path off to the left. Then you'll enter the castle the proper way via the Otemon, Sannomaru, and Ninomaru before getting to the Honmaru. There are also some embankments and ruins along the North side of the mountain that I've missed twice now.

I would recommend you wait until after the leaves have fallen in the late autumn or early spring after the snow melts to visit this castle. Even in October the weeds and bugs were horrible. The Ninomaru and Sannnomaru are nearly impossible to get into and it's hard to see many of the embankments and castle structures.

This was probably the first "ruins only, not even stone walls" castle I ever visited (Nov 2003). I was probably hooked on mountaintop castle ruins from here so it always holds a special place to me. I've been here twice now (14 years apart) and still missed things so I'll need to go back again.

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Gallery

Castle Profile
English Name Shinpu Castle
Japanese Name 新府城
Founder Takeda Katsuyori
Year Founded 1581
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Next 100 Castles, National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Shinpu Station (Chuo Line), 15 minute walk
Visitor Information park open any time
Time Required 90 mins
Website http://www.nirasaki-kankou.jp/?page id=101
Location Nirasaki, Yamanashi Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 44' 8", 138° 25' 29"
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Admin
Year Visited 2003, 2017
Visits November 15, 2003; October 9, 2017
Added to Jcastle 2003


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