Old Takashima Castle, also known as Chausuyama Castle, predates the well-known Takashima Castle on the plain below. It's not known when Takashimakojō was first built but it was likely during the Suwa Civil War in the 14th century. The first castle the Lower Suwa attacked (in reliation for their leader being assassinated) was Takashimakojō. The site was captured and refortified in 1542 by Takeda Shingen following his invasion of Suwa, and acted as a satellite fortification of Ueharajō. In 1582 Suwa Yoritada became the lord of Suwa once more and established himself at Kanekojō in 1584. In 1590 he moved to Kantō with his lord, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and Toyotomi Hideyoshi appointed Neno Takayoshi as baron, and he ruled from Takashimakojō. Suwa Yoritada returned to his ancestral lands in 1601 and built Takashimajō as a large, (then) modern castle. The old castle was then abandoned.
Nothing remains here of the “Old Takashima Castle” but it was on my way to other more interesting sites so I checked it out. There are a couple of signs indicating the former castle site and an explanation board. The site itself is now an old, grim danchi (a complex of apartment buildings), whose remaining tenants are likely elderly. The ancestor to today’s somewhat famous Takashima Castle was built here on a hillside overlooking the lake. When "Takashima Castle" is mentioned in reference to the Sengoku Period, it probably means this one. The Edo Period Takashima Castle (or its modern reconstruction at least) can be seen from points on this hill.
|English Name||Takashimako Castle|
|Year Founded||14th Century|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Kami-Suwa Station on the Chuo Line; 15 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free|
|Time Required||20 minutes|
|Location||Suwa, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 2' 45.06" N, 138° 7' 19.34" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|