It is not known exactly when Takatenjin Castle was built, or by whom, but it was likely built by the Imagawa in their rise to becoming a powerful Sengoku daimyo. The Fukushima clan and later the Ogasawara ruled the castle as retainers of the Imagawa. After the defeat of the Imagawa, the Ogasawara joined with Tokugawa and thus the castle came under Ieyasu's control. Takeda Shingen unsuccessfully attacked the castle in 1571, but his son Katsuyori won in 1574. The following year Katsuyori was defeated by the Oda and Tokugawa forces at Nagashino. By 1581, Tokugawa built six fortifications, including Yokosuka Castle, with the purpose of taking back Takatenjin Castle. In March 1581, the Tokugawa forces attacked the castle and let very few survivors flee. After the victory, Tokugawa razed the castle and the site was no longer used.
This location was chosen for it's commanding view of the area, and the steep mountainsides with multiple ridges that could be easily defended. Takatenjin Castle was famous as one of the most difficult castle to attack.
The maps and directions to get to this castle on the city website and materials at Kakegawa Station are poor. At Hijikata bus stop, there are no visible signs pointing to the castle either, so be prepared and at least remember the characters for the castle name. Be careful at the bus stop because the nearest sign (behind you on the bus route) actually points the long way to the rear entrance.
The castle itself is a nice collection of ruins with trails throughout. The grounds are overgrown with trees so it's hard to see some of the structures in these pictures, but it's a fun place to explore and imagine what it was like, especially if you keep the castle image in mind while exploring
|English Name||Takatenjin Castle|
|Alternate Names||Tsurumai Castle|
|Year Founded||16 c.|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Next 100 Castles, Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, National Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Kakegawa Sta (Tokaido Line), 25 min bus (North Exit, bus stop #3, bus for Hijikata); get off at Hijikata bus stop; walk about 100 meters beyond the bus stop in the direction of the bus route until you see the big sign for the castle, follow it to the entr|
|Location||Kakegawa, Shizuoka Prefecture|
|Coordinates||34° 41' 54", 138° 2' 5"|
|Visits||Oct. 11, 2010|
|Added to Jcastle||2010|