Ochi Kunizumi built the original castle on this site in 1332. The Ochi controlled the castle until the mid 16th C. It took part in several uprisings and was an important castle in the area. Takatori Castle was abandoned by order of Oda Nobungara in 1580 when he named Yamato Koriyama the ruling castle in the region. Tsutsui Junkei began rebuilding the castle in 1584 but he died shortly thereafter. His heir Sadatsugu was also moved to Iga the following year, so rebuilding the castle fell to Honda Tarozaemon and his son Toshitomo. The Honda ruled the castle until 1640 when Uemura Iemasa became the new lord. The Uemura clan continued to rule until the Meiji Restoration. Takatori Castle is named one of the Three Great Mountaintop Castles along with BItchu Matsuyama Castle and Iwamura Castle.
This was a huge, sprawling castle with 27 yagura, impressive stone walls and several baileys for the residences of vassals. I think I missed some ruins so I'll have to go back again one day. They definitely need better signs and maps for this castle. It is very hard to identify any structure and few maps make it hard to judge where to go. Please take a look at the computer graphic reconstruction from the Nara Sangyo University. You can take a bus from the Station to Tsubosaka Temple (famous for mending eyesight) and then hike 40+ mins to the castle. There is also an 11km round trip hiking course from the station that I will do next time.
|English Name||Takatori Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Top 100 Castles, Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, National Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Edo Period|
|Features||trenches, stone walls, castle town|
|Access||Tsubosakayama Sta. (Kintetsu Yoshino Line), 15 min bus, 45 min hike|
|Location||Takatori, Nara Prefecture|
|Coordinates||34° 25' 46", 135° 49' 37"|
|Visits||November 21, 2010|