Tobayama Castle




Tobayama Castle was located at the confluence of Tenryu River and Futamata River, which used to flow between Tobayama Castle and Futamata Castle. The modern course of the Futamata River now flows east of the castle. Tobayama is sited on top of a 108m hill with the main bailey located at the top of hill. The following baileys can clearly still be seen if you visit Tobayama Castle Ruin: Honmaru (Main Bailey), Higashi Kuruwa (East Bailey), Minami Kuruwa 1 (South Bailey 1) and Minami Kuruwa 2 (South Bailey 2.) There are also plenty of stone walls lining the Otemichi. The ruins of three gates can easily be seen: Otemon (Main Gate), Karametemon (Back Gate), and Tsuyomon, which linked Honmaru with Higashi Kuruwa (East Bailey.) Tokugawa Ieyasu built Tobayama Castle south of Futamata Castle and placed most of his troops there when he besieged Futamata Castle in 1575. He lost Futamata Castle to Takeda Shingen in 1572 after the Battle of Mikatagahara. During the siege of Futamata Castle in 1575, Ieyasu also placed troops in other forts (toride) built to isolate Futamata Castle: Ninahara Fort (north of Futamata Castle), Bishamondo Fort (east of Futamata Castle), and Wadagashima Fort (west of Futamata Castle). He finally took Futamata Castle after a seven-month siege. After the siege, Ieyasu improved Tobayama Castle by building a palace, a garden, and many of the stone walls there, but it never had a castle keep like Futamata Castle. Futamata Castle and Tobayama Castle were treated as one fortification after 1575 as they complemented each other in design and function.

Visit Notes

This castle is about 10 minutes walk from Futamata Honmachi Station. It is also easily accessible from Futamata Castle by walking along the levee built along Tenryu River.

All photos and text by RaymondW


Castle Profile
English Name Tobayama Castle
Japanese Name 鳥羽山城
Founder Tokugawa Ieyasu
Year Founded 1575
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Futamata Honmachi Sta.; walk 10 mins
Visitor Information
Time Required
Location Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 51' 29.09" N, 137° 48' 20.27" E
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Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Visits Viewer Donated
Added to Jcastle 2012

(3 votes)
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16 months ago
Score 0++

Combined with nearby Futamata Castle this makes for an okay short trip if you have one or two hours to spare in this area. (I made a quick visit just before sunset after having visited nearby Kiga Checkpoint.)

The location of this castle is quite dramatic. The honmaru has a viewing platform from which you can see the river and the two bridges spanning it. While Futamata's tenshudai (stone base of the main keep) is quite nice and well-preserved, I felt that Tobayama Castle might be a bit better as a castle site. One strong point of Tobayama are many explanatory signs (in Japanese) about the ruins. They do a good job at explaining the location of a few different gates. There are even some remains of a dry landscape garden with a nice artist's impression of its former glory on the sign.


33 months ago
Score 0++
Tobayamajō is a mountaintop castle ruin overlooking the Tenryū River. I tried to follow an unlikely trailhead up the mountain so as to not have to walk around it. An old lady warned me that it was not a path humans could use – her words – but I found the remains of a path which went by a plot of grave markers and ascended the slope by using shoots of bamboo like a ladder. The honmaru (central compound) is cleared park space but to walk atop of and beside all the ramparts requires walking back and forth, up and down, as, maze-like, no single path loops all the way around and instead the paths are either overgrown or dead ends, or go up and down rather than around. There is even a slide for children which goes from the dorui (earthen ramparts) of the honmaru to the ninomaru. I felt like I was playing real life snakes and ladders at this castle site, and I am not ashamed to say that I used the super fun happy slide. Ishigaki (stone ramparts) remain at Tobayamajō and form several walls and gate ruins. One gate ruin now has a bridge built across it so that you can walk to the next rampart. I had to walk though a lot of overgrown areas to fully explore Tobayamajō and at one point disturbed a large snake but luckily it slithered quickly away.