Karidajō was a Takanashi Clan castle built in the Sengoku period (1489 at the earliest). It was used to protect Takanashi territory from the forces of the Takeda Clan moving up from the south. In 1561 Takeda Shingen conquered Takai County, and the castle was destroyed at this time.
Though the ruins we see today date to the Sengoku period, legends and folklore place the construction of Karidajō at various points throughout history. Amazingly, one belief is that Karidajō was built by the Ainu as a chasi (fort) during the Yamato’s expeditions in the area in the 3rd and 4th centuries. It is also said to have been a castle of Karita Shigemasa in 1184, and a castle of Hagino Tsunemichi in 1367. These later associations with the Karita and Hagino clans may well be true, but the castle’s ruins are Sengoku period.
The are two fortified ridges which meet up at the site of Takinoirijō on the mountaintop. The northern ridge hosts the forts of Tsutsuhatajō, and the southern ridge hosts Karidajō. Karidajō is split into two fortifications sites: Karidaôjō (‘Karida Greater Castle’) and Karidakojō (‘Karida Lesser Castle’).
Karidaôjō is the main castle. It consists of a series of baileys separated by horikiri (trenches) and dorui (earthen ramaprts). The main bailey is forward and is split by a terrace with ishigaki (stone walls). It was formerly surrounded by ishigaki. Apparently there is a nice chunk on the south-facing slope, but – and I may have been a bit weary at that point – I didn’t check there as it wasn’t indicated on my map; though I had made many independent discoveries that day, that one slipped by me. Even so, I identified ishigaki. The trenches and ramparts are the features which stand out the clearest. The trail up to (I went down) Karidaôjō has some really nice scenery made up of interestingly weathered rocks. Descending from Karidaôjō brings one to Karidakojō. It is not too difficult to climb up to Karidaôjō, but going all the way to Takinoirijō would be tough; I descended from Takinoirijō having climbed up from Tsutsuhatajō on the northern ridge.
|English Name||Karidaoh Castle|
|Founder||Karida Shigemasa; Hagino Tsunemichi; Takanashi Clan|
|Year Founded||1184; 1367; 1492|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Ishigaki, Horikiri, Kuruwa, Dorui, &c.|
|Features||trenches, stone walls|
|Access||Tsusumi Station on the Nagano Electric Line; 20-minute walk to trailhead at Ganshōin|
|Time Required||60 minutes|
|Location||Obuse, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 41' 54.96" N, 138° 20' 17.77" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2022|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Friends of JCastle|
|Shiro to Kosenjō|