It's often said the castle was built around 1532-1555 by Sanada Yukitaka but evidence shows that the castle has been around since the Kamakura Period, before the Sanada clan came to power. The castle was taken by Murakami Yoshikiyo in 1541 but it was taken back by Sanada Yoshitaka in 1551. The combination of Sanadashikan and Sanadahonjo Castle makes this a fortified palace and mountaintop castle combination the likes of which we often see in the Sengoku Period. Sanadahonjo Castle was the center of the Sanada clan until they moved to Ueda Castle in 1583. Near the foot of the mountain is the Sanada clan's palace, Sandashikan.
This is a fairly small castle site, but I think the structure is really interesting. It is situated on a long narrow ridge that sticks out into the plain with steep drop-offs on three sides. The site has great views of the entire Sanada Township, the nearby castles and the Joshu highway that runs in front of the castle. It would have been a perfect location to watch over and direct any battle to take place in the valley.
There is a parking lot right at the entrance so you can drive to the top without hiking if you have a car. You can also rent an electric bicycle at the Yukimura Yume Kobo that will allow you to easily bike up the road as well as visit nearby Sanada related historic sites.
If you don't have a car the best way to get around the Sanada historic sites in the Sanada Township area is by electric bicycle. Electric bicycles can be borrowed for free at the <a href="http://www.city.ueda.nagano.jp/ssangyo/tanoshimu/kanko/shisetsu/yumekobo/index.html">Yukimura Yume Kobo</a>. This tourist information center also has all the maps and other information you'll need. I highly recommend stopping here before exploring the area. During the peak tourism season there is also a <a href="https://www.city.ueda.nagano.jp/ssangyo/kankojoho/bus/index.html">local tourist bus</a> that circles through all the major historic sites you're likely to see. If there is something not on this route, then try a bicycle too.
真田町は車がない観光客には優しい町です。<a href="http://www.city.ueda.nagano.jp/ssangyo/tanoshimu/kanko/shisetsu/yumekobo/index.html">ゆきむら夢工房</a>という観光案内所で電動アシスト自転車を借りることができます。地図や周辺の資料も充実ししているので、真田町の観光の際はまずここに立ち寄ってください。私はここから自転車を借りて松尾城、真田本城、天白城、真田氏館を一日で回ってきました。観光シーズンは<a href="https://www.city.ueda.nagano.jp/ssangyo/kankojoho/bus/index.html">観光バス</a>も走っています。
|English Name||Sanadahonjo Castle|
|Alternate Names||Matsuo-jo, Sanadashihonjo, Sanadayamajiro, Matsuoshinjo|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Local Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Features||trenches, stone walls|
|Access||Ueda Sta. (Shinano Railway, Nagano Bullet train), 25 minute bus to Yukimuranosato bus stop (Sugadaira bus from #3 bus stop at Ueda Sta), 45 min walk from bus stop|
|Visitor Information||Park is open any time.|
|Time Required||60 mins|
|Location||Ueda, Nagano Pref., Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 26' 28.97" N, 138° 19' 22.58" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2016|
|Admin Year Visited||2015|
|Admin Visits||December 14, 2015|