Takatenjin Castle

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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.

Visit Notes

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

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  • Mt. Kakuoh.
  • path from Otemon
  • sannomaru.
  • Matoba Bailey
  • karametemon gate stairs
  • Idokuruwa bailey
  • horikiri
  • dry moat and earthen bridge
  • Ninomaru
  • Looking down to the Idokuruwa Bailey
  • Mt. Fuji
  • Sign directing you to the castle
  • map

Castle Profile
English Name Takatenjin Castle
Japanese Name 高天神城
Alternate Names Tsurumai Castle
Founder Imagawa Clan
Year Founded 16 c.
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Next 100 Castles, Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches
Visitor Information
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
Visitor Information
Time Required
Website http://lgportal.city.kakegawa.shizuoka.jp/kanko/south/takatenjin/hiking.html
Location Kakegawa, Shizuoka Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 41' 53.74" N, 138° 2' 4.81" E
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Added to Jcastle 2010
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2010
Admin Visits Oct. 11, 2010

(4 votes)
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13 months ago
Score 0++

On 22/05/2023 evening, I was a little concerned by the weather forecast. Rain the whole day in Shizuoka prefecture. And seeing the very strong downpours in Saitama, I wondered if I could be able to make the visits I had planned for 23/05/2023. The first site I visited on 23/05/2023 was Takatenjin castle. This one was on my itinerary of 2014, but I spent more time than expected at Kakegawa, and I wasn't able to visit Takatenjin castle. When I arrived at Kakegawa station, it was raining. I put my big luggage in a locker and the tourist information office just opened. I got a nice booklet(in Japanese) and a map of Takatenjinjō. They were very helpful for my visit to the castle. I took a bus at the north exit of the station, bus stop 3, and got off at Hijikata bus stop. It's about 25min for 480¥. I followed the bus for 50m and a very tall indication sign put you on the right path. Actually from that sign, you see the castle site afar. From that moment the rain halted and it didn't rain during my visit. In 2014, I bought the model of the castle at the tourist information desk. It was fun to remember what buildings I had placed on the different baileys. The site is very well sign posted and information panels(only in Japanese) are over the place. One trail wasn't sign posted. When I looked at the map and the pictures of my model, I found that trail to a lookout spot and behind it are small kuruwa separated by deep horikiri(trenches). I followed the trail for about 100m after the last horikiri, but this trail leads to another hill and I decided to walk back. I really enjoyed the site. I got back at the bus stop in time. I had to wait 15min and saw on google maps a site on the other side of the road. This is a grave, where lots of corpses have been put after the siege of Takatenjin castle in 1582.

I knew there would be a train at 13:10 and I arrived at the station at 13:05. I ran to get my luggage and on to the shinkansen lines. I was just in the train, when the doors closed.


152 months ago
Score 0++
This was the first of three castle visits this weekend. As the website administrator have already mentioned, there isn’t much to see here at this castle ruin in terms of stone walls, fortifications, and other remaining structures. What remains at this castle site are some dry moats, ruins of some baileys, and some earthen walls. The Honmaru (Main Bailey), Ninomaru (Second Bailey), Sannomaru (Third Bailey) and the Baba Bailey are well kept and clear of undergrowth or bamboo which often cover the ruins of baileys found at other yamashiro ruins (mountaintop castles) from the Sengoku Period. The Nishimaru (West Bailey) is now the site for a shrine. Some of the routes throughout the castle are closed because of fallen trees, which have not been cleared. Don’t know when they will re-open some of the paths at this place. The trees must have been brought down in some typhoons (not recently) or typhoon-like conditions (recently?). It takes around 15 minutes walk from the bus stop to the trailhead at the base of the Otemon (Ote Gate). If you like taking photos and checking out all the features of this castle ruin, it will take around 1.5 to 2 hours to do this castle ruin properly. For me, this is a solid one-star castle ruin to visit, as long as you treat it as more of a bushwalk with some features of a castle ruin thrown in. I can see how other castle fans may rate this less, but (military) history buffs or Takeda fans will probably enjoy this site more.