Amidagamine Castle (Yamashiro)




It is not known who built Amidaǵaminejō but it is thought to have been used in sectarian conflicts such as the Hokke Revolt and Kyōroku-Tenbun Disturbances by the Ikkō-shū, a True Pure Land Buddhist faction. They warred with Yamashina-Honganji, a fortified temple. There is also a possibility that the castle was first built by the Imamura Clan who were based at Imamurajō. The castle was used to suppress routes between the core of the capital and the Yamashina area. After the death of Toyotomi Hideyoshi a mausoleum was built for the regent here, but Tokugawa authorities destroyed it following the fall of Ôsakajō in 1615. The current mausoleum was built in 1897.

Visit Notes

Amidaǵaminejō ('Castle of Amida Peak') is now the site of a mausoleum for Toyotomi Hideyoshi centred around a large gorintō (five-tier stone stupa). The castle ruins are easily accessed by a long stone stairway which climbs in a straight line up the mountainside. Features of this castle include chiefly dorui (earthen ramparts) and some bailey spaces. There are remnants of dorui around the gorintō, and a large segment of rammed earth beneath the peak, to the right of the gatehouse to the mausoleum when ascending. By the way, from the peak one can see beautiful views of Kyōto, especially of Gion and Kiyomizudera. (ART 2022)

One of the 36 Peaks of Higashiyama, Amidagamine Castle originally held a small castle that controlled one of the routes between Kyoto and Yamashina. Today the castle is mainly known as a mausoleum for Toyotomi Hideyoshi and some fantastic views of Kiyomizudera and the Kyoto basin. As you climb the steep stairs to the castle, your first respite will be a flat area with a large gate. This corresponds to the Second Bailey of the castle with the first bailey at the top. There are some large earthen embankments around this bailey, but is it unknown how much is original to the castle versus what was levelled for this gate. On the right side of this area, just over the embankment is actually the third bailey. At the top of the mountain where you find the first bailey there are some slight remains of more embankments too. Just to the right of the stairs at the top is actually a hiking trail that will take you down the side of the mountain to the third bailey bypassing the stairs. Actually, a normal hiking trail is easier on the legs than all those stairs too! From the back of the third bailey there is another trail that supposedly goes around the mountain to a fourth bailey but for me at least the trail seemed to fade away into thick brush so I gave up. I was originally hoping to get some nice photos of the valley in full autumn colors from the top, but it was a hazy misty day and so after waiting about an hour I gave up and spent the rest of the day walking around Kyoto enjoying the red leaves at Shinnyodo, Kodaiji, Tofokuji and more. (Eric 2022)

Photos mostly updated with Eric's Nov2022 visit

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  • Second Bailey
  • First Bailey
  • Third Bailey

Castle Profile
English Name Amidagamine Castle (Yamashiro)
Japanese Name 山城阿弥陀ヶ峰城
Founder Imamura Clan or Ikkō-shū
Year Founded Medieval Era
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Shichijō Station on the Keihan Main Line; 20 minute walk to Toyokuni-byō
Visitor Information 24/7 free; mountain
Time Required 50 minutes
Location Kyoto, Kyoto
Coordinates 34° 59' 17.59" N, 135° 47' 5.21" E
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Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed, 2022
Admin Visits November 22, 2022
Friends of JCastle

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