Ashigara Castle




Ashigara Castle sits atop Mt. Ashigara where it controls traffic along the Ashigara road, a vital link between Sagami and Suruga. At one time the Tokaido Road also ran through here.

The castle was built around 1536 by Hojo Ujitsuna and renovated by Hojo Ujiyasu in 1555. Ashigara Castle served as one of the important defenses against Takeda Shingen's incursions into the area. Much of the castle was destroyed in battles with Takeda in 1568, but due to its strategic importance, the castle was rebuilt and expanded. In 1590, Hojo Ujitada, then lord of the castle, fled to Odawara after he heard that Yamanaka Castle had fallen. Ashigara Castle soon fell to ii Naomasa and was afterwards abandoned.

Visit Notes

Ashigara Castle is a nice 2 hour walk/hike from Ashigara Station. You can also take a bus from Oyama station but busses are few and far between. From the castle you should have some awesome views of Mt. Fuji but I was stuck with cloudy weather all day despite a perfectly clear weather forecast. It's still a nice mountaintop castle ruin to explore. There are five well defined baileys and you can get a good feel for how the castle was constructed on top of the mountain. Unfortunately, there are only a few poor signs in Japanese and one had completely fallen over. The castle also had some stonework walls once upon a time but it doesn't look like there are any remnants left.

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  • horikiri
  • horikiri
  • horikiri and baileys
  • scene from the third bailey
  • horikiri and bailey
  • second bailey
  • horiki and first bailey
  • first bailey
  • bridge
  • bridge and horikiri
  • sekisho, guard and tax station
  • map

Castle Profile
English Name Ashigara Castle
Japanese Name 足柄城
Founder Hojo Ujitsuna
Year Founded 1536
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Ashigara Sta. (Gotemba Line), 120 min hike
Visitor Information
Time Required
Location Oyama, Shizuoka Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 19' 15.17" N, 139° 0' 42.59" E
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Added to Jcastle 2010
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2010
Admin Visits April 3, 2010
Friends of JCastle

(2 votes)
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17 months ago
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There's a few more baileys further down, but what's interesting is that the karabori get wider the further down one goes! I wrote about this site:

'Ashigarajō is an earthworks fort site straddling a mountain pass. The main bailey is well maintained as mountain parkland. Features include kuruwa (baileys), karabori (dry moats), and other earthworks, such as trenches and dorui (earthen ramparts). The further one goes from the main bailey the quieter it becomes, and, although it was busy the day I visited, it seems few casual visitors venture to go the whole length of the ruins. The karabori dividing the outer baileys are quite wide, and these karabori were my favourite feature of Ashigarajō. The Ashigara-seki, a checkpoint site, is located beneath the main part of the castle.'

Eventually I'll add some pictures with marker points to the gallery of these outer earthworks. I've also added one of the castle's satellite forts, Teraba-toride (but there's many more I didn't visit).


15 months ago
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Maybe I should go back to my photo archives and renew this profile. I know I have a lot more photos too but in 2010 I needed to be much more rigorous with how many photos to add for server space! (no, not quite the dark ages, Friends was already long over....). We actually went here on one of those early days GPS phone "find the treasure" games that was some popular thing back then. There was some hidden trinket in a plastic box hidden in the roots of a tree in one of the baileys!


15 months ago
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Okay! Friends, lol. The treasure hunt sounds fun^^

Anonymous user #1

31 months ago
Score 0 You
Visited this site by car today. Mainly for the view of mount Fuji.


15 months ago
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That's the main reason I went too! Unfortunately..... you see the results above.