Jouhikage Fort


JouhikageToride (3).JPG


Jōhikage-toride was a satellite fortification of Nishimakijō.

See Azumi Nishimaki Castle for more information.

Visit Notes

Jōhikage-toride is a fort ruin on the fringes of the Matsumoto Basin. It's an old frontier region leading from Aźumi and Chikuma into Hida and Kiso to the south. Even modern civilisation, in the form of the Kamikōchi Line, was pushed back from Shimashima Station to Shinshimashima ('New Islands') Station after landslides. More recently a typhoon swelled the Nariai River and sent down debris to smash a bridge, severing the line to Matsumoto Station (there's a replacement bus I think but I just cycled down to Nagisa Station). One can visit this out-of-the-way fort ruin then via Shinshimashima Station. Jōhikage-toride is the furthest node west in the Nishimaki Clan complex of fortifications surrounding Nishimakijō. This spurned little ruin has no trail to it and so one must climb the ridge as one finds it near a creek. The layout of the fort consists of a main bailey complex with some narrow terraced sub-baieys below, protected on both sides of the ridge with double horikiri (trenches). Along the ridge a little is what looks like another flattened area eaten into by a large chute. Probably a landslide or two has warped the shape of earthworks here but it may be that this was a mustering ground to the rear of the fort.

As I came down from the castle mount via a forestry road I saw many monkeys in the woods. I came down into the hamlet below and the monkeys were there too, scores of them! They seemed to have the run of the place. I asked a villager about the monkeys and she said there were loads of 'em. I asked if it was hard-going that there be so many monkeys and she said it was very much so. They seemed ambivalent to cars going by but when I walked up to them the whole troupe scarpered back up the slope, and one had taken something from a garden. Damn monkeys.

  • Horikiri / Trench

Castle Profile
English Name Jouhikage Fort
Japanese Name 城日影砦
Founder Nishimaki Clan
Year Founded Sengoku Period
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Kuruwa, Tatebori, Horikiri
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Shinshimashima Station on the Kamikōchi Line; 20 minute walk to mountain; hike for 10 minutes up ridge from the east
Visitor Information 24/7 free; mountain
Time Required 40 minutes
Location Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 11' 46.10" N, 137° 49' 2.93" E
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Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
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