Matsukurajō was built in 1579 by Anekōji Yoritsuna, formerly known as Mitsuki Yoritsuna or Miki Yoritsuna, after he moved from Sakuraborajō. Yoritsuna supported Sassa Narimasa in opposition to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, prompting the invastion of his territory. Matsukurajō was conquered by Kanamori Nagachika in 1585. In 1588 Nagachika built Takayamajō on the opposite side of the valley and Matsukurajō was abandoned.
Matsukurajō is a mountaintop castle in old Hida Province, located in the mountains surrounding Takayama. There are several castles in the area but Matsukurajō has the most ishigaki (stone-piled ramparts) remaining. It is an interesting site to visit for castle fans who like ishigaki I think. The honmaru (main bailey) and an adjacent area which contained a yagura (turret) is stone-clad, although only one corner of the honmaru retains its full height, the other corner segments having been degraded with time, often with their stone blocks still scattered below where they collapsed, now overgrown like neglected graves.
The ninomaru (second bailey) is by now denuded of its stone ramparts but nonetheless its contours are readily appreciated from the yaguradai and honmaru. We climbed up from the sannomaru (third bailey). There is parking just below there.
The short trail starts with a warning about bears and an empty bucket with kosh attached. You whack it to make a lot of noise so as to forewarn any bears which may be around of your presence. Bears really hate it when you sneak up on them, as they are a secretive bunch. I took to this saftey precaution with the enthusiasm of a child permitted to break rules, hammering on the bucket loudly and shouting - we didn't have bear bells. Matsukurajō is also accessed via a trail starting from the Hida no Sato outdoor folkhome museum.
The lower extremities of Matsukurajō or an attached kyokan may extend into that park, as I found what looked like deformed dorui (earth-piled ramparts) there. The castle mount looms over the relocated farmhouses.
|Prefectural Historic Site
|Pre Edo Period
|trenches, stone walls
|Takayama Station (JR Takayama Line), 10 min bus to Hida no Sato, 20 min walk from here.
|park, open any time
|Takayama, Gifu Prefecture
|36° 7' 33.96" N, 137° 14' 3.98" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited