Nirayama Castle




When Hojo Soun defeated Ashikaga Chachamaru in 1493 he built Nirayama Castle and moved his base here from Kokokuji Castle. Hojo Soun kept Nirayama as his home castle throughout all his campaigns. Besides the main castle, it was also protected by 4 forts on nearby hills. Along with Yamanaka Castle and Ashigara Castle, Nirayama Castle formed an important part of the western fortification network of Odawara Castle. In 1590, when Hideyoshi began his attack against Odawara he sent over 40,000 troops under Oda Nobukatsu to take Nirayama Castle. The 3600 defenders under Hojo Ujinori outlasted the attack for 3 months before surrendering about the same time that Odawara fell. After the fall of the Hojo, Tokugawa Ieyasu's retainer Naito Nobunari moved into Nirayama Castle until he was transferred to Sunpu Castle in 1601. Nirayama Castle was abandoned permanently at this time.

Visit Notes
If you visit Yamanaka Castle and want to visit another castle, this is a very easy trip from Mishima station since you'll be there already. There is not too much to see so you should also visit the <a href="">Egawa Residence</a> to make it worth your time. I actually wanted to visit here for awhile since Egawa proposed the Shinagawa Battery Islands. There are some maps, photos and artifacts of the battery islands in one of the storehouses and in the museum.

I was a bit disappointed with the castle ruins. For a well known castle there are almost no signs on the site identifying parts of the castle. The people at the Egawa museum and the tourism center also could not give me any information or maps on how to get to the forts that existed on the surrounding hills. It looks like they've been cutting back the trees around the Honmaru and Ninomaru areas of the castle so I hope they develop this site more.


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  • Looking to the Honmaru from the South Bailey
  • Honmaru bailey
  • Entrance to the honmaru bailey
  • horikiri
  • Looking towards Honmaru from South Bailey
  • location of a salt storehouse
  • South Bailey
  • Horikiri and entrance to the honmaru
  • Ninomaru bailey
  • Horikiri
  • Path up to the Ninomaru
  • Gongen Bailey
  • horikiri
  • horikiri
  • castle pond
  • boat landing
  • map
  • Entrance to the Egawa Residence
  • Egawa Residence
  • Behind the 12m ceiling
  • West Warehouse
  • rice storehouses
  • Inside the left storehouse.
  • Inside the right storehouse
  • Back side of the house
  • Horiki No. 4
  • Horikiri No. 5
  • Castle Mount from below. The resevoir was formerly a swamp.

Castle Profile
English Name Nirayama Castle
Japanese Name 韮山城
Founder Hojo Soun
Year Founded 1493
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Top 100 Mountaintop Castles
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features samurai homes, trenches
Visitor Information
Access Nirayama Sta. (Izu Hakone Railway), 30min walk
Visitor Information Egawa Residence: open 9am-430pm (Weds until 3pm); closed 12/31-1/1; 300yen for the house 400yen for house and museum
Time Required 40 mins for the castle, 2 hrs including the Egawa residence
Location Izunokuni, Shizuoka Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 3' 11.63" N, 138° 57' 18.61" E
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Added to Jcastle 2012
Admin Year Visited 2012
Admin Visits Nov. 10, 2012

(3 votes)
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41 months ago
Score 0++
Great site. I loved the large trenches, number up until no. 5 if i recall. I also visited the Egawa-toride. One of the forts around this castle. I was reading some review on google - but the chap seemed to know what he was talking about - that said Nirayama wasn't the center of this fort network, but that Tengatakejou was on the summit. Anyway, there are a bunch more forts around the mountain, forming a big network. Egawa-toride also has a big trench.