Tage Castle

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The early history of Tage Castle is relatively unknown. There are different legends attributing its origins to the 10th Century and 14th C. Records from the Utsunomiya clan say that they built the castle in about one month in 1576. Given the vast size of this castle, however, if it were really completed in a month it was likely built on an older castle. The home castle of the Utsunomiya clan was Utsunomiya Castle about 10km away to the southeast. The Utsunomiya fortified Mt. Taki as a defense against incursions from the Hojo. There was some conflict within the Utsunomiya clan as well as with their allies whether to side with the Hojo or resist them. The main clan at Utsunomiya Castle continued to resist and since Utsunomiya Castle, a flatland castle, was not easily defended and not suitable for a long siege, they moved their main base to Tage Castle. In 1590, when Hideyoshi's pacification of the Hojo began, the Utsunomiya sided with Hideyoshi and were able to retain their lands after the fall of the Hojo as well. After the defeat of the Hojo, the Utsunomiya moved back to Utsunomiya Castle. Despite participating in the Korean Campaigns Utsunomiya Kunitsuna fell out of favor with Hideyoshi their lands were seized by Hideyoshi in 1597. Tage Castle was likely abandoned at this time.

Visit Notes

There are a few different busses that go to within walking distance of the Mt. Taki so I recommend you check multiple routes to get there. There are also multiple hiking routes to the top of the mountain but I would recommend starting from the Tagefudoson Temple. It is probably the easiest route up and allows you to visit this interesting temple. One of the more interesting features of this castle is that it had a vast circular trench nearly 2km around the base of the mountain. Some remains of this trench can be seen today. If you follow the road around the base of the mountain and watch downslope you should be able to find some remnants. You can also check the map coordinates for some of my photos here.

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  • Stepped baileys down the south ridge
  • Trail, approaching the top
  • Small Bailey off the northeast side
  • Main Bailey entrance
  • Honmaru Bailey
  • Honmaru
  • Honmaru Bailey
  • Honmaru Bailey
  • View from the top
  • Honmaru entrance
  • Trench and embankment around the Honmaru bailey
  • Side Bailey off the Honmaru seen from above
  • Honmaru bailey
  • Honmaru Bailey and side Bailey below
  • Horikiri trench
  • Back corner of the Honmaru Bailey
  • Horikiri trench drops away from this corner of the Honmaru
  • View from the back side of the Honmaru Bailey
  • View from the back side of the Honmaru Bailey
  • Honmaru entrance from the south ridge
  • Honmaru entrance from the south ridge
  • Small bailey on the south ridge looking up to the Honmaru bailey
  • Honmaru Bailey
  • Side Bailey off the main bailey
  • Side Bailey off the main bailey
  • Honmaru Bailey
  • Trail down the east ridge
  • Stepped baileys down the ridge
  • Stepped baileys down the ridge
  • Earthen embankment on the left side
  • Yokobori trench around the base of the castle and mountain
  • Yokobori Trench. You can see how the earth was piled top the left to make an high embankment too.
  • Flattened area around the yokobori trench
  • Yokobori trench
  • Yokobori trench
  • Yokobori trench
  • Yokobori trench
  • Map

Castle Profile
English Name Tage Castle
Japanese Name 多気城
Alternate Names Tagesan-jo
Founder Utsunomiya Clan
Year Founded 15th - 16th C.
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Utsunomiya Sta; Kanto Bus for Tateiwa (23 mins), walk to Tagefudoson Temple (20 mins), hike to mountaintop (20mins)
Visitor Information mountain trails, open any time
Time Required 90 mins
Location Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 36' 17.28" N, 139° 48' 15.37" E
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Added to Jcastle 2018
Admin Year Visited 2018
Admin Visits April 30, 2018

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