Takayama Castle (Hida)
Takayamajō was built in 1588 by Kanamori Nagachika who, striking out from his base of Echizen-Ōnojō, had conquered much of Hida several years before. The former ruler of the area, Mitsuki Yoritsuna, allied with Sassa Narimasa against Toyotomi Hideyoshi, which was to be their undoing. Toyotomi awared Kanamori with lands in the area following his capture of them, which was gracious of him, I suppose. Most of the castle was completed by 1600. By 1603 a third bailey had been added. Each bailey contained residential structures (go'ten / yashiki). In 1692 the Kanamori Clan was transferred to Kaminoyama Domain. The castle subsequently came under the mandate of the Maeda of Kanazawa, but was demolished by 1695. Takayama Domain was by now a Tenryō. The town was subsequently redeveloped around Takayama-jin'ya, the new administrative center of the domain.
Takayamajō has a jutting portion of ishigaki (stone-piled ramparts) still intact on the honmaru (main bailey). Formerly a great castellated palace dominated the mountain clad with ishigaki, but now only this part remains, the former site of the "messenger's room", a place beside the main entrance to the citadel for messengers to rest. There was also a hall with a sentry tower atop, a bōrōgata tenshu (watch-tower style main keep) typical of the Sengoku Period. The ninomaru (second bailey) is now clear. The sannomaru (third bailey) contains a shrine and is surrounded by a mizubori (water moat). Beyond that is the historical town of Takayama. Both outer baileys contained palatial residences, and another smaller residence was located between the second and central bailey, the chūdan-yakata. The Gōhōdaira, a flattened area on the mountain slopes, contained salt stores. An area with the temple Shōrenji, which has thick earthen walls and and a medieval temple hall, may have formerly contained the bukeyashiki of the vassals of the Kanamori Clan who ruled Takayama Domain from the start of the Edo Period until 1692 when it became a tenryō (territory directly administrated by the Bakufu (Shogunate)). More bukeyashiki were likely located at the foot of the castle mountain beyond the mizubori. The town was subsequently redeveloped around Takayama-jin'ya, the new administrative center of the domain after 1695.
Profile and photos by ART. Additional photos of relocated structures by Anne McClean.
|No main keep but other buildings
|Prefectural Historic Site
|Pre Edo Period
|trenches, stone walls
|Takayama Station (JR Takayama Line), 15 min walk
|park, open any time
|Takayama, Gifu Prefecture
|36° 8' 18.02" N, 137° 15' 48.49" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited