Takeda Castle was built on this site in the path of aggression between Harima/Tanba and Tajima regions as a stronghold of Izushi Castle. It was built by Ohtagaki Mitsukage, a retainer of Yamana Sozen, lord of the area, in 1441. Ohtagaki, who had been a military commander of the Yamana clan for 5 generations became lord of the castle.
Takeda Castle was conquered by Hideyoshi in his Tajima campaign of 1577. Hideyoshi placed it in the control of his younger brother, Hidenaga, who moved to Izushi less than 2 years later. In 1585 Akamatsu Hirohide became the new lord of the castle and was charged with renovating it as a stronger castle to help control the Ikuno silver mines. The stone walls date from this period. Akamatsu Hirohide, the last lord of the castle, fought on the side of the Western Forces for Tokugawa at the battle of Sekigahara in the attack on Tottori Castle. Hirohide served valiantly in the battle, but was accused of setting the castle town on fire. Later that year he committed seppuku and Takeda Castle was abandoned.
This is a truly impressive castle. Despite being only ruins; the location, stone walls, design, and view easily make it worth 4 stars. It is amazing how they built such extensive stone walls on top of the mountain. There are few trains running to Takeda and you'll want at least 90 minutes at the castle (depending on how much you take pictures) so plan accordingly. At the foot of the mountain are some temples with walls that look similar to castle walls. This temple and shrine complex was actually established as a defense for the castle. Across the valley there is also the Ritsuunkyo park with great views of the castle from afar. Refer to the Ritsuunkyo gallery below for more details.
Takeda Castle has suffered from over tourism and becoming too popular over the last 10 years. Too many visitors compacted the ground, wore away the topsoil and made it prone to erosion and weakening the stone walls. The site has been closed completely or in part at different times for repairs. It all started from a book of photographs and then an early Google maps TV commercial and a JR campaign that featured fantastic views of the castle "in the clouds". The first time I visited there were multiple hiking trails to the top and no one around. In fact, I was told by another veteran castle fan and longtime friend (Shirofan) to only visit in the late autumn and winter or it would be too weedy to see the stonework well! The second time, popularity had increased dramatically and they had closed all the trails but one and were limiting the number of people on the site at one time. In recent years, two of the original trails have been reopened but there are designated walking paths around the site. You are no longer free to roam the site as you please and the Hanayashiki Bailey is also now closed.
Takeda Castle also has the distinction of being the only castle where the town has asked me to remove some information (from my original first visit). They did not want people hunting down the now closed off trails to climb the mountain or to see the off limits areas with stonework!
|English Name||Takeda Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Top 100 Castles, Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, National Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Features||trenches, stone walls|
|Access||Takeda Station (Bantan Line); 60 min walk or 15 min taxi (1500 yen)|
|Visitor Information||Some areas currently blocked off for repairs.|
|Time Required||90 mins on site + 2hrs round trip to the station|
|Location||Asago, Hyogo Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 18' 0.43" N, 134° 49' 45.44" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2005|
|Admin Year Visited||2009, 2013|
|Admin Visits||Nov. 15, 2009; Sept 27, 2013|
|Friends of JCastle|
|Malcolm Fairman Photography - Takeda Castle|
|Shirofan - Takeda Castle|
|Shirobito - Takeda Castle|
|Kojodan - Takeda Castle|
|Ken's Castle Storage - Takeda Castle|
|Jokaku Horoki - Takeda Castle|