See Karidaoh Castle.
Tsutsuhatajō climbs up the ridge but the final fort site on the mountaintop itself is known as Takinoirijō. Each subsequent climbing section between the forts which make up Tsutsuhatajō (they seemed to be placed before every odd numbered fort!) was steeper and steeper. But the most difficult climbing section of all is the ridge between the fifth and final fort of Tsutsuhatajō and the ruins of Takinoirijō. It’s basically rock-climbing and I had to take great care not to grab hold of any loose rocks – of which there were several – to gingerly pull myself up the ridge whilst avoiding catastrophe. It would be possible to go around the mountainside and approach the fort from another direction – the north – or just take the Karida hiking trail.
Takinoirijō consists of two baileys located quite distant from each other. The main bailey is pluck-shaped, and has three spurs. The northeastern spur is where I ascended from, and there’s not much in the way of ruins here. The northwestern spur has two horikiri (trenches), and fallen masonry along it. The masonry is clustered on the inner sides of the horikiri, a feature I had observed repeatedly in the Tsutsuhatajō fort group. In the final trench I came across a large hornet. It muttered something disrespectful with its buzzing and then left me alone though. I quickly retreated.
The southward spur of Takinoirijō leads to a detached bailey further along the ridge known as the Senzōbō-kuruwa (千僧坊曲輪). Sōbō means ‘priest’s quarters’, and by tradition it is believed that monks from Ganshōin temple below lived here, but I don’t know about that. I certainly don’t think a thousand could’ve lived here as the name suggests! From the Senzōbō-kuruwa there is a well developed trail with rope sections down to Ganshōin. I finally saw people here, having been on the mountain for about four hours by this point without seeing anyone. This trail is the safest way to go to Takinoirijō, but the climbing sections dominate the ridge, whereas at Tsutsuhatajō the ruins dominate, and so I went via the latter.
|English Name||Takinoiri Castle|
|Year Founded||From 1492|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Kuruwa, Horikiri, Ishigaki, &c.|
|Features||trenches, stone walls|
|Access||Tsusumi Station on the Nagano Electric Line; 25-minute walk to trailhead at Ichinoshiro; or 20-minute walk to trailhead at Ganshōin|
|Time Required||40 minutes|
|Location||Obuse, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 41' 48.37" N, 138° 20' 53.56" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2022|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Friends of JCastle|