Tanba Kameyama Castle

From Jcastle.info



Akechi Mitsuhide built Kameyama Castle for his attacks on the Tanba area. In 1609, Tokugawa Ieyasu greatly renovated the castle for his attacks on Osaka Castle. Todo Takatora the greatest castle architect of his day directed the renovations and built Japan's first sotogata style main keep. The castle lasted until the Meiji Period when it was officially decommissioned. The real name of the castle is Kameyama Castle, but it is unofficially called Tanba Kameyama Castle to differentiate it from other castles called Kameyama Castle. Tanba is the old name of this area.

Visit Notes

Kameyama Castle often gets a bad reputation for the Ohmoto religious organization that has made the site their own. For my second visit, it seemed much more open to visitors than my first visit. It had proper signs and the welcome center had some information and a video running about the castle. They still made you wear a visitor sticker while on the site but it felt less like trespassing than my first time through. Some of the castle walls were altered or rebuilt by the Omoto so not everything you see is truly original to the castle, but you can find some nice kokuin hidden in the walls which is a nice reminder of their origins.

Besides the castle proper there are several relocated structures around town so be sure to visit those sub albums too. The old clay walls

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Kokuin Collection

(5 photos)

Castle Profile
English Name Tanba Kameyama Castle
Japanese Name 丹波亀山城
Founder Akechi Mitsuhide
Year Founded 1578
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Historical Period Edo Period
Features water moats, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Kameoka Sta (Sagano Line); 10 min walk
Visitor Information Private property, see notes below for details
Time Required 60 mins
Website https://www.kameoka.info/mitsuhide/kameyama-castle.php
Location Kameoka, Kyoto
Coordinates 35° 0' 48.46" N, 135° 34' 53.94" E
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Added to Jcastle 2010
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2016, 2022
Admin Visits December 28, 2016; October 5, 2022
Friends of JCastle
Japan Castle Explorer
Oshiro Meguri Fan
Jokaku Horoki

(7 votes)
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40 months ago
Score 1++
Updated to yellow due to all of the relocated gates. I guess this castle is worth visiting for the ishigaki, but I'm still not comfortable with all of the punch-drinkers squatting on it. Maybe I'm just being prejudiced, I thought, so I did some reading on the group and the events that led to two "incidents" where the military authorities demolished their shrines, including at the castle site, and it turns out they were a bunch of facist loons, to the extent that their growing influence in the military and with the public even gave Japan's wartime rulers the heebiejeebies. Of course after the war they got the castle back and were all about world peace...


41 months ago
Score 0++
A relcoated structure - a gate - is apparently located nearby but I've yet to confirm it myself. It has been turned into shop. Structures on site are all related to the Ohmoto Cult.


94 months ago
Score 0++
Nice castle walls. It may be a bit weird that the grounds are in hands of the Oomoto sect now, but on the other hand they are responsible for keeping the site clean and well-maintained. Worth visiting if you're in Kameoka for the yearly yamaboko festival like I was.


100 months ago
Score 1++
I got chased away from the castle by cultists. I explored on top of the tall wall in the picture there, but wouldn't you know it, the omoto cult built a silly shrine there to their dead leader or something and didn't want me there. Well then they shouldn't build burial mounds where i'm exploring castles then. It wasn't even a nice mound, it was tacky and overstated. Cultists be damned, one star.


61 months ago
Score 0++
Haha, now I know your story about Tanba Kameyama Castle. Indeed, how rude of people to really build anything we can get into on castle sites !!


157 months ago
Score 0++
Did you know that since 1919 this castle has been owned by the Oomoto religious sect and it is their second most important spiritual center? They call it \Ten'on-kyo"or the \""Birthplace of Heavenly Benevolence\"". After buying the property they made extensive repairs to the walls and moat."