Yamazaki Castle

From Jcastle.info



After the Honnōji Incident Toyotomi Hideyoshi returned back from campaign against the Mōri clan to Kyōto to avenge Oda Nobunaga by defeating Akechi Mitsuhide. Mitsuhide’s forces were defeated at the Battle of Yamazaki. During the battle the Left Vanguard of Hideyoshi’s forces encamped atop Mt. Yamazaki, founding the castle (Mt. Yamazaki is also known as Mt. Tennō). After the Right Wing of Hideyoshi’s forces crossed the river to engage with Mitsuhide’s army head-on, the rest of his forces came in to support them from Yamazaki Castle, causing Mitsuhide’s to panic and retreat to Shoryuji Castle. The Battle of Yamazaki (also called the Battle of Tennōzan) is considered “the beginning of the end of the Sengoku Period.” Hoshakuji Temple, which one passes through to reach the castle site, acted as the entrance to Yamazaki Castle. Yamazaki Castle was decommissioned in 1584.

Visit Notes

A short trip from Kyōto, Ōyamazaki is a very pretty little town packed full of tradition and history, famous for oil production. The castle ruin is an ideal destination for hiking fans if they visit here. Ascending the mountain one passes by many murals erected by the municipality showing the history of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and the Battle of Yamazaki. (ART 2017)

For such a well known site, I was a little disappointed in this one because there were not as many clear ruins as I had expected to see. Around the honmaru you can find a few stones remaining from the original stonework and a few more if you pick around in the wooded sides of the bailey. There is also a bailey with a well and some slight earthen embankments and several side baileys. The most clear embankments are those of the honmaru and the bailey with the well. Looking at the map there should have been a tatedorui (vertical running earthen embankment) from the honmaru but with a lot of similar looking ground it was a bit difficult to make it out. The highlight of this castle is definitely the giant trench around the Northeast side that is not often covered in other materials about the castle. If you visit Yamazaki Castle, it would could be good to plan in some of the other attractions related to the battle with Akechi Mitsuhide like his encampment at the Igenoyama Kofun and Shoryuji Castle. I got a late start due to a long train stoppage and then some unexpected rain dumped on me on the way back to the station so I called it quits after the castle. (Eric 2022)

Photos updated from Eric's trip in 2022.

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Castle Profile
English Name Yamazaki Castle
Japanese Name 山崎城
Founder Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Year Founded 1582
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Ōyamazaki Station (Hankyū Line) or Yamazaki Station (Tōkaidō Main Line), head to the temple Hoshakuji, which takes 5-10 minutes walking. From there the hiking route to the castle starts and it takes about 30 minutes to climb
Visitor Information free, 24/7
Time Required 50 minutes
Location Ōyamazaki, Kyoto
Coordinates 34° 54' 5.90" N, 135° 40' 33.56" E
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Added to Jcastle 2017
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed, 2022
Admin Visits October 31, 2022
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(3 votes)
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17 months ago
Score 1++
I'll need to revisit... with, erm, a map next tiime!


17 months ago
Score 1++
Looking at your photos, it looks like the ishigaki remnants up at the upper part of the castle near the well has crumpled a lot more since my visits back in 2011 and 2012. Did you get a photo of Koguchi b? It was already fairly overgrown a decade ago when I visited, but sometimes castle ruins get spiffed up. Alternatively, it might decay some more and become hidden in even more undergrowth. There isn’t a lot to see at this castle ruin when compared to other yamajiro ruins in Kyoto, Osaka, and Shiga, but it is worth visiting because of its historical importance.