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.
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.
|Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, National Historic Site
|Pre Edo Period
|trenches, stone walls
|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
|34° 54' 5.90" N, 135° 40' 33.56" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited
|Viewer Contributed, 2022
|October 31, 2022
|Friends of JCastle
|Shiro Meguri Fan
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