Yogaisan Castle




Built in 1520 by Takeda Nobutora. This site served as a regional centre for the Takeda clan and also as a mountain stronghold for Tsutsujigasaki Palace. Yogaisan Castle is a vast mountain castle also protected by Kuma Castle to the south-east. After the demise of the Takeda, the castle briefly came under control of the Tokugawa until it was given over to Kato Mitsuyasu by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The stone wall remnants you see today are believed to be form this time period. After the Battle of Sekigahara (1600), the Kai Region once again fell under Tokugawa control and the castle was abandoned.

Visit Notes

Most sources tell you to take a bus from the station but there are only a few busses per day and the timings aren't good for hiking the castle. Some also say you can walk from the Tsutsujigasaki Palace but that would be a long uphill walk on paved roads just to get to the Sekisuiji Onsen. I took a taxi (1800 yen) to the onsen from the station. I hiked the castle and walked back to the Tsutsujigasaki Palace and then took the tourist bus from here to Kofu Station and Kofu Castle. This seemed to be a very efficient and effective way of visiting these sites. actually I went down via Kuma Castle from Yogaisan Castle too, but that's a treacherous path I can't recommend for everyone.

It seems there is some confusion how easy it is to climb and how interesting the site it. Personally I thought it was absolutely outstanding. The mountain ridge is bailey after bailey. Each is well defined with nice ruins of gates and entrances and a lot more stonework than you typically find around this area. There are also several trenches you can easily see. From the Sekisuiji Onsen it's a steep but short climb up several switchbacks. It's not a jogging trail but there may be some trail runners who use it. Once you get to the ruins, the rest is easy. A lot of the trees have been thinned out but that also means there are lots of weeds, especially in the summer, so I would recommend visiting in late fall or early spring after the snows melt.

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Castle Profile
English Name Yogaisan Castle
Japanese Name 要害山城
Alternate Names Yogaiyama-jo, Yogai-jo, Yogaizan-jo, Sekisuiji-jo, Maruyama-no-shiro
Founder Takeda Nobutora
Year Founded 1520
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Next 100 Castles, Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Kofu Sta. (Chou Main line), 20 min bus to Sekisuiji Onsen
Visitor Information Mountain trails, open any time. Start from the Sekisuiji Hot Spring.
Time Required 120-150 mins
Website 4641.html
Location Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 42' 11.38" N, 138° 35' 53.77" E
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Added to Jcastle 2012
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2017
Admin Visits March 18, 2017

(2 votes)
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54 months ago
Score 0++
The profile photos and comments above were updated on Apr 9, 2017. Please revert to them for more detailed comments about visiting this site.


109 months ago
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I'm very sorry if the information here caused you to have a bad time. The information I supplied was accurate to the best of my knowledge as at December 2011. The season may have had something to do with the view and quality of the trail – perhaps this castle is better in winter without leafy trees blocking the views (I could see Mt Fuji quite clearly) and weeds covering the track – the track was clear and easy to walk when I went. In any case, I am very sorry if you found it misleading. Steepness and value of what is remaining is subjective – it's always good to have another opinion. The monument isn't much to look at but it is a stone saying this is the place Takeda Shingen was born, and the writing was even inscribed by Togo Heihachiro, so I guess it depends on what history you are looking for as to how much you enjoy a place. It's interesting you mention the smallness – I guess the smallness of the castle was why Shingen used Tsutsujigasaki Yakata as his base, and also possibly why Katsuyori felt the need to build a new, larger castle as the capital and in order to combat the Oda advance.


109 months ago
Score 0++

The information given here was wrong and very misleading! I've just got home from a big hike to this castle. It is not reachable by a well mainted joggers road for the final km or so, there you have to hike up a mountain along a very steep and somewhat badly maintained path, It is quite a struggle and takes a good half hour (and this is after an hour or so's walk from the station). At the top there isn't too much to be seen. A little monument and some still visible outline of the outer walls. Looks like it was once a very small castle indeed! The views too aren't that spectacular due to all the trees.

Onlk really recommended if you live in Yamanashi and fancy some hiking.