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“Castle in a Baggie!”
Review of Kaminoyama Castle

Kaminoyama Castle
Ranked #1 of 24 things to do in Kaminoyama
Attraction details
Reviewed 5 April 2018

I am rather certain that the castle would be spectacular, but it is currently going through renovations. Nothing on the outside is visible and only a couple of floors on the inside are accessible to visitors.....and most of the information is in Japanese only. Admission is JPY410 per person, and you are told that a free souvenir comes with that price. The souvenir consisted of a toothpick....

Thank John A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 November 2017

Nothing special if you have seen other Japanese castles. We were lucky to be there during the Scarecrow Festival so there was lot to do in the castle grounds. Unless visiting the onsens, it's really the only tourist sight in town

1  Thank thelonious22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2016

According to the brochures, this castle originally was higher on the hill. It was completely built up with steel and concrete and has an elevator – boy these modern samurais have an easy life. The castle is basically a museum with nicely arranged displays. On the 4th floor, you can walk around and get a terrific 360 view of the mountains and the city. A must see when in this area.

1  Thank DYA717
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2016

I once heard a ninja tale involving an arson attack on a castle called Kamino (like the planet off star wars). From the description of the attack the castle sounded only like a small bare wood fort. I couldn’t find anything out about the castle called Kaminojō but in the process of searching for it I discovered a famous castle called Kaminoyama Castle. Several years later and, lo, I was able to visit Kaminoyama. Kaminoyamajō is a reconstructed (concrete) donjon serving as a folk museum.

Kaminoyamajō, also known as Tsūkokajō, has a Bōrōgata-style main keep. This is the earliest architectural style for large tenshukaku built at a time when the techniques for building stone foundations were not yet advanced. Inuyamajō and Ikedajō (which I will also post about soon) also represent this style. Bōrōgata means “shape of a watch tower” and you can see that the appearance is much like a square-based sentry protruding from out of a high-roofed building. In even earlier castles this would’ve been even more pronounced, though I think the architecture of Kaminoyamajō is accomplished.

History:

The first fortification known to this site was during the Ashikaga Shogunate, built by the Tendō-shi (clan). Over the years the Date-shi and Mogami-shi contested the area. Takenaga Yoshitada (also known as Buei Yoshitada) founded the castle’s present dimensions in 1535 at the southern extreme of Mogami territory. The Mogami were deposed by the Tokugawa Shogunate and Kaminoyama-han was created, valued at 40,000 Koku, and given to Matsudaira Shigetada in 1622. The Daimyate switched hands multiple times but a period of stability began in 1628 when Toki Yoriyuki was put in charge. The castle town prospered and the Toki erected a fine tenshu famed for its pleasing appearance. The Toki were moved elsewhere in 1692 and the donjon was demolished however. By mid-Edo only the castle’s moats remained. Although, four samurai residences survive to this day in the vicinity (see my post on them).

List of Rulers of Kaminoyama-han:

1622 – 1626: Matsudaira-shi
1622 – Matsudaira Shigetada
1626 – Matsudaira Shigenao
1626: Gamo-shi; Gamo Tadatomo
1627: Torii-shi; Torii Tadamasa, who also ruled neighbouring Yamagata-han.
1628 – 1692: Toki-shi
1628 – Toki Yoriyuki
1678 – Toki Yoritaka
1692 – 1697: Kanamori-shi; Kanamori Yoritoki

List of Matsudaira Lords of Kaminoyama-han from 1697 onwards:

Matsudaira Nobumichi
Matsudaira Nagatsune
Matsudaira Nobumasa
Matsudaira Nobutsura
Matsudaira Nobufuru
Matsudaira Nobuzane
Matsudaira Nobuyuki
Matsudaira Nobumichi (II*)
Matsudaira Nobutsune (II*)
Matsudaira Nobuyasu
* That is to say, Matsudaira Nobumichi the Second, for example.

Thank ART196
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 August 2015

Highlights include the rotating crane sculpture that appears out of nowhere, the statues of yamabushi mountain monks who blow into big conches, and the cute mascot characters! Go Kaminoyamaru!

Thank MrJoestur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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