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Words-and-Pictures: Yamanaka Castle Ruins

Note: This selection of Words-and-Pictures was made on September 15, 2001, as I walked on the Old Tokaido.

The remains of Yamanaka Castle are located between Hakone and Mishima in Shizuoka Prefecture, which are Stations # 10 and 11 respectively (from Tokyo) on the Old Tokaido Highway. You can read about my visit to the castle in my Logbook.

This castle was built about 400 years ago, using the Hojo style of technology and construction technique (named for the Hojo family, not the nickname of an American hotel and restaurant chain). It has been called a "must see for any castle fan." It was positioned to protect the western approaches to Odawara Castle. Because it was a "mountain castle" some of the moats were dry, using "sliding paper door" barriers. Also, this castle was built without stone: wooden forms were made, then filled with earth.

An overview

The Kita-Maru or northern enclosure

Tenshu Yagura (tower) remains

The "sliding paper door"-style barriers in a dry moat

A (modern?) bridge across a moat

A pond near the bottom of the castle

The gate of an associated shrine

Posted September 27, 2019

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