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Castle Hanazawa Castle

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Hanazawa Castle (花沢城 Hanazawa-jō) was a mountain castle (山城 yamashiro) in modern-day Shizuoka, controlling the road between Nihonzaka and Kosaka, about 3 kilometres northeast of Yaizu Station. The Imagawa (今川氏) built it during the Sengoku period to defend the west of Sunpu.

Hanazawa Castle (花沢城)

It is not clear when the castle was built, but it gained fame as the site of fierce battles between the Imagawa and Takeda Shingen. After the death of Imagawa Yoshimoto in the Battle of Okehazama, Shingen invaded Suruga in 1568. Sunpu soon fell, and Yoshimoto's son, Ujizane, evacuated to Kakegawa Castle. In the Yamanishi region, two Imagawa retainers continued to resist the Takeda forces: Ohara Sukeyoshi (大原資良) defended Hanazawa Castle, and Hasegawa Masanaga (長谷川正長) Tokuisshiki Castle (later Tanaka Castle). Shingen could not occupy all of Suruga at once, as the Sumpu and the Yamanishi region are separated by the Nihonzaka mountains. Yamanishi (山西) is located west of Mount Takakusa (高草山), hence its name.

Hanazawa Castle (花沢城)



Hanazawa Castle (花沢城)

Aerial photographs taken from Geographical Survey Institute maps. The location of the enclosures is estimated.

In 1570, Shingen started his invasion of the Yamanishi region. Sukeyoshi fought back for nearly a month, but Hanazawa Castle fell after a month. Next, Tokuisshiki Castle was also taken, leaving Shingen in control of the entire Yamanishi region.

Hanazawa Castle consists of two large enclosures near the summit and smaller surrounding enclosures. In addition, remnants of moats and earthworks are still visible today.

Hanazawa Castle (花沢城)


Hanazawa Castle (花沢城)

Aerial photographs taken from Geographical Survey Institute maps. The location of the enclosures is estimated.

We walked all the way from Ishiwaki Castle. We had to go deeper into the mountains than we had thought.

① This is a fork road. There is no parking lot near the castle, so if you have a larger vehicle, you better park here.


Hanazawa Castle (花沢城)

(2) The entrance to the castle is immediately after the fork. From here, we climbed a steep mountain path.

Hanazawa Castle (花沢城)

③ We arrived at Ichi no Kuruwa (一ノ曲輪). The grass was mowed and it was easy to walk around. There was a shrine and a stone monument.

Hanazawa Castle (花沢城)

Earthworks remains in one corner of Ichi no Kuruwa.

Hanazawa Castle (花沢城)

④ The horikiri (堀切) on the south side of Ichi no Kuruwa remains visible.

Hanazawa Castle (花沢城)

⑤ On the other side of the horikiri, Ni no Kuruwa (二ノ曲輪) was covered with bushes, so we could not visit it.

Hanazawa Castle (花沢城)

The view of Yaizu Town.

Hanazawa Castle (花沢城)

Mount Takakusa rises in the background. It is said that Takeda Shingen set up a camp halfway up Takakusayama overlooking the castle to capture Hanazawa Castle.

Hanazawa Castle (花沢城)

Date of visit: 17 February 2014

Link:


Access:

  • Address: Yoshizu, Yaizu, Shizuoka 425-0002
  • Access: (to the entrance to the castle)
    60 minutes walk from JR Tōkaidō Main Line Yaizu Station or 20 minutes walk from Takakusayama Ishiwaki Iriguchi bus stop
    5 km from Tomei Expressway Yaizu Interchange via Prefectural Route 150
Next article in the series 'Walking the Japanese Castles': Mochifune Castle
Previous article in the series 'Walking the Japanese Castles': Ishiwaki Castle
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Hiroto Uehara
Hiroto is an ordinary Japanese office worker, but his true mission is searching for castles on the weekend.

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Author
Hiroto Uehara
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Location
〒425-0002 静岡県焼津市吉津

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