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Castle Ryugenzan Castle

This article is in the series Walking the Japanese Castles
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Ryugenzan Castle (龍眼山城 Ryūgenzanjō) was a mountain castle (山城 yamashiro) in Makinohara, Shizuoka Prefecture (formerly Haibara Town).

Ryūgenzan Castle (龍眼山城)

The castle's origin is unknown, but some historians believe that it was either built by the local Katsumata clan (勝間田氏) or that it was a residence of the Takeda clan. As it is located on the route connecting Takatenjin Castle and Koyama Castle, it is possible (although there is no other evidence) that it was a relay station for the Takeda.

Furthermore, Shizuoka Prefecture stretches east to west, but traffic is hindered by several major rivers and mountain ranges running from north to south. The barriers in the eastern Tōtōmi region are the Oigawa River (大井川) and Makinohara Plateau (牧ノ原台地). There are two main routes across Makinohara. One is on the mountainside, along the Tōkaidō Highway, via Suwabara Castle, and the other is on the seaside, via Koyama and Sagara castles.

The castle is at the forefront of the plateau between the Katsumata (勝間田川) and Saguchiya (坂口谷川) rivers and is located on a hill overlooking the sea.

Ryūgenzan Castle (龍眼山城)

Based on the Aerial Photograph Service of the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. The location of the enclosures is estimated.

The ruins of the castle are located in Haibara Park (榛原公園). I parked in the car park at the foot of the castle. There is also a parking area near the top, but the narrow road makes it safer to park at the foot.

Ryūgenzan Castle (龍眼山城)

A shrine near the parking lot. The path to the castle is on your left.

Ryūgenzan Castle (龍眼山城)

The road is steep, but it is not far to the top. The observatory is visible in the back. Although there was no name displayed, this was probably the first kuruwa (郭, castle compound).

Ryūgenzan Castle (龍眼山城)

Seaview from the observatory.

Ryūgenzan Castle (龍眼山城)

A few earthworks remain on the boundary between the first and second kuruwa.


The second kuruwa is a tea plantation.

Ryūgenzan Castle (龍眼山城)

The horikiri (堀切, dry moat) on the north side of the second kuruwa remained in good condition.

Ryūgenzan Castle (龍眼山城)

Date of visit: 16 February 2014


  • Address: Hosoe, Makinohara, Shizuoka 421-0421
  • Access: seven kilometres from Tomei Expressway / Yoshida Interchange via National Highway 150.
  • Parking: Park parking lot (point 'P'on the map above)
  • Nearby sights: Koyama Castle
Next article in the series 'Walking the Japanese Castles': Sagara Castle
Previous article in the series 'Walking the Japanese Castles': Koyama Castle (Shizuoka)
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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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Hiroto Uehara
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2 min read
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〒421-0421 静岡県牧之原市細江

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