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Castle Wakasa-Onigajo Castle

This article is in the series Walking the Japanese Castles
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The ruins of Wakasa-Oniga Castle (若桜鬼ヶ城 Wakasa Onigajō) are located in Wakasa Town, Yazu District, Tottori Prefecture.


The castle sits on top of Mt. Tsuruo and overlooks the Wakasa Highway that linked Harima (modern-day Hyōgo Prefecture) and Tajima (nowadays Kyōto Prefecture) to Inaba in southeastern Tottori.


The map is based on Digital Japan Portal Web Site powered by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan.

The castle is thought to be constructed by the local Yabe clan (矢部氏) in the 13th century. The power of the Yamana clan (山名氏) who ruled Inaba Province as shugo (military governors) waned in the Sengoku Period, and the region was contested by other powerful local daimyō from the Amago and Mori clans.

Hashiba Hideyoshi (1537-1598), later known as Toyotomi Hideyoshi, captured Inaba on behalf of Oda Nobunaga and put Kinoshita Shigekata (木下重堅, d. 1600) in charge of Wakasa-Oniga Castle. Shigekata renovated the castle and fortified its stone walls. As he had supported the defeated Western army in the Battle of Sekigahara (1600), he was forced to commit suicide. In 1601, Yamazaki Iemori took over the Wakasa Domain, now a fief of 30,000 koku. When Iemori's son, Ieharu, was transferred to Bitchū Province in 1617 and Ikeda Mitsumasa took over Tottori Castle, Wakasa-Oniga Castle was finally abandoned under the Ikkoku Ichijo Rei, the policy of only one castle per province.

In 2008, the castle was designated a Historic Sites of Japan. In April 2017, the castle was added to "100 More Fine Castles" of Japan (続日本100名城).

After I had gathered information at the tourist information centre close to Wakasa Station, I visited the castle by car. It seemed that there was a road to the castle right from the centre of the town, but I took another path that turned out to be a forest road.

I parked the car at the dead-end of the forest road and approached the castle crossing a horseriding ground.



I expected the stone walls to be demolished but found them in a surprisingly good condition.



Close to the honmaru (the inner bailey), with the base of a turret visible in a corner.


A beautiful view of Wakasa town, as seen from the honmaru.


Wakasa was a post town, and the streets are still lined with old buildings and storehouses.



I found a giant slug, about 15cm in length!


Tottori is the home prefecture of Mizuki Shigeru, one of the most famous manga authors of Japan who is known for his monster-like characters and whose hometown is full of monster statues. As expected in the "Monster Kingdom" of Tottori even normal creatures are different in scale.

Date of visit: 13 July 2013

Access Information

  • Address: Wakasa, Wakasa-chō, Yazu-gun, Tottori
  • Transportation: (to parking space) From Wakasa railways Wakasa station on foot
    25 kilometres from Tottori Expressway Kawahara Interchange via National Route 29
  • Other sights: Wakasa-machi Walking map (Japanese: Wakasa-machi Sightseeing Affair Website)
Next article in the series 'Walking the Japanese Castles': Tenjinyama Castle (Tottori)
Previous article in the series 'Walking the Japanese Castles': Kageishi Castle
About author
Hiroto Uehara
Hiroto is an ordinary Japanese office worker, but his true mission is searching for castles on the weekend.


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Iwatsuki Castle Shakujii Castle Oda Castle Tsuchiura Castle Miharu Castle Inohana Castle Setagaya Castle Konodai Castle Usui Castle Sakura Castle Kozukue Castle Masugata Castle Koga Castle Tenjinyama Castle Ogura Castle Sugaya Castle Sugiyama Castle Kogane Castle Kokokuji Castle Nagahama Castle (Izu) Nirayama Castle Hachigata Castle Futagamiyama Castle Edo Castle Kawahara Castle Kageishi Castle Wakasa-Onigajo Castle Tenjinyama Castle (Tottori) Tsuzurao Castle Ueshi Castle Jindaiji Castle Kururi Castle Mariyatsu Castle Narukami Castle Ryozen Castle Kori-Nishiyama Castle Tsutsujigasaki Residence Yogai Castle Kofu Castle Iwadono Castle Hachioji Castle Takiyama Castle Suemori Castle Nagoya Castle Inuyama Castle Kiyosu Castle Tatebayashi Castle Sano Castle Karasawayama Castle Ueda Castle Sanada Residence Sanada Honjo Toishi Castle Katsurao Castle Uchiyama Castle Hiraga Clan Castle Taguchi Castle Tatsuoka Castle Komoro Castle Matsushiro Castle Kajiki Castle Kakuto Castle Hitoyoshi Castle Ichiuji Castle Izaku Castle Chiran Castle Kiyoshiki Castle Kamo Castle Miyakono Castle Obi Castle Shibushi Castle Koyama Castle Mukasa Castle Sadowara Castle Tonokoori Castle Taka Castle Nerima Castle Kawagoe Castle Ashikaga Residence Koizumi Castle Kanayama Castle Shinagawa Battery (Odaiba) Tamba Kameyama Castle Yagi Castle Sonobe Castle Fushimi Castle Yodo Castle Shoryuji Castle Yamazaki Castle Tsukui Castle Katakura Castle Hirayama Castle Site Park Yamanaka Castle Sanuki Castle Sunpu Castle Koyama Castle (Shizuoka) Ryugenzan Castle Sagara Castle Tanaka Castle (Shizuoka) Ishiwaki Castle Hanazawa Castle Mochifune Castle Moriyama Castle (Aichi) Obata Castle (Aichi) Ryusenji Castle Gakuden Castle Komakiyama Castle Iwakura Castle (Aichi) Kano Castle Gifu Castle Kitagata Castle Sone Castle Ōgaki Castle Ōtaki Castle Obata Castle (Ibaraki) Mito Castle Kasama Castle Tanagura Castle Akadate Castle Inawashiro Castle Aizu-Wakamatsu Castle Mukai-Haguroyama Castle

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Hiroto Uehara
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