Geometrical structures that suddenly emerge from the midst of a mountain castle. The true purpose was as a moat to protect the castle. The moat is called Shoji-bori because it looks like the lattice of a shoji (sliding paper door), and it was used as a reservoir as well as for defense. Yamanaka Castle was built by Ujiyasu Hojo as an important defensive base to protect the west area of Odawara, but it is said that when it was attacked in earnest by Hideyoshi Toyotomi and his army in 1590, it fell in just half a day. The characteristics of the castle structure created by the Hojo family, including Shoji-bori, are well preserved because the castle was abandoned immediately after the battle.
※ Views like the one shown in the photo can only be seen under certain conditions (time of day, weather etc.).
Visitors can see Shoji-bori between the Nishi-yagura (west tower), the western part of the Honmaru (main enclosure) and the Nishinomaru (west enclosure). The castle ruins can be visited at any time, but the Nishinomaru is approximately 10 minutes' walk from the bus stop. It takes about one hour to look around Shoji-bori and the rest of the ruins, and about two hours should be allowed for a thorough exploration of the whole of the vast Yamanaka Castle Ruins Park.
The pleasure of travel: Yamanaka Castle Ruins
[wide area map]
updated on Mar 31, 2015