春日山城跡 — Kasugayama Castle Ruins


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Have you ever gone somewhere, super excited for another day of taking pictures, only to pull your camera out and find you forgot to put the memory card back in after your last adventure? Well, that’s what happened to me. Luckily, I had my old, back-up camera!

 

This castle in Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture, was the base of Uesugi Kenshin, a powerful daimyo in the Warring States Period. Like many castles in Japan, this one exists only in the open spaces and descriptive signs explaining what once had occupied the site. For example… according to a nearby sign, a “Very Important Gate” used to stand in this area haha.

 

This small temple is dedicated to Bishamonten, the Japanese version of Vaisravana, the Buddhist god of war. It is said that Kenshin was a devout believer in Bishamonten, and it was here that he would pray for victory.

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After winning his battles, he would celebrate by giving prayers of thanks in this building.

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From the top, where the Hon-maru used to be (the keep), you could see all the way to the ocean!

 

You can also see the old well, which was apparently still filled with water 400 years after the castle was abandoned.

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Further down the ruins are some open areas where important buildings such as the kitchen and rice granary.

 

All in all, a nice adventure!

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