Mt. Kasuga/Joetsu Area

Niigata, Chubu

Explore the ruins of Kasugayama Castle where the original ramparts and dry moat are still preserved. A branch of the god of the Kasuga Taisha Shrine in Nara is enshrined in the castle.

Mt. Kasuga is located in the hill country of northwest Takada in the western part of Niigata. Kasugayama Castle was built in the 14th century, and by the middle of the 16th century it had become the primary residence of General Uesugi Kenshin, and was regarded as one of Japan’s best mountain castles. Using the castle as his base, Kenshin brought under his control almost all of the area in present-day Niigata, which was called Echigo in his time. The mountain castle was vast, and its remnants, such as the forts and outer walls, are preserved almost perfectly.

At the bottom of the mountain is the Kasugayama-jo-ato Monogatari-kan, a museum where you can watch videos about the life of Kenshin and how the castle was at that time. Also, next to the museum is Kasugayama-jo-shiseki Hiroba, an open space at the ruins where you can experience the vastness of the castle.

Temples and shrines related to Kenshin are scattered in the area near Mt. Kasuga, such as Rinsen-ji Temple, which was built by Kenshin's grandfather and is where Kenshin studied and trained in military arts, Kasuga Shrine, which enshrines the guardian god of the Uesugi family, who were responsible for controlling Echigo, and Gochi-kokubun-ji Temple which is said to have been restored by Kenshin. Kasugayama Shrine is located halfway up Mt. Kasuga. It enshrines Kenshin, and the treasury within the precinct exhibits articles such as battle flags and the battle weapons and armor left by Kenshin.

In addition, every year on the 4th Saturday and Sunday in August, the Kenshin-ko- Festival is held in order to pay honor to the great general's virtue. At the festival, many people enjoy the pre-battle parade and war reenactment.


From Tokyo:
[Rail] 1h 55 min to Joetsu-Myoko Station on JR Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, and 10 min from Joetsu-Myoko Station to Kasugayama Station on Echigo TOKImeki Railway’s Myoko Haneuma Line.
From Osaka:
[Rail] 2h 45 min to Kanazawa Station on JR Hokuriku Main Line, 1h 5 min from Kanazawa Station to Joetsu-Myoko Station on JR Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, and 10 min from Joetsu-Myoko Station to Kasugayama Station on Echigo TOKImeki Railway’s Myoko Haneuma Line.

Around the Mt. Kasuga/Joetsu Area