Nirayama Castle used to sit atop a hill in modern-day Shizuoka Prefecture near Atami and Ito. Now, you can visit its ruins on this hill. This castle had deep significance in Japanese history, and the trails through the sparse forest and hilltop views make it a great place to explore.
Nirayama Castle is accessible by train.
Nirayama Castle is a 20-minute walk from Nirayama Station. Nirayama Station is about 70 minutes from Tokyo via the bullet train to Mishima and transferring to the Izuhakone Sunzu Line.
Nirayama Castle was built in the late 15th century
3,600 men were besieged here by an army of 40,000 and held out for three months
Originally built in the late 15th century as the base of the Hojo clan, Nirayama Castle is most famous for withstanding a 100-day siege by warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the 16th century. The samurai in the castle put up a spirited resistance and lasted longer than any of their allies, but eventually, the castle fell.
The castle changed owners and survived until the beginning of the Edo period when the government abolished the clan system and demolished castles across the country. The original walls and moat remain to this day, as does the house of a local magistrate from the Edo period. You can still enjoy the view across the plain to the mountains beyond.