Funaokayama-jo Castle (船岡山城)

Funaokayama-jo Castle was a yamashiro (a castle on a mountain) in the medieval period, located in Kyoto City. Funaoka-yama Mountain as a whole is designated as a national historic site. It is also written as 船崗山城, or is called Yamana-jo Castle.


Funaoka-yama Mountain is a hill of 112 meters above sea level, with an area of 82,644.63 square meters, located in Murasakino Kitafunaoka-cho, Kita Ward, Kyoto City. It is said that, based on the Inyo gogyo shiso (Yin-Yang Wu-Hsing theory) and on feng shui theory, Funaoka-yama Mountain is a hill of the god Genbu (a Chinese god) where vital energy of the earth overflows.

Funaokayama-jo Castle was built as a castle for the troops of the western group in the Onin War that started in 1467. In the next year, this castle fell to an army from the east. After that, neither of the eastern nor western armies used it, and therefore, the castle was abandoned. It is supposed that the castle was a temporary fort provided for fighting, and it is unclear whether permanent castle facilities were provided there. As its remains, horizontal trenches are dug on the slopes of the mountain, and mud walls exist outside these trenches. There is also a large, flattened area on top of the mountain, indicating that it was a typical yamashiro.


In the Onin War, Noriyuki YAMANA, a military governor of Bizen Province, and Yoshinao ISSHIKI, a military governor of Tango Province, barricaded themselves in this castle. At this time, a western army used the area around Funaoka-yama Mountain for its encampment, and therefore the area later came to be called 'Nishijin' (the encampment of the western army group).

Next, the castle was the site of Funaokayama no kassen (battle at Mt. Funaoka), the famous battle fought between Masayoshi HOSOKAWA and Yoshioki OUCHI in 1511.

Designation of cultural properties, etc.

The entire area of Funaoka-yama Mountain (Castle), which was important in many instances in Japanese history, has been designated as a national historic site (designated on February 15, 1968).

Furthermore, the area was included in the 200 selected Kyoto treasures of nature (designated on March 27, 1995, by Kyoto Prefecture) and was also designated as a scenic area (on July 14, 1931 by Kyoto City), to protect the geographical shape and present state of the area from being altered.


Get on a Kyoto City bus at Kitaoji Station on the Karasuma Line of Kyoto City Subway, and get off the bus at the Funaokayama bus stop or at the bus stop in front of Kenkun-jinja Shrine.

[Original Japanese]