Kawahara Castle (河原城 Kawahara-jō) is a hilltop castle located in the former town of Kawahara-machi about 10 kilometres south of Tottori City at the confluence of the Sendai and the Hatto rivers. Kawahara-machi was merged into Tottori City in 2004.
The castle is also known as Maruyama Castle (丸山城). The main keep is magnificent but was reconstructed in 1994. The fortification was erected sometime before 1580 by Takeda Takanobu (武田高信). Later, the castle and the surrounding territory were controlled by Yamana Toyokuni (1548-1626) and served as an additional line of defence against the advancing forces of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. When Tottori Castle fell, Kawahara Castle was abandoned.
In 1991, extensive excavations revealed enclosures, moats, and pillar holes, and it was confirmed that the site was a castle of the Middle Ages. The tenshukaku (main keep) holds a small museum that exhibits folk art and local crafts of Kawahara-machi.
The top floor of the tower offers a terrific view over the Sendai River and its surroundings.
There was an enclosure on the south side which looked more like the site of the castle than its keep.
Date of visit: 13th July 2013