Ogyu Castle, Matsudaira Castle, Koromo Castle, Sakura Castle in Toyota City (Aichi Pref.)

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Ogyu Castle, Matsudaira Castle, Koromo Castle, Sakura Castle in Toyota City (Aichi Pref.)

2020/08/17


This update covers a long castle day out in Toyota City of Aichi. The day started from the Matsudaira Village with Matsudaira Castle and the Matsudaira Yakata, followed by a short bus ride to Ogyu Castle and then a walk around sakura Castle (Aichi) and Koromo Castle.

There are a lot more castles in thea area, especially in the mountains around the Matsudaira Village and Ogyu Castle. One could easily spend a couple more days visiting castles with Toyotashi Station as your base.


Koromo Castle / 拳母城

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Koromo Castle consists of a stone wall segment with a turret atop. The turret is not original and was reconstructed in 1978 (English Wikipedia says “1959”, which I think is a mistake, and Japanese Wikipedia says 1977; I’m using 1978 because that’s what the sign at the site says). Now part of a park, the site is quite small, although the original castle was more expansive. A depiction of the original castle is shown at the site. The yagura was not open when we visited. Next to the castle is a large tea pavilion called Yūjitsutei which was originally built as a sho’in and chashitsu at Terabejō (long lost go’ten remnant perhaps? Although Terabejō became a jin’ya in 1618), but was relocated to a temple, Ryūju’in, in 1892 before being acquired by Toyota City in 1977. Original profile by ART (2019), history updated and some new photos added by Eric (2020).
Matsudaira Castle / 松平城

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This is a small mountaintop castle built on an extension of ridge that comes down to nearly close off the valley of the Matsudaira village. The castle itself itself is not that high and is a fairly simple design so if you visit the village I highly recommend walking up to the castle. The main bailey is at the highest point and there are two smaller baileys along the ridge leading up to it and one smaller one along the way that sits at the farthest point to look down over the valley. Behind the main bailey is a large horikiri trench cutting off the castle from the rest of the ridgeline. It's a bit hard to get to from the main trail coming from the west side, but I discovered later that there is probably a trail along the east side of the castle that will take you into the big horikiri too.
Matsudaira Yakata / 松平氏館

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The fortified manor site is obviously influenced by castle construction of the time with Edo Period stone walls and a small water filled moat. There is even yokoya built into the walls for flanking fire against attackers. The site now houses the Matsudaira Toshogu Shrine. The village is in a really neat location. The mouth of the valley is narrow making entrance difficult if it were defended. At the entrance is a convenient hill with Matsudaira Castle to protect the valley and highway below. In the back of the valley is Kogetsuin, the funerary temple and grave site of Matsudaira Chikauji, the founder of the village and patriarch of the Matsudaira clan. I've included some photos of these sites as well even though they are not strictly castle related. This is a fascinating place to visit for any Tokugawa fan or history fan. The area is filled with other mountaintop castles and several hiking trails around the nearby mountains and hills so it may be a good visit along with a day of hiking too.
Ogyu Castle / 大給城

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This was the most impressive mountaintop castle ruin I have been to in a long time. There is a lot of stonework around the site, but it also has these amazing huge boulders that are combined with the stonework in some locations and act as natural barriers and potential defensive positions in others. It's certainly a one-of-a-kind castle among those that I have been to. The castle ruin itself is about a 20 min walk from the nearest bus stop. You need to walk uphill up the road from the bus stop and there is a bit of an uphill trail in the mountain, but all things considered it is a very accessible mountaintop castle and highly recommended for any castle fans. There are fantastic views from the top and would be a great place for a family picnic with some hiking. I think it must have great autumn colors too. When I visited, there was road construction going on and the bus stop was moved from where I expected it to be, based on old information I had, so I lost some time trying to figure out where I was and where to go. If you visit this castle by bus just be aware that some information you find may be old if this new road affects bus routes. Try to confirm with up-to-date websites, Navitime, Google Maps or the bus company. Hopefully it will let you get closer to the castle in the end.
Sakura Castle (Aichi) / 桜城 (佐久良城)

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Only the castle wall foundation of a yagura remains in the Sakurajoshi Park. This was once a fairly large, albeit short lived castle. You can see an illustration of what the castle was like on this page. it's the second illustration from the bottom. You can read more about the history of this castle and the other two related castles below. Unfortunately, I ran out of time to visit the Kanaya Castle site on this trip, but there is really nothing to see of the site.
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