3 Castles and 5 Forts Of Okehazama

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3 Castles and 5 Forts Of Okehazama

2020/08/10


This update brings you three of the Imagawa castles related to the Battle of Okehazama and 5 of Nobunaga's forts that were built around Narumi Castle and Odaka Castle


Kutsukake Castle was the castle from which Imagawa Yoshimoto departed on his way to meet Nobunaga's forces. It's a fair distance away from the other sites in this update but has, by far, the most extensive remains to see today.

Odaka Castle and the two nearby forts are in fairly good condition and have good parks and ruins to see with a history trail linking the three sites. Narumi Castle and the three forts nearby have been mostly developed over. There are a couple small city parks and/or temples but it's really just a sign noting the location and a little bit of history.

Regardless of whether there are extensive ruins to see or not, visiting these sites together are part of the experience of visiting the Okehazama Battlefield. Walk between the castles and nearby forts to understand the distance. Thinking about the location and distance adds an important aspect to better understand history than merely reading about in a book or studying a map.

There are many more sites to see around Okehazama including the battlefield itself (which I did not visit) and some other more minor forts and castles should you have time. Honestly, this day trip was not well planned. I had more time in Nagoya than expected and mostly put it together on-the-fly.


Kutsukake Castle / 沓掛城

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The remains of Kutsukake Castle are mainly the Honmaru, the Honmaru trench and some parts of other baileys around the Honmaru. The main attraction is probably the entrance between the Ninomaru and Honmaru highlighted in the photo above. I actually didn't know much about this castle but I had a little extra time in Nagoya and dropped by on a whim after seeing it on a map. Without any background, this castle site was quite a pleasant surprise. It is small, but well maintained and signposted and turned out to be the highlight of the day.
Marune Fort / 丸根砦

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Compared to some of the other forts in the area, this seems to have been a more well developed fortification. While there are few ruins to be seen, the grouns of this round hilltop have not been developed over so it makes a worthwhile visit along with Odaka Castle and Washizu Fort.
Nakajima Fort / 中島砦

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Nakajima Fort was one of the forts built to enclose Narumi Castle. Today, it has been completely developed over but a stone pillar marking the site of the fort is located in a private garden. We appreciate the owners letting people in to take photos of the pillar.
Narumi Castle / 鳴海城

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There really isn't anything castle-like to see here except for the signs, but historically it makes for an interesting stopover if you're exploring the neighboring sites. The castle location, now Narumi Castle Park, offers a commanding view of the area too. While gathering information for these profiles, I also discovered that there may be a relocated gate from Narumi Castle (or the gate uses materials from a castle gate) at the nearby Tofukuin temple.
Odaka Castle / 大高城

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Odaka Castle is interesting because it is a small hill in the middle of a plain that looks like it was prepared just for such a castle. Unfortunately there are not many ruins to see today but they've done a good job at trimming the trees and making pathways to mark off the baileys. If you visit Odaka Castle you should also Marune Fort and Washizu Fort nearby. Marune Fort is about a 15 min walk away. Orignal Profile by RaymondW, profile updated and new photos by Eric
Tange Fort / 丹下砦

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Apparently there is a sign at Seisuiji Temple with a brief history of the fort, like at the other sites, but I could not find it. There were a lot of people at both temples for something so I tried to be brief and not intrude. If you're on foot I'm not sure it's worth the long walk unless you want the full Okehazama experience. At the time, there were 2 markers on Google Maps for Tange Fort, one was at the Narumi Shrine just to the east of this site. At first, I wasted a fair amount of time walking around the roads outside and inside Narumi Shrine looking for the sign that is apparently at Seisuiji. This second marker at Narumi Shrine now seems to be gone, potentially saving you some troubles. Regardless, the original fort likely extended from Seisuiji & Komyozenji to Narumi Shrine.
Washizu Fort / 鷲津砦

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Along with Marune Fort these two are probably the most interesting forts around Okehazama to visit. They are also well signposted both at the site and along the road between Odaka Castle and Marune Fort. There are two entrances to the fort area, one at the bottom of the hill and one at the top. I recommend you take the path through the woods between both entrances regardless of which you start at. There is a long trench in remaining in the middle of the hill that you won't find at other forts.
Zenshoji Fort / 善照寺砦

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Zenshoji Fort is the most interesting of the forts surrounding Narumi Castle. The park is well defined with good views. It is roughly along the same hillside or ridge as Narumi Castle and may be the closest fort to the former castle.
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