Gion Castle

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In the early days, Gion Castle was actually a satellite fortification of Washi Castle, but during the Nanbokucho Period (1336-1392), the Oyama moved their center to Gion Castle. In 1576 Oyama Hidetsuna capitulated to the Hojo who took over the castle. The Hojo renovated and expanded the castle making it a forward operating base for incursions into the northern Kanto region. Since the Oyama were allied with Hojo, their lands were confiscated after the Siege of Odawara and the fall of the Hojo. The Oyama line ended and the castle was put in the hands of Yuki Hideyasu. After the Battle of Sekigahara, Tokugawa's ally, Honda Masazumi, became the new lord of the castle. Gion Castle was abandoned when Honda moved to Utsunomiya Castle in 1619.

Visit Notes

At first this looks a lot like Sano Castle but the ruins are much more extensive and the original castle was even larger. The trenches and embankments out the north side of the castle are impressive. The umadashi bailey and entrance before the Honmaru is also particularly interesting and well preserved. The umadashi bailey itself is quite large and the trenches deep. You might not recognize it as an umadashi without the sign. Combined with Washi Castle and Nakakuki Castle these sites, called the Oyama Castle Ruins, are designated as National Historic Sites.

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  • Entranceway today
  • Sannomaru Bailey
  • Ninomaru Bailey with embankment along the side
  • Honmaru embankment
  • Looking out over the river from the Ninomaru area
  • Honmaru trench
  • Honmaru trench
  • Honmaru trench
  • Ninomaru Bailey
  • Umadashi and trench
  • Umadashi and trench
  • Tsukada Bailey embankment
  • Kita Kubo Bailey
  • North side trench and embankments
  • Trenches along the north side
  • North side trench and embankments
  • Trench along the northeast side
  • Palace foundation.This sat just outside the entrance to the castle proper.
  • Depiction of the palace
  • Map

Castle Profile
English Name Gion Castle
Japanese Name 祗園城
Alternate Names Oyama-jo
Founder Oyama Masamitsu
Year Founded late Heian Period / early Kamakura Period
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Oyama Sta. (JR Tohoku Line) 12 min walk
Visitor Information park, open any time
Time Required 30 mins
Location Oyama, Tochigi Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 19' 11.32" N, 139° 48' 0.18" E
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Added to Jcastle 2018
Admin Year Visited 2018
Admin Visits April 30, 2018

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