Ogyu Castle

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History

The castle started as fortified manor in the 1400's built by a local lord. It was captured by Matsudaira Nobumitsu in 1507 and Matsudaira Chikatada was put in charge of castle. Chikatada and his son Norimoto built the site into the large scale castle you see today. Norimoto remained as castle lord and founded the Ogyu Matsudaira branch of the Matsudaira clan. The Ogyu Matsudaira supported the main branch of the Matsudaira clan but had several conflicts with other Matsudaira clans in the area. The castle was ruined in a 1575 battle with the Takiwaki Matsudaira. It was completely abandoned in 1590 when Tokugawa Ieyasu moved to Edo. The Ogyu Matsudaira went with Ieyasu and moved to Gunma.


Visit Notes

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.


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Castle Profile
English Name Ogyu Castle
Japanese Name 大給城
Founder Nagasaka Shinzaemon
Year Founded 15th C.
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Toyotashi Sta (Meitetsu); 25 mins bus to Oh'uchi bus stop
Visitor Information mountain; open 24/7
Time Required 150 mins
Location Toyota, Aichi Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 3' 13.46" N, 137° 13' 42.85" E
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Admin
Added to Jcastle 2020
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2020
Admin Visits January 14, 2020
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ARTShogun

10 months ago
Score 1++

Ogyū Castle is a magical place. Which is to say, this is a unique and impressive castle site. I was charmed, enchanted and only a bit endangered exploring this beautiful mountaintop castle ruin.

The castle features impressive karabori (dry moats), dorui (earthen ramparts), ishigaki (stone-piled walls), baileys and other interesting features. I was particularly impressed with a system of medieval damns which were once used at the castle to store water. With so much water available, it would be very difficult to simply wait out the defenders when besieging.

A major attraction of this site is the presence of humungous boulders scattered around. These megaliths are incorporated into the defences of the castle, and have stone walls built around and even atop of them! The main and second bailey are separated by a solidly built stone wall. It’s been moldering for centuries on that mountain and still the masonry looks impressive.

Unfortunately I had to immediately retreat from the second bailey into the first due to a sudden attack from giant hornets. Some traps had been set out to capture the beasts, but then three of the monsters, like plump, floating cigarillos, came swooping down in a pack, and landed on a tree just next to me. I ask you what fair and just god would allow such creatures to roam this world!

Regardless of the wildlife I’d happily go back here as I know there must be parts I missed. Wondering around the labyrinthine paths weaving in between house-sized boulders, I found some masonry around the second bailey (an ominous buzzing resounding above) perched atop of a large boulder.

One more feature I’ll mention is the entrance area made up of a ‘コ’ shaped entranceway into the third bailey. The gate complex was made up of three turrets, their platforms remaining, aligned in a row. Ishigaki is found here and there remaining around the bases of these tower and gate ruins. Amazing!