Asahi Castle (Owari)
During the Kamakura Period Mizuno Munekuni built Niijō to help him in his war with the Ozeki Clan whose base was Ōmorijō. Along with Nii Village and Ōmori Village, it is said that the lord of Niijō held dominion over 25 villages. After the modern castle-park was created a mock keep was built in 1978.
Owari-Asahijō is a faux reconstruction / mogi-tenshu located on the historical site of Niijō. Now a park, the remains of Nii Castle are identifiable, although small in scale. Firstly there are dorui (embankments) in a semi-oval layout enclosing the honkuruwa (main bailey). This is the most readily identifiable part of the castle ruin. Downhill are more deformed embankment remains and a break in the slope which may have been a subsidiary bailey. The ninokuruwa (second bailey) is now a tennis court. It seems Niijō was only a small fort. Of course, the main draw of the park is the faux reconstructed keep, built in 1978. No such structure like this existed here historically. That goes without saying really for castle fans. The structure is built from concrete and has large, plain glass windows which always look suspect on a supposed castle tower. Inside is a ground floor restaurant, and some historical displays on the intermediary floors. The top floor is a look out. Here the windows are largest! One can see the shape of the original castle mount from here quite nicely. On the opposite side the view is of the surrounding town, and, somewhat oddly, a conspicuously rectangular spot of cultivated land in the middle of the residential sprawl. The mock castle tower is prominently viewed from the road running alongside the park. Some effort (only some) on this side of the castle was made to make the windows look more fitting for a castle, and so this is perhaps the castle’s most flattering angle in fact. The “castle mount park” is also home to a relocated kominka (traditional folk home) built in a vernacular style, dating to 1816. I saw several folk homes in the same style in the surrounding countryside. All had had their thatched rooftops replaced with sheet metal. Even though the one at Niijō was relocated and preserved, it also no longer has its thatching, which is a shame. Although easy to get to from Nagoya, I don’t recommend visiting here unless you’ve exhausted all other sites of interest nearby.
|Owari Asahi Castle
|Reconstructed main keep
|Pre Edo Period
|honkuruwa, ninokuruwa, dorui, mogi-tenshu
|Owari-Asahi Station on the Meitetsu Seto Line
|Owari-Asahi, Aichi Prefecture
|35° 13' 9.34" N, 137° 1' 42.85" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited