Azumi Ogura Castle
Rulers of Shinano Province, the Ogasawara Clan, constructed Ogurajō, and Ogasawara Sadamasa was castellan, making the castle his base as he was deputised to oversee the Azumi District. It was a simple mountain stronghold with an acute angled obikuruwa (belt bailey) hugging central enclosures on the peak. The central area of the fort was split into three baileys in a truncated renkaku-shiki (chain-style) layout, with the smallest and lowest bailey situated at the corner formed by the obikuruwa, and subsequent baileys climbing and expanding in area. The obikuruwa did not go all the way around but was bounded by two trenches on either side. On the exposed flank of the castle was the mountain slope. The main bailey overlooked this area, being located at the highest point.
Ogurajō is a yamajiro (mountaintop castle) ruin located in Ogura Village, Azumino Municipality, Nagano Prefecture. The trail to the castle can be found just beyond the shrine at the top of the village. Markers for the castle are situated at the foot of the mountain. After passing beyond the Fudō shrine with its huge boulders I lost the trail for a while. In fact the trails are really just different coloured tape used as guide lines without much of a path beneath, so the climb can be challenging in places. After forgetting which combination of tape I followed I ended up coming back down by a different way on the other side of the shrine. The ruins consist of kuruwa (baileys), hori (trenches) and dorui (earthen embankments).
|English Name||Azumi Ogura Castle|
|Year Founded||Medieval Times|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Local Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Horikiri, Obikuruwa, Kuruwa, Dorui|
|Access||Hitoichiba on the Oito Line; 15 minute DRIVE|
|Visitor Information||Free; 24/7; Mountain|
|Time Required||30 minutes|
|Location||Azumino, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 16' 10.45" N, 137° 50' 13.38" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|