Hayashiohjo Castle

From Jcastle.info



It's not clear exactly when the castle was founded but it was likely in the 1440's. Early records claim that Ogasawara Nagatomo, Kiyomune's son, was born in the Hayashi Palace in 1443. Hayashiohjo Castle was the main castle of the Ogasawara clan until they were defeated by Takeda Shingen. The Ogasawara gave up in a nearly bloodless battle when they were surrounded by the Takeda forces in 1550. The castle was destroyed and abandoned.

Hayahshiohjo Castle is on a mountain ridge on the edge of the plain that stretches across modern day Matsumoto City and up the Yamabe valley extending east from Matsumoto. It has commanding views of the valley and the plain so it is easy to see why it was chosen for the Ogasawara's home castle. Hayashiohjo Castle combined with Hayashikojo Castle across the small valley to the south are often call Hayashi Castle together.

Visit Notes

There is actually a road from the northeast side up to the top of the castle, but if you're going to walk it anyway, you might as well walk the main trail up the ridge. It's much more interesting. In particular, the main route up the ridge has countless small baileys all the way up.

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  • Entrance to the second bailey
  • Ridge along the way to the top of the mountain
  • Ichinomon Gate ruins
  • Horikiri trench
  • Small bailey along the way to the top
  • Ninokuruwa Bailey
  • Ninokuruwa Bailey
  • Embankment around the main bailey
  • Horikiri trench behind the main bailey
  • Small bailey behind the main bailey
  • Obikuruwa
  • Obikuruwa
  • Entrance to the main bailey
  • Entrance at the rear of the main bailey
  • Stone wall
  • Small bailey
  • embankment
  • foundation stones
  • Main bailey
  • Stone path to the main bailey
  • Small bailey
  • small bailey
  • Horikiri moat
  • Embankment of a small bailey
  • View from the castle
  • trail head
  • Map of nearby castle sites

Castle Profile
English Name Hayashiohjo Castle
Japanese Name 林大城
Alternate Names Kinkazan-jo, Hayashi-jo
Founder Ogasawara Kiyomune
Year Founded 1459
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, Prefectural Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Matsumoto Sta. (Shinonoi Line); 75 min walk.ta
Visitor Information open anytime
Time Required 150 mins
Website http://takara.city.matsumoto.nagano.jp/prefecture/060.html
Location Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 13' 30.94" N, 138° 0' 32.80" E
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Added to Jcastle 2015
Admin Year Visited 2015
Admin Visits October 31, 2015

(2 votes)
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55 months ago
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The ruins of Great Hayashi Castle span one mountain in a larger frond-like typographic chain of moutains and castles. To the east of Hayashiohjō is Mizubanjō and to the west is Hayashikojō, Lesser Hayashi Castle. Between are gently sloping valleys with terraced fields and homes. On my way to Hayashiohjō I could see both the greater and lesser mounts together from the plain.

The layout of Hayashiohjō makes it easy to explore. Starting at the trail head one climbs up the initial face of the mountain foot via some switchbacks. It was here that I was climbing when from overhead several rocks came tumbling down. I looked up and saw a family of Kamoshika (Japanese goatalopes / serow) sprinting across the mountain slope. They put some distance between me and them and then began to look back at me. Eventually calming down they began their usual routine of snuffling about in the fallen leaves for stuff to eat and eventually ambled on out of sight.

The castle structure follows the mountain ridge, being perforated by horikiri (trenches). All the way up the mountain is terraced to either side of the main path, with gate ruins and trenches separating clusters of dozens of sub-baileys in each segment. The higher up the more numerous these many terraced enclosures. At the top of the mount are two large baileys, separated by a trench system with gate remains. The shukuruwa (main bailey) is ringed with dorui (earthen embankments). On the inside of this dorui there are traces and segments of ishiźumi (stone-pilings). In one place the dorui is broken up by a koguchi (tiger's maw gate) ruin.

Beyond the shurukuwa is a sizable rear bailey. These uppermost integral baileys are ensconced with several layers of ring baileys. A path leads down from one of them to the "princess's make-up well", below which one can see a double trench although it was difficult to photograph. The autumn foliage at Hayashi Castle was particularly charming.