Namioka Castle was built by the Kitabatake clan around 1467-1469. The Kitabatake were once an influential family and Kitabatake Akiie had been the commander of imperial forces in the north. After the death of Akiie the family was unable to hold significant positions or titles in Tohoku and were relegated to the far north where they changed their name to Namioka. For the time, the castle itself was quite large and the Namioka developed a large castle town around the castle with many shrines and temples. I can only wonder if part of this extravagance was a longing for their glory days and court life of Kyoto. Fighting within the family in the mid 1500s weakened the Namioka. Namioka Castle was defeated by Oura Tamenobu (Tsugaru Tamenobu) in 1578 and the castle was abandoned.
Namioka Castle was a large plains flatland castle bordered by a river with several baileys divided by trenches. In the photos you will see a lot of wooden fences dividing off sub sections in the castle. Excavations have show that some kind of fence was here because they found posts and post holes but the actual type of fence is unknown. These "reconstructions" are only a guess.
Namioka Castle is quite close to Hirosaki and could be a good side trip along with a visit to Hirosaki Castle. Horikoshi Castle is also highly recommended so the three together would make an excellent two day castle tour.
You can rent bicycles at the station, but I did not see exactly where. I had my own bicycle with me. The Chuusei-no-Yakata also has a small museum and materials about the castle. It looks like it is worth visiting, but on the day I was here the building was closed, perhaps due to COVID19.
|English Name||Namioka Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Next 100 Castles, National Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Namioka Station (Ou Line), 30 min walk|
|Visitor Information||park; open 24/7|
|Time Required||90 mins|
|Location||Aomori, Aomori Prefecture|
|Coordinates||40° 43' 3.68" N, 140° 36' 18.40" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2021|
|Admin Year Visited||2020|
|Admin Visits||November 11, 2020|
|Friends of JCastle|
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