Ogawa Nakanojo Castle (Koka)
You could easily get to the castle if you walk directly from the bus stop, but since I was at the top of the mountain at Ogawa Castle anyway, I did not feel like going back down the route I came and winding around the mountain again, so I elected to take the "trail" from Ogawa Castle down along the ridge to the other side of the mountain and Ogawa Nakanojo Castle.
Just before the main sign and entrance to Ogawa Castle, there is a small trail down to the side bailey of Ogawa Castle. Out the back of this bailey (on the downslope) you may see a small sign that points to Nakanojo Castle. I have read other accounts that say this "trail" is not recommended because it is steep, slippery, overgrown and somewhat dangerous to follow because it is not clearly marked. Actually, I have seen much worse and did not think it was overly difficult, but if you are unsure, don't take your chances. The trail is not really marked and even in winter you have to make some educated guesses at a couple spots to make sure you follow the correct part of the ridge. I used a topographic map app on my phone to make sure that I was heading where I wanted to. There are also maybe two spots where it was very narrow and a bit slippery.
I finally knew I was on the right trail when I found a horikiri trench along the way which was a huge relief. After this relatively small but well preserved horikiri are two more horikiri followed by a huge horikiri. This last one is very steep, slippery and overgrown making it a bit difficult to scale down and back up again, but once you do, you're now at the top of the huge embankment behind the main bailey of Ogawa Nakanojo Castle.
This castle is probably much easier to reach if you start from the town. Just follow the signs from the road side and you can't miss it. On the other hand you will likely miss the horikiri farther up the ridge and miss out out on the castle adventuring enjoyment of having followed the trail that ancient samurai likely used to cross from Ogawa Nishinojo Castle through this castle and up to the mountaintop fort of Ogawa Castle .
|English Name||Ogawa Nakanojo Castle (Koka)|
|Year Founded||mid 1500s|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Prefectural Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Shigaraki Sta (Shigaraki Kogen Railway Line); 10 min bus, 20 min walk|
|Visitor Information||Mountain, open 24/7|
|Time Required||45 mins|
|Location||Koka, Shiga Prefecture|
|Coordinates||34° 50' 43.01" N, 136° 1' 59.81" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2023|
|Admin Year Visited||2023|
|Admin Visits||March 12, 2023|
|Friends of JCastle|