Ohfuji Castle

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Ohfujijou (4).jpg


The history of Ôfujijō ('Great Wisteria Castle'), also called just Fujijō, is not well understood, but I was working off the assumption that it was a satellite fortification of Senmijō used to control traffic into the basin to the north.

Visit Notes

Ôfujijō is a yamajiro (mountaintop castle) site in Miasa Township, Ômachi Municipality. It is accessed via the road just north of the Miasa Townhall, which, by the way, is built in the middle of the mountains with nothing else around (because why not? It's a large, modern complex for an area with less than a thousand residents, and so it's no wonder why Japan's rural municipalities are in massive debt). I came from the north, and passed an area with terraced rice paddies and a log cabin where there is a sign with information about the area. According to the explanatory board, the area (presumably once a hamlet) was called 'Horigiri (堀切)' due to the large number of fortifications in the area. 'Horikiri (堀切)' of course refers to trenches built at castles.

Ôfujijō does indeed have some horikiri (trenches), one of which is quite wide. I figured the area could've been named just for that one imposing trench. Possibly the road at the entrance to the site was once a trench too. The area seems to have long facilitated transit. There is another road to the west downhill of the fort site. The fort likely watched over these lines of communication and supply.

Ôfujijō has a central, terraced bailey with dorui (earthen ramparts) to the west. To the east is a large horikiri dividing the ridge. There is a smaller horikiri directly beneath the central bailey space. There may have been another trench toward the western climbing side of the fort, but I didn't want to descend to the bottom of the mountain to find this small trench since my rented e-bike was at the top. I didn't miss much by the looks of it anyway. I cycled back to Shinano-Ômachi Station after that. The rental bike measured speed, so I know I broke the speed limit rocketing back down those mountain roads out of yamajiro-land and back to civilisation. The bike's display also showed a 'top speed record', which goaded me to irresponsibily break it at 60km/h+.

  • Main bailey

Castle Profile
English Name Ohfuji Castle
Japanese Name 大藤城
Alternate Names Fujijō (藤城)
Founder Unknown
Year Founded Unknown
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Horikiri, Dorui, Kuruwa
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Shinano-Ômachi Station on the Ôito Line; rental e-bike
Visitor Information 24/7 free; mountain
Time Required 30 minutes
Location Ômachi, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 35' 11.98" N, 137° 53' 27.24" E
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Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Hōrōki

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