Ohkawarashi Castle (Koka)
The castle itself is more akin to Kurokawashi Castle than other yakatajiro in Koka and the the nearby mountaintop castles of Ayukawa Castle or Takao Castle. The castle name is derived from an old legend that it was built by an Ohkawara Genta in the 1400s but it's size and design including several baileys, trenches, and koguchi entrances are more common to latter period castles. There are also some minor stonework remnants around one of the koguchi entrances leading us to believe that it was likely a subsidiary castle to Kurokawashi Castle directly across the valley. It is also at a slightly better location to overlook the road out of the north of the valley previously guarded by Takao Castle. It is likely that Kurokawashi Castle and Ohkawarashi Castle worked as a pair at either end of the valley to guard the passes and fortify the valley.
Unfortunately I don't have much to say about this castle. I could not get in. There is a fence all around the base of the castle. There are two gates, both padlocked. I read in another blog that the house by the nearer gate has the keys and is happy to let people in if they stop to ask for permission. I knocked but no one answered the door (or maybe I was ignored). I will try this one another time. In fact if you look closely at the label on Google Maps it says "Temporarily Closed".
|English Name||Ohkawarashi Castle (Koka)|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Features||trenches, stone walls|
|Access||Kibukawa Sta (JR Kusatsu Line), local bus (Tsuchiyama Bus) to Ayukawaguchi, 15 min walk|
|Visitor Information||mountain, need permission to enter, ask at the house by the gate to unlock the gate|
|Time Required||90 mins|
|Location||Koka, Shiga Prefecture|
|Coordinates||34° 57' 40.07" N, 136° 20' 11.69" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2023|
|Admin Year Visited||2023|
|Admin Visits||March 19, 2023|
|Friends of JCastle|