Oomizo Castle

From Jcastle.info



Oda Nobunaga ordered his nephew, Oda Nobuzumi to construct a castle at Takashima to control the western shores of Lake Biwa. The castle was designed by Akechi Mitsuhide. It also functioned as an important port on Lake Biwa. After the Battle of Tennosan in 1582 with the demise of Akechi Mitsuhide, Oda Nobuzumi’s loyalty was called into question, and he was killed by Niwa Nagahide’s troops. After that, Toyotomi Hideyoshi installed one of his generals, Kyougoku Takatsugu as the lord of Oomizo Castle. Takatsugu was also married to Hatsu, one of Asai Nagamasa’s daughters. The castle was downsized to a jinya after the “One castle, one feudal domain” edict.

Visit Notes

There is only the stone base of the castle keep left here. Most of the other structures are long gone. You can see some ishigaki which lined some of the canals. The castle ruin is only 5 minutes walk from JR Omitakashima Station.

  • Honmaru Stairs South Side
  • Honmaru South and West Sides
  • Honmaru East Side
  • Honmaru North Side
  • View of Water Moat from Honmaru
  • Water Moat
  • Honmaru East Side
  • Otomega-ike
  • Map

Castle Profile
English Name Oomizo Castle
Japanese Name 大溝城
Alternate Names Takashima Castle
Founder Oda Nobuzumi
Year Founded 1578
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Local Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features water moats, trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Omitakashima Sta. (Kosei Line), 5 min walk
Visitor Information
Time Required 30 minutes
Website http://www.biwako-visitors.jp/search/spot all 902.html
Location Takashima, Shiga Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 17' 32.86" N, 136° 0' 46.48" E
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Added to Jcastle 2012
Contributor RaymondW
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed, 2023
Admin Visits Sept 29, 203

(5 votes)
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Matthew WardGunshi

12 months ago
Score 0++
I visited Takashima with my kids a few years ago, and we stumbled on the ruins of the main keep foundation. As shown in the picture above, there really isn't much to see here besides the overgrown stones of the tenshu foundation, with only the stairs being in semi-reasonable shape. It does have a certain atmosphere, though. I wouldn't recommend anyone going out of their way to see it, but since a lot of people like to come to Takashima to see the floating shrine Shirahige Jinja, it's worth checking out the historic districts and the minimal castle ruins--as mentioned below, at least there are definitely some remnants of the castle town.


41 months ago
Score 1++

Ômizojō (Takashima, Shiga)  大溝城 [滋賀県高島市]

Ômizojō was my last castle visit of 2020. I couldn’t see much of the castle ruins because everywhere was covered in two feet of snow. The snow was powdery soft and not difficult to wade through, however, so I ploughed through to the tenshudai (platform for main keep). I could just make out the ishigaki (stone-piled ramparts) beneath the snow. It seems the tenshudai is elevated above a surrounding field which used to be an inlet from the lake. This was all snow to me, and I couldn’t tell whether beneath was ground or frozen water, so I just stayed on the tenshudai and didn’t walk around the base. I can’t say much about my opinion of the ruins, but the park was very beautiful in so much snow, and it was quite an adventure.

I’ll go back to Ômizojō some time. The town is scenic with historical sites, and it would be nice to explore the neighbourhood in less extreme conditions. Other than the tenshudai and park, the only thing we saw of the town was a large statue to Gulliver which is outside of the station.


68 months ago
Score 1++

I found myself here by chance after visiting nearby Shirahige Jinja, a famous shrine. The castle walls here are slightly interesting, largely made up of natural boulders, it seems.

More interesting than the castle is the Ōmizo Sōmon, a nagaya-mon style gate. This gate was probably built in 1755. The town for the commonfolk and the samurai residence quarter were strictly separated and the Sōmon served as a gateway between the two. Currently there's a small tourist office inside where you can pick up some flyers about the town.

When I visited Ōmizo for the local festival in summer, I came upon a largely unmentioned samurai residence in town. It's not open to the public. It doesn't seem to be in a good state; I'm not sure if there are still people living there. There was a sign outside, though, with some information. To sum up some of the main points: it used to be inhabited by the Kasai Family (笠井家) and the house was changed quite a bit throughout the years. For example, there used to be a nagayamon in front of the house but it was moved a few meters and merged with the genkan of the main building in the Taishō Period.