Ori Castle

From Jcastle.info


Ori Castle is also known as Orishiro Yamajiro to differentiate it from the earlier Ori Castle (Ori Shinjo) which was located at the nearby Kotokuji Temple. Orishiro Yamajiro was built in 1534 by Ori Mitsutada. Mitsutada's son, Mitsuaki, was loyal to Oda Nobunaga and fortified Ori Castle for his attack on Akechi Castle and Iwamura Castle in 1574.

After the death of Nobunaga, Ori Mitsuaki took the name of Wada, joined with Ieyasu and left Ori Castle. After the Battle of Sekigahara, Mitsuaki's son, Mitsuchika, was granted these same lands and returned to Ori castle. His son MIstushige died in 1623 with no heirs, so the family came to an end and the castle was abandoned. The castle ruins are comprised of the main keep foundation and several baileys around the top of the mountain. also the stone wall remains of the Otemon (main gate) and the stone walls of the lord's palace around the base of the mountain.

Visit Notes

You can also take the reverse bus from Akechi getting off at Yamanoda. You could easily do this as a pair with Iwamura Castle or Akechi Castle making use of the Akechi Line bus. There was an incredible number of signs cautioning beware of snakes, but I didn't see any.

This was one of the most delightfully surprising and interesting castles I've been to in a long time. Maybe since Takatori Castle. Of course there were better overall castles, even on this trip, but Ori Castle so exceeded my expectations it was the highlight of this trip. There are well developed stone walls both around the base of the mountain where the lord's palace was located as well as at the top around the Ninokuruwa and Honmaru Baileys. The top of the mountain is especially interesting because you can really see that it was abandoned in the middle of redevelopment. There are large boulders, partially cut stones, and stones marked for splitting scattered all over the top. I've been to several castle stone quarries and the scene around the Honmaru is just like those abandoned quarries. It's also interesting to note that some of the drill holes, or ya'ana, on these stones are really large. My iPhone can fit lengthwise into them. Such holes are usually smaller and more closely spaced in the Edo Period whereas they were larger and more uneven in the Sengoku Period. This normally indicates the stones were split during an older time period so you would think they are left from the 1574 fortification, but <a href="http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/4883254100/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=247&creative=7399&creativeASIN=4883254100&linkCode=as2&tag=jcastle02-22">my book (岐阜の山城ベスト50を歩く)</a> claims otherwise.

これだけ意外に面白かった城は久しぶりです。多分高取城以来でしょう。もちろん今回の旅行でも全体的にもっとすばらしいお城もありましたが、今回の城巡りで期待以上に面白かった小里城がハイライトでした。山麓の御殿場跡の石垣も充実しているし、山の上の本丸と二の曲輪も石垣が多く残っています。山頂が特に面白いのはまるで石丁場と同じような光景です。たくさんの石が加工の最中に散乱しています。ここで見える矢穴も江戸時代のものよりも大きく間が広く開いています。これはもっと古い時代のものを表すことがあるので1574の普請だと思われるかもしれませんが、<a href="http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/4883254100/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=247&creative=7399&creativeASIN=4883254100&linkCode=as2&tag=jcastle02-22"> 「岐阜の山城ベスト50を歩く」によるとそうでもないそうです。</a>

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  • Main keep foundation
  • Castle entrance
  • Stone walls along the outside of the palace foundation
  • Stone walls of the palace grounds
  • Palace foundation stone walls
  • Otemon Gate ruins
  • Palace stone walls
  • Palace grounds
  • palace embankment
  • Palace grounds
  • View
  • Ote Bailey
  • Ninokuruwa stone walls.
  • Ninokuruwa Bailey
  • Stone walls of the Ninokuruwa
  • Ninokuruwa Bailey
  • Main keep foundation
  • Main keep foundation entrance
  • Main keep foundation
  • Main keep foundation
  • Main keep foundation
  • Main keep foundation
  • Main keep foundation
  • Main keep foundation
  • Main keep foundation
  • Main keep foundation
  • Inside the main keep foundation
  • Honmaru
  • Top of the main keep foundation
  • Inside the main keep foundation
  • Obikuruwa and Koshiguruwa
  • Koshiguruwa
  • Main keep foundation
  • Ya'ana holes
  • Uncut stones of the Honmaru
  • Partially cut stones of the Honmaru
  • Partly split stone
  • Map

Castle Profile
English Name Ori Castle
Japanese Name 小里城
Alternate Names Orishiro Yamajiro
Founder Ori Mitsutada
Year Founded 1534
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Prefectural Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Mizunami Sta. (Chuo Line), Bus (Akechi Line) for Akechi, get off at Yamanoda stop, walk 10 mins.
Visitor Information Hiking trails open anytime.
Time Required 90 mins
Website http://www.pref.gifu.lg.jp/kyoiku-bunka-sports/bunka-geijutsu/bunkazai-zuroku/bunkazai-zuroku/shiseki/mizunamisi/osatojyou.html
Location Mizunami, Gifu Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 20' 4.20" N, 137° 16' 58.84" E
Loading map...
Added to Jcastle 2014
Admin Year Visited 2014
Admin Visits May 3, 2014

(4 votes)
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58 months ago
Score 0++

Ori Castle's most memorable feature is for me clear: the large boulder forming a corner part of the tenshudai (donjon platform). I had never seen that before and I found it remarkable. The castle mount is littered with such large boulders. Another interesting feature of this ruin are the various stone blocks lying all over the place, particularly in the main bailey. These were stones which were being prepared for hauling, chiseling or splitting but were left in place as redevelopment of the castle was mothballed. I didn't have too long at Orijō because of awkward bus times but it'd be nice to one day go back in autumn to have a better look at all of the blocks on the ground. The most well defended part of Orijō was the main bailey, but the lord's palace and main residence was located at the foot of the hill and there is also ishigaki (stone-piled ramparts) to be found here, particularly where the Ohtemon (main gate) stood. Immediately to the east of here was a fortification centered around a large trench too.

Oh, also, cheeky chappy tips: when I came here I had a heavy bag with me but the store next to the bus stop let me leave it there whilst I explored the castle; I probably wouldn't've been able to run back down the mountain otherwise to catch the bus back to Mizunami.


113 months ago
Score 0++
I went to this castle ruin with my wife today. It is certainly a very worthwhile mountaintop castle ruin to visit with plenty of stone walls to be seen. Around the Main Bailey and Second Bailey, some of the stones have already rolled down the hill, and just as you are about to reach the Second Bailey, the stone walls there look like they are about to collapse and land on top of you. Scattered around the baileys at the top of the mountain are plenty of semi-quarried stones, and many more than I had expected. Not shown here on JCastle is the Higashi Toride Ruin, an outlying fortification that protected the eastern flank of the baileys at the bottom of the mountain. Ori Castle Ruin is an easy five minutes walk from the Yamanoda Bus Stop, which is just 20 minutes from Mizunami Station. There aren't many buses running, just one every hour. As mentioned on the Ori Castle webpage here, there are plenty of signs warning of Mamushi, a poisonous snake. We counted at least five signs, and that is more than I have seen at any other castle ruins that I have been to. Lucky for us, we did not come across any snakes.