Little is known about Okayajō but it is thought that the fort was erected by the Chino Clan. It is said that the castle was ringed by five layers of sub-baileys to the east, west and south of the main bailey. Presumably the north overlooked the steep slope of the hill.
I only came to this former castle site because it shares space with a temple I wanted to see. There's no ruins I could identify beyond perhaps where former baileys were located. The temple's necropolis now dominates the hillside. This expanding cemetery may have followed a footprint laid down by the former castle, but whether these terraces constitute sub-baileys of the castle I am not prepared to say. What was presumably the center of the castle and main bailey is now a small park. From below we can see the temple mount raise up behind the temple, Shōkōji. The mountain name attached to Shōkōji is Jōkōsan (城向山), a name evoking a castle. Modern stone-pilings can be found throughout the graveyard, and several shrines are also located on the hillside.
|English Name||Suwa-Okaya Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Okaya Station on the Chūō Line; 10 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||Open Always: Park & Temple|
|Time Required||30 mins|
|Location||Okaya, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 3' 37.58" N, 138° 2' 35.66" E|
|Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Added to Jcastle||2019|