This small flatland castle was the residence of the Ohhara Clan, one of the major clans in the Koka Region. It is not an ideal location for defense because it has no natural defenses besides the earthen ramparts and is actually a slightly lower elevation than the surroundings. The key advantage of this site is actually to control trade and transportation due to it's proximity to two rivers and the road to Iga. The Ohhara lands were confiscated by Hideyoshi in 1585 in his actions to break up the Koka allied families. See Koka Castles for more details.
Ohhara Castle is a yakatajiro protected by earthen ramparts on four sides with two koguchi (gates) on its northern and southern sides. In modern times, a third entrance has been opened up on the eastern side for vehicular entry. The earthen ramparts were ringed by a water moat on three sides (east, west, and north). It is now just a shallow dry moat. Looking at old maps and the layout of houses and roads today, it is surmised that the area around the castle may have also had a similar design to that of Ue Castle or Kuraji Castle.
The earthen ramparts and moat which ring the main bailey are mostly intact. However, unlike other bigger and more popular castle sites in Shiga, this castle ruin is not signposted, and the main bailey is someone’s private residence. It is not open to the public.
|English Name||Ohhara Castle|
|Alternate Names||Ohhara Kazuma Yashiki|
|Year Founded||Muromachi Period (1338 to 1573)|
|Castle Type||Fortified Manor|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Features||trenches, stone walls|
|Access||Koka Sta. (JR Kusatsu Line), 10 min walk|
|Visitor Information||private residence|
|Time Required||20 minutes|
|Location||Koka, Shiga Prefecture|
|Coordinates||34° 53' 48.41" N, 136° 12' 58.25" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2013|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
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