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Castle Oura Castle

Ōura Castle (大浦城 Ōurajō) was a flatland castle (平城 hirajiro) located in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture.

Ōura Castle (大浦城)

It is 3 kilometres west of Hirosaki Castle, at the foot of Mount Iwaki.

Ōura Castle (大浦城)

Aerial photographs taken from Geographical Survey Institute maps. The location of the enclosures is estimated.

In 1502, Ōura Mitsunobu (大浦光信) of Tanesato Castle (種里城) built a castle on this land and installed his son Morinobu (盛信) as castellan.

Tsugaru Tamenobu (津軽為信), who became the head of the family in 1567, used Ōura Castle as his base to conquer Tsugaru. In 1571, he defeated Nanbu Takanobu (南部高信) at Daibutsugahana Castle (大仏ヶ鼻城), and then in 1578, he attacked and destroyed the Namioka-Kitabatake clan (浪岡北畠氏) at Namioka Castle (浪岡城). During that time, he achieved complete independence from the Nanbu clan, plagued by internal conflicts due to family succession disputes. On the other hand, he quickly approached Toyotomi Hideyoshi and secured his territory.

After conquering Tsugaru, Tamenobu moved his base to Horikoshi Castle (堀越城) in 1594. Furthermore, when he built Hirosaki Castle (弘前城) as his new base, Ōura Castle was abandoned under the "one domain, one castle rule (一国一城令)", and its materials and supplies were transported to Hirosaki. The earthworks of the Ninomaru, Honmaru, and Nishinomaru remained. Later, the Nishinomaru was used as a castle fortress for Hirosaki Castle, and a gunpowder warehouse (賀田塩硝御蔵 Yoshita Enshō Okura) was built there.

Currently, most of the castle ruins are the site of Tsugaru Junior High School (津軽中学校). There is only a guideboard near the castle monument, but the general territory can be estimated by comparing maps and aerial photographs.

Ōura Castle (大浦城)

From the local guideboard


Aerial photographs taken from Geographical Survey Institute maps. The location of the enclosures is estimated.

There is no particular parking lot, but we parked on the street near the castle monument so as not to disturb the junior high school students.

Tsugaru Junior High School grounds, where Ninomaru is believed to have been located.

Ōura Castle (大浦城)

It is assumed to be an earthwork on the south side of the Honmaru. It is now an apple orchard.

Ōura Castle (大浦城)

The Honmaru, the current Tsugaru Junior High School building, is on slightly higher ground.

Ōura Castle (大浦城)

View from the Ushiro-Nagane River (後長根川), which flows to the north.

Ōura Castle (大浦城)

Going around the school building, we found what appeared to be the remains of a moat on the west side. On the higher ground is the junior school's bicycle storage area.

Ōura Castle (大浦城)

Date of visit: 15 June 2014


  • Address: Waseda Godai, Hirosaki, Aomori 036-1331
  • Access: 15 kilometres from Tōhoku Expressway Ōwani Hirosaki Interchange via Prefectural Route 260
  • Parking: none.
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About author
Hiroto Uehara
Hiroto is an ordinary Japanese office worker, but his true mission is searching for castles on the weekend.


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Hiroto Uehara
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2 min read
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〒036-1331 青森県弘前市五代早稲田

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