Ogimachi Castle Old Site Observatory, Shirakawa-mura, Japan 

During the Nambokucho period (1336-1392), aristocrats from the Nancho Southern Dynasty lived hidden in the Ogimachi-jo Castle. Later, under the instruction of Muromachi 8th generation shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimasa, it became the resident castle of Yamashita Ujikatsu of Uchigashima Tameuji, who had had advanced from Shinshumatsushiro to Shirakawa-go. There are hardly any remains of the castle. Currently, it is a observatory overlooking a World Heritage Site: historic village of Shirakawa-go and the Gassho-style houses (Houses with deep rafter roofs).

Within Shirakawa-go, Ogi-machi is known for the concentration of the deep rafter houses and these houses have become symbolic of the landscape. From the observatory located on a hill overlooking Ogi-machi Town, Hakusanrenbo Mountain Range can be seen in the background and the scene represented in many posters and pamphlets spreads before the visitor’s eyes. Each of the four seasons brings a different view from the observatory and is a great photo opportunity. From this viewpoint, visitors can see that these houses were constructed facing the same direction in measures against heavy snow and rain as well as good ventilation in the summer.

Epic Japan Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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