Ōno Castle, born during the Sengoku Era, Japan’s Middle Ages
Echizen Ōno Castle is located on top of the 249-meter Mt. Kameyama in the Ono Basin which is surrounded by mountains in all four directions. The Jodo Shinshu Buddhist uprising of 1575 was suppressed, and as a reward, samurai Nagachika Kanamori was given land as a reward on which he built the castle around which a town was established. In the castle’s first 290 years of history, it changed hands several times and was frequently burned down and reconstructed. The current castle keep was restored in 1968 so the interior displays documents and articles from the generations of lords of the castle. Only the stone walls and the moat have survived as the original structures, with the walls being constructed from natural rock known as nozurazumi just piled on top of each other. The castle brings vestiges of those days into the present.
Ōno Castle floating on a sea of clouds formed from the morning fog
The sight of Ōno Castle up above on the mountaintop by itself is beautiful. However, there is a time when the sight of the castle changes into an even more beautiful appearance. In the early morning hours from autumn to winter, radiative cooling occurs and a thick fog envelops the area which has Ōno Castle floating on top of a sea of clouds. It is a precious spectacle which can only be viewed 10 days out of the year, and it leaves a heartfelt impression that never leaves for anyone who sees it. But the conditions to catch the castle in the sky are difficult. Various conditions such as dawn at 9 a.m. between October and the end of April, high humidity due to rain on the previous day, and a large difference in temperature between the day before and the next morning have to be met if the castle in the sky is to appear, with November being the most optimal time. The prime place to view the castle in all its glory is up to 1 km west of the castle at the ruins of Inuyama Castle at 324 m altitude. The course entering the sanmon gate of Kousen-ji Temple is the simplest way, but since the mountain trail is covered with a lot of snow in the winter, the appropriate footwear and clothing are necessary in the name of safety.