Sunday 10 June 2018

Mizuki 水城跡 Ruins Hike 2018.6.10

Mizuki 水城跡 Ruins Hike 2018.6.10

The Mizuki ruins run through the centre of Onojo and were once the site of Mizuki castle.  The original castle was built in the year 664 and was built for defensive purposes. We decided to take a short trip and follow the castle line as it cuts through the residential areas and farms. 

Access: From JR Onojo station. Leave the station through West exit and turn left following the road down to another main road, turn right at the 7/11 and left when you come to the dual-carriageway. The start of the walk is opposite the Ryoyu Factory Bakery. 

Gear: Any shoes are fine and no hiking pole is needed. Bringing some bottles of water and a towel is advised in the summer. 

Mizuki Ruin Map 
We started at the main visitor centre which has some basic facilities such as information boards and toilets as well as a fair sized car park.

Mizuki Info board and Satellite Map

  After getting into the forested area you can find some interesting mushrooms and trees. Also due to the season we came face to face with some very large Giant Japanese hornets (Suzumibachi) luckily they were far too busy for us to be any concern to them so after inspecting us they flew off. 


 After a few minutes we emerged from the forest to some open areas and it was easy to follow the trees and raised area.

 After a short while we got to a large mound with yet more information boards detailing the excavation and earth layers within the mound.

特別史跡 水城跡 土塁断面広場

 After the mound the path continued on through some longer grass and past more farmland. After this a large detour was needed as the Nishitesu train line, Kyushu Highway and a large river cut through the path. This was mainly on tarmacked roads and pavement. Not all that pleasant and a real shame to have to break up the walk.

Not to be put off some finishing the walk we made the best of it by observing the turles, ducks and very large Koi in the river. And by visiting the Oimatsu shrine. There were farmers planting there rice seedlings for their summer crop. 
Oitmatsu Shrine

Small roadside shrine for Harvest
Observation platform which looks back on Mizuki path. 

A newly opened visitor centre was having an event so we luckily got welcomed in for some chilled green tea and to watch a video explaining the site. 

Road side view

Road side sign and info baord
All in all the walk took about two hours with the detour putting a downer on the whole thing. There may be an easier way through but it is a shame that they decided to cut right through such a significant historical site. 

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