Omori Katsuyama Stone Circle
Designated as a historic site on September 19, 2012
Omori Katsuyama stone circle is located at the tip of a 145-m-high tongue-shaped hill on the northeastern side of the foot of Mt. Iwaki in western Aomori Prefecture. It is mainly composed of a stone circle from the first half of the Final Jomon period (approx. 1,000 BCE).
The stone circle from the Final Jomon period, which is rare in Japan, has an elliptical shape measuring 48.5 m in diameter and 39.1 m in minor axis, and was constructed by preparing a circular hill-like bank on a leveled plateau, and then arranging 77 combined stones along the margin of the embankment. The arrangement of the combined stones and other unique aspects of the stone circle make it very important as material evidence of the development and transition of large monuments in the Jomon period.
Earthenware of the first half of the Final Jomon period, stone tools for hunting and collecting such as stone arrowheads, stone spoons, stone pestles and stone plates, and rock plates and stone swords for rituals have been unearthed. Among these, approximately 250 disk-like stone objects unearthed around the stone circle are considered to have been used for certain rituals related to the stone circle, although their specific use is unknown. The existence of these relics distinguishes the property. Pottery demonstrating the advanced craftsmanship of the Kamegaoka pottery culture has also been unearthed, presenting valuable evidence of the Jomon culture, which matured based on stable settlements.
The site is located at the point where the sun sets over the summit of Mt. Iwaki on the winter solstice, and the remains of a large pit dwelling around 100 m southwest of the stone circle show that the structure was constructed at the point where Mt. Iwaki can directly be seen in the back. These can be described as outstanding examples of systematic land use giving elaborate consideration to the environment.
Library *Click to enlarge.
- Historic Omori-Katsuyama Site [poster in Japanese, february 2016] (PDF:2.1MB)
- Historic Omori-Katsuyama Site [pamphlet for general in Japanese, August 2017] (PDF:9.66MB)
- Historic Omori-Katsuyama Site [pamphlet for elementary school students in Japanese, March 2013] (PDF:1.23MB)
- Jomon Archaeological Sites in Hokkaido and Northern Tohoku, Historic Omori-Katsuyama Site [June 2019] (PDF:4.16MB)
Display the Omori-Katsuyama Site
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Omori-Katsuyama, Hirosaki, Aomori prefecture
Take a bus heading for Ajigasawa/Tenchoen from Hirosaki Bus Terminal and get off at Akakura Jinja Tozanguchi stop (50 min.). It’s a 50-minute walk from the bus stop.
90-minute drive from JR Aomori Station, 40-minute drive from JR Hirosaki Station
If you follow the farm road for 1 km from the signpost, you will find a parking lot and an information board. Please follow the path through the trees on the right side of the board to reach the site.
Cultural Assets Section, Hirosaki Municipal Board of Education
|Yoshita 1-1-1, Hirosaki, Aomori prefecture, 036-1393|
|0172-82-1642 / +81-17-282-1642|
Check here, too!
Hirosaki Susono Gymnastics Cultural Exchanges Center
This center introduces the history of the Susono area in Hirosaki City with artifacts unearthed from the Omori-Katsuyama Site and exhibit panels.