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14 Hirosaki City, Aomori

Omori Katsuyama Stone Circle

Designated as a Historic Site on September 19, 2012
Stage IIIb (ca. 1,000 BCE) (Historic Site: ca. 1,000 BCE)

This site is located in Hirosaki City in western Aomori Prefecture, on a tongue-shaped hill at an elevation of 143 to 145 meters at the northeastern foot of Mt. Iwaki. The site commands a sweeping view of Mt. Iwaki to the southwest. Deciduous broadleaved forests spread in the hinterland.

The stone circle was made by building a round mound on artificially leveled ground and surrounding it with 77 stone assemblages that form an oval of 48.5 meters by 39.1 meters. The stones are mainly pyroxene andesite collected from the Omori and Oishi rivers, which flow on the north and south sides of the site, respectively.

In addition to pots and stone tools, ritual artifacts such as stone plates and stone swords have been unearthed. Some 250 disc-shaped stone objects have been unearthed in and around the stone circle. These are made of pyroxene andesite, the material used for the stone assemblages. This suggests that these stone objects were used in one way or another for rituals and ceremonies in association with the stone circle.

From the vantage of this site, the sun sets behind the summit of Mt. Iwaki on the winter solstice, and the site includes the remains of a large pit dwelling on a straight line connecting the stone circle and Mt. Iwaki. Dumping grounds and outdoor hearths have also been found near the stone circle. Since no clearly recognizable burial area can be found, it is probable that there are burial areas elsewhere.

This component part, dating from the second half of the maturation stage of sedentism, is a ritual archaeological site centering on a stone circle. It is an important archaeological site that attests to a livelihood and a high degree of spirituality of people in a mountain area.

遺跡 Site tours

Location
Katsuyama, Omori, Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture
Access

From Aomori Station (JR Ou Main Line):

  • Approx. 90 min. by car

From Hirosaki Station (JR Ou Main Line):

  • Approx. 40 min. by car

From Hirosaki Bus Terminal (approx. 5 min. from Hirosaki Station on foot):

  • Approx. 50 min. by Konan Bus bound for Ajigasawa/Tenchoen to the Akakura Jinja Tozanguchi bus stop, and then approx. 60 min. on foot

Access map (PDF) [in Japanese]

If you follow the temporary construction road for 1 km from the signpost, you’ll find a parking lot and an information board. Follow the path on the right side of the board through the trees to reach the site.

From the Susono District Physical Culture Exchange Center:

  • Approx. 10 min. by car
Remarks
Traffic of construction vehicles is high due to work to improve the site’s environs (as of 2021). To park a large bus, contact the Cultural Properties Section of the Hirosaki City Board of Education.

ガイダンス施設 Visitor facilities

Name
Hirosaki City Susono District Physical Culture Exchange Center
Address
Kutsuwa 8-9, Totsurazawa, Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, 036-1202
Tel.
0172-99-7072 / +81-172-99-7072
Fax.
0172-99-7072 / +81-172-99-7072
Website

Susono District Physical Culture Exchange Center (the City of Hirosaki website) [in Japanese]

Hours
9:00 – 21:00
Closed
Mondays (or Tuesday if Monday is a national holiday)
Year-end and New Year's holidays (December 29 – January 3)
Admission

Free

Access

From Aomori Station (JR Ou Main Line):

  • Approx. 90 min. by car

From Hirosaki Station (JR Ou Main Line):

  • Approx. 45 min. by car

From Hirosaki Bus Terminal (approx. 5 min. from Hirosaki Station on foot):

  • Approx. 45 min. by Konan Bus bound for Ajigasawa/Tenchoen to the Susono Chugakko-mae bus stop, and then approx. 5 min. on foot

関連施設Facility introduction

Name
Hirosaki City Museum
Facility
introduction

Based on the concept of harmony between intelligence and beauty, this museum systematically shows local history centered around the duties of the Hirosaki feudal domain as well as arts and crafts materials to promote public understanding of the city. Highlighting a culture that has thrived amidst the natural environment and the traditions of the Tsugaru region, the facility also introduces valuable materials that were left behind, cultural heritages and the achievements of those associated with the city. The museum thus gives an opportunity for one to learn the complete history of the city and to take a look at artifacts unearthed at the Omori Katsuyama Stone Circle.

Address
Hirosaki Park, Shimoshirogane-cho 1-6, Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, 036-8356
Tel.
0172-35-0700 / +81-172-35-0700
Fax.
0172-35-0707 / +81-172-35-0707
Website

Hirosaki City Museum [in Japanese]

CONTACT

Cultural Properties Section, Hirosaki City Board of Education

Yoshita 1-1-1, Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, 036-1393
TEL: 0172-82-1642 / +81-172-82-1642  / FAX:0172-82-2313 / +81-172-82-2313 (Hirosaki City Board of Education)

Omori Katsuyama Stone Circle (the City of Hirosaki website) [in Japanese]

Pamphlets, etc.

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