Hagi Castle 萩城
Hagi Castle, also known as "Shizuki Castle," is located in historic Hagi city in Yamaguchi Prefecture in south western Japan.
Hagi Castle History
Hagi Castle, constructed around Mt Shizuki, is now largely in ruins with only the impressive stone walls and carp-filled moat remaining. The original castle was built by Mori Terumoto (1553-1625), a former retainer of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and one of the council of "Five Great Elders" along with Ieyasu Tokugawa, who had ruled Japan after the strongman's death.
However, following the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 and Tokugawa Ieyasu's victory, Mori, who was on the losing Western side, was dispossessed of his fief centred on Hiroshima Castle and present-day Hiroshima Prefecture and sent over the mountains, north west to Hagi, far from the centers of Tokugawa power and influence in Edo (Tokyo) to the east.
Mori built Hagi Castle in 1604 and his descendants ruled in his Choshu domain until the Meiji Restoration of 1868, when the Tokugawa regime was overthrown and Mori's family enjoyed a long-delayed vengeance of sorts against the Tokugawa.
Hagi Castle was pulled down in 1874 under the Castle Abolition Law of that year, that sought to limit the power of the former feudal lords and concentrate that power in the hands of the new ruling Meiji elite.
Shizuki Park is now a good place for a picnic under the cherry trees in spring and affords a cool spot in summer. The park contains Shizuki Shrine where the lords of the Mori clan are enshrined, the ruins of the castle tower (yagura) and the Hanano-e Teahouse, where visitors can enjoy a bowl of Japanese green tea (matcha). Hagi Castle was built at the foot of Mount Shizuki with only one turret (yagura) higher up the mountain, as a look out over the sea.
Tel: 0838 25 1826
Admission: 210 yen
Hours: April-October 8am-6.30pm daily; November-February 8.30am-4.30pm daily; March 8.30am-6pm daily;
Map of Hagi Castle
Hagi Castle Access
Hagi Castle is west of Kikugahama Beach and north west of JR Hagi Station. Tamae Station is the nearest station to Hagi Castle on the JR Sanin Line.
There is much to see in the neighborhood of Hagi Castle including Hagi Pottery Museum (Tel: 0838 25 8981) displaying examples of the local hagiyaki ceramics, the Former Residence of the Asa Mori Clan - a large Edo-era samurai residence, a small Christian cemetery nearby now called the Hagi Catholic Martyrs Memorial Park and the Hagi Old Document Museum. A short walk back towards the center of Hagi town brings you to the peaceful Tenjuin Graveyard.
Video of Hagi Castle
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