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Hagi city

HagiMap of Hagi Hagi is a small city facing the Sea of Japan, and is at the north part of Yamaguchi Prefecture.
It is located about 35 km north of Yamaguchi city.

A castle was built in 1608, then the castle town developed.
Since that, this city had been the center of politics in "Choshu Clan" (current Yamaguchi Prefecture) over a period of about 260 years.
In the castle town, many old buildings still remain.

In the middle of the 19th century, western powerful countries started coming to Japan to ask the government to open the country. But the government rejected their requests and stuck to a policy of isolation.
Choshu Clan was revolutionary, so it became one of the forefront to overthrow such feudal government.

And Shoin Yoshida (1830-1859) who was a samurai with radical thought opened a school, and produced many samurai to create a new modern nation.

And the Clan office was moved to Yamaguchi city in 1864, then Yamaguchi became the central base to overthrow the government.
In 1868, old Edo Government was overthrown and new Meiji Government was founded.
Several learners of Shoin's school became the leaders of new government.

Main attractions of Hagi are the ruin of the castle, its old castle town, and the historic sites of the samurai who overthrew the feudal government.

Near the central area, there are two JR station, Higashi-Hagi and Hagi.
The main station is Higashi-Hagi.

To tour around the city, the route bus for sightseeing "Maaru Bus" is operated. It has two route, touring around old castle town and east part of the city.
And we can use rental bicycle, rickshaw for sightseeing and pleasure boat.

Ruin of Hagi Castle /1/

Ruin of Hagi Castle It is the ruin of Hagi Castle, and is located at the west end of the central Hagi city.
Another name is "Shizuki Castle", so the site around this castle has been improved as "Shizuki Park".
The castle was built in 1604 at the foot of Mount Shizuki on the cape facing the Sea of Japan.
The castle tower was demolished in 1874 by Meiji government, then the stone walls and moats remain now.
The old-growth forest on Mount Shizuki has been designated as a national natural treasure.

Horiuchi district /2/

Horiuchi It is the district located to the south and southeast of Hagi Castle, and the area is about 1 km from east to west and about 0.8 km from north to south.
Originally, here was many samurai residence to serve the castle. And several offices of Choshu Clan were set up.
Now in this district, there are more than a dozen of former samurai residences, many earthen fences and stone walls.

Old Castle Town /3/

It is located to the east of Horiuchi district, and the area is about 1 km square.
Lowly samurai and citizens in general lived in this district, and grid of streets was set up.
There are many Buddhist temples and old houses in this area.

  • Kikuya-Yokocho street /31/ : A small street which old storehouses with white walls line.
  • Kikuya House /32/ : Former residence of a rich merchant Kikuya. It was built in the early 17th century, and part of the residence is opened to the public.
    It is along Kikuya-Yokocho.
  • Shinsaku Takasugi birthplace /33/ : Shinsaku Takasugi (1839-1867) was a samurai in Choshu Clan. He was one of the pupils of Shokasonjuku, and an activist to overthrow the Edo Government.
    It is along Kikuya-Yokocho.
  • Iseya-Yokocho street /34/ : A small street just to the east of Kikuya-Yokocho. Along this street, there was a rich Kimono store Iseya.
  • Edoya-Yokocho street /35/ : A small street just to the east of Iseya-Yokocho. There are some black boarding fences.
  • Takayoshi Kido's House /36/ : Takayoshi Kido (1833-1877) was a samurai in Choshu Clan, and was an politician to overthrow the Edo Government. In Meiji Government, he planned many new policies.
    It is along Edoya-Yokocho.

Hamasaki district /4/

Hamasaki It is the district to the north of old castle town, and faces the Sea of Japan.
There is a harbor, and the cargo ships on the Sea of Japan route stopped here in Edo Period (1603-1868).
More than 130 old houses are in this district.

Hiyako district /5/

Hiyako It is the district to the south of Horiuchi district.
As land development expanded, many samurai lived in this district.
There are many samurai residences with long earthen fences.

Shokasonjuku school /6/

Shokasonjuku It is the school in which Shoin Yoshida taught, and is in the precincts of Shoin Shrine located about 1 km southeast of JR Higashi-Hagi station.
The original school was founded in 1842 by Shoin's uncle, and he taught from 1855.
He received not only samurai but also townspeople, and educated various subjects including the new western learning.
And he created many excellent students, then they constructed the new Japan.
But Shoin was put to death as one of dangerous persons to overthrow the government in 1858, then this school was closed.
After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the school was restarted, and was continued until 1892.
The current small schoolhouse is the building restored at that time.

Hirobumi Ito's house /7/

Hirobumi Ito's house Hirobumi Ito (1841-1909) was born into a poor farm family.
He studied at Shokasonjuku, and joined the movement to overthrow Edo Government.
And he became the Japan's first prime minister in 1890.
He lived in this house from 1854 to 1868.
Near this house, there is his residence which he built in Tokyo in 1907.

Tokoji temple /8/

Tokoji It is a Buddhist temple located about 1 km east of Shokasonjuku.
It was built in 1691 by Yoshinari Moori (1668-1694), the 3rd lord of this clan.
There are a few tens of tombs of Moori family and about 500 stone lanterns.
(The lords in Moori family with odd-numbered generation has been buried here.)
The temples have the essences of Chinese architecture.

Kasayama volcano /9/

Kasayama It is the world's smallest volcano, and is about 5 km north of central Hagi city.
It is only 112 meters high, and has a crater about 30 meters in diameter. The last eruption was about 10 thousand years ago.
We can walk on the edge of the crater, and the place is a nice observatory.

Myojin-ike pond /10/

Myojin-ike It is a pond at the east foot of Kasayama.
Although it is in the mainland, it has marine water and many fish in the sea swims.
Because this pond was formed during Kasayama in the sea and the mainland were connected from deposition of sands and stones.

Daisho-in temple /11/

Daishoin It is a Buddhist temple of Rinzai Zen school, and is located to the south of central Hagi city.
It is said that a temple was founded here in the end of the 8th century, but it is not known.
Around 1654, this temple was reconstructed to be the temple for Moori family, the lord of Hagi Clan.
There are a few tens of tombs of Moori family and about 600 stone lanterns.
(The lords in Moori family with even-numbered generation has been buried here.)

Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

How to get to here

By express bus

About 1.5 hours from Shin-Yamaguchi station (Shinkansen), about 1 hour and 10-20 minutes from JR Yamaguchi station.

By airplane and route bus

To Iwami Airport, 1 hour and 45 miniues from Tokyo (Haneda), 3 hours from Tokyo (Haneda) through Osaka (Itami) {65 minutes from Osaka).
By route bus, from the airport, about 1 hour and 10 minutes to Hagi city.

By railroad

Higashi-Hagi station is on JR San'in Line, but no limited express is operated on the section around here.
So if you use JR train, it takes much times. (More than 3.5 hours from Yamaguchi)

Ruin of Hagi castle and Mount Shizuki
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
A street in Horiuchi district
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Kikuya House
Photo by Railstation.net
Shinsaku Takasugi birthplace Iseya-Yokocho
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Edoya-Yokocho Takayoshi Kido's House
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Hamasaki district Hiyako district
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Photo by Railstation.net
Lecture room in Shokasonjuku
Photo by Railstation.net
Hirobumi Ito's House
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Hirobumi Ito's Residence removed from Tokyo
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Many stone lanterns in Tokoji
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Main gate of Daisho-in
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture
Many stone lanterns in Daisho-in
Photo by Yamaguchi Prefecture

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