Hagi castle town has been designated as a national historical site. As you could almost still use an Edo period map to navigate the remaining streets, that’s how it should be!
As you walk along gazing at the old townscape, some historical remains related to the spirits of the reformation suddenly appear in front of your eyes.
This is the birthplace of Takasugi Shinsaku, a key figure among the reformists’.
In addition, the town is crammed with spots irresistible to fans of Hana Moyu and the Meiji Restoration era. Among many others, there’s the former residence of Kido Takayoshi and the remains Kusaka Gezui’s former residence! If we introduced them all, there would be no end.
Among those spots, the next one is a must-see.
Appearing in the first episode of NHK historical drama ‘Hana Moyu’, it’s a curvy zigzag road called Kaimagari.
The road runs between walls of earth and stone that were apparently designed to obstruct the view during battle and to defend against enemy invasions. It’s filled with an air that seems as though Yoshida Shoin or Takasugi Shinsaku might appear at any moment.
After your feet get tired of walking, head to a nearby cafe.
Located within a traditional Japanese style house by the main road, I headed to cafe Kotokoto. Within its calm ambience, you’ll relax and forget the time♪
I had the cafe’s fried cheese curry!
It matches perfectly with the summer orange juice (the photograph shows the hot version).
As the castle town is large, to avoid missing anything, we recommend renting a bicycle.
That said, there are heaps of places to see!
If you want to go around the footsteps of the leading spirits of Japan’s Meiji Restoration, one day just won’t be enough!
Please take your time when you come for a visit~♪
Oidemase! Come to Yamaguchi!
Hagi Castle Town
Following construction of Hagi Castle in 1604 by Hagil feudal lord Mori Terumoto, the town prospered for 260 years. Among other delights, its dignified samurai residences and summer oranges peeking from the earthen and Namako walls have remained unchanged since the Edo period.
Location: Near Minamifuruhagimachi, Hagi city, Yamaguchi prefecture
Inquiries: 0838-25-3139 (Hagi city tourism division)
URL: http://hagishi.com/event/walking/01hagijyo.html (Japanese)
Address: 2-32 Gofukumachi, Hagi city, Yamaguchi prefecture
Open: 10.00-18.00 (changes according to season)
Closed: 2nd & 4th Tuesday of the month
URL: http://www.haginet.ne.jp/users/kurumayado/co_top.html (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Masashi Fujimoto
Masafumi Fujimoto Hi there! My name is Masafumi Fujimoto. Until the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, I was engaged in editing production at an advertising company in Tokyo. However, the earthquake was a turning point in my life and I headed home to Yamaguchi. When I arrived, I was extremely energized and motivated to help revitalize the region, but I had a hard time adjusting to the motivation level of the local people. Around that time I met an elderly lady who said: "It doesn't matter if all the people move away from the island; that's just the nature of things. Someday people will come back again." Lessening the tension I’d been feeling, those few words relieved me hugely, and I was able to finally adjust. Since then, I've been involved in writing and editing magazines, and working in advertisement production, as well as doing a little bit of farming. I also spend time walking around Setouchi searching for the many, many voices out there.
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