Art Yamaguchi

The Fortifications of The Kanmon Straits : Hinoyama Fortification Ruins (Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture)

Japan is now seeing a boom in the popularity of ruins and remains. There are countless examples around the country, and many are registered as World Heritage Sites or National Cultural Properties. However, the ruins I visited in Shimonoseki are hiding silently in the shadows of the famous ones.

Fort Shimonoseki – Hinoyama Fortifications

As it overlooks the Kanmon Strait, Hinoyama was used since days of old as a vantage point to lookout for enemy raiders and impending attacks.

During the Second World War, along with a part of Fort Shimonoseki the area was utilized as an army base. Storehouses and artillery positions were built throughout the hills. The archway you see in the photo below is the entrance to a partly underground storehouse.

Nowadays, the area is used as a park and anyone can freely walk around. The view from the observation platform on the seaside of the Kanmon Strait is especially stunning and the perfect spot to bring a date. Nonetheless, the main topic of this article is in fact the fort remains. Hehe

The Picturesque Hinoyama Fortification Remains

The fortification ruins are mainly of stone and brick overgrown with grass and moss. The atmosphere is hard to describe.

Even the post-war scribblings are a bit photogenic, don’t you think?

The rainwater covered ground creates a mystical ambience here. This is my favorite place of the area.

The original wartime stoves still remain.

Wartime Stories

The ruins are not only fantastic and awesome to see, but there are also numerous signboards around that tell of the history of the area throughout the ages. At first glance, it seems to be just a low hill overgrown with vegetation, but if you take a walk around, you realize it’s quite large. The fort even had 4 gun batteries!

The fort was equipped with artillery such as fort cannons and 24 cm cannons. While trying to imagine how it used to be all those years ago, I learned many valuable things on my stroll around the area. Bring you favorite camera and come experience it for yourself!

Fort Hinoyama (Hinoyama Park)
Address: Mimosusogawacho, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Shimonoseki City Department of Tourism Facilities: 083-231-1838
Parking building: 083-223-8339

Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Shinji Otokura

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Written by

Shinji Otokura / Hiroe

Shinji Otokura / Hiroe

Shinji Otokura Though I’m currently living on an island in Hiroshima prefecture, I previously lived in Okayama for 18 years and in Yamaguchi for 6 years. I work in architecture and design. I will be spending my days traveling around and sharing the places and things I discover with all you wonderful people.
 Hiroe After working as an environmental analyst in Fukuoka, I went to study in London, England. Since returning to Japan, I have been living among the beautiful nature of Osakikamijima, an island in the Seto Inland Sea. I’m going to walk the Setouchi islands wherever my feet take me, and write about the distinctive lifestyles, culture and scenery of the area as experienced by a complete newcomer.


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