Standing in the center of Innoshima Island along Shimanami Kaido, Suigun Castle towers over its surroundings.
Displaying an abundance of the history and materials related to Murakami Suigun, a pirate clan active from the period of the northern and southern dynasties (1336-1392) to the Muromachi and the Warring States period (1392-1573), Suigun Castle is the only one its kind in Japan!
Headquartered around the Seto Inland Sea islands of Innoshima, Noshima and Kurushima, Murakami Suigun was an armed naval group that collected tolls from transport ships. The group took on the responsibility of guarding safety, commerce and the flow of goods.
Innoshima Suigun Castle is a museum in the Nakanosho town area of Innoshima Island. Making it the ideal place for the group to be headquartered, there was once a deep inlet here.
Located halfway up the hill, this is the castle gate.
I pass through the gate and after climbing for a while, I come to the yagura (turret). In order to observe the surrounding seas, the Murakami clan built turrets and fortresses on high ground and strategically important points along the naval routes.
I arrive at the turret! This one serves both as an observation deck and a museum, and you can enter free of charge.
This is the interior of the turret. On display, you can see mainly photograph panels of the Innoshima Suigun Matsuri, which is a summer festival that includes events such as a race featuring wooden boats called “kohaya” that the Murakami Suigun used as messenger vessels.
Built on the remains of what once was the inner citadel, nearby the turret is the Suigun Museum. (Adults JPY310.)
On display inside the museum you can find arms, clan belongings, old documents and other articles. There are lots of precious historical items, such as one of the group’s actual flags, that cannot be photographed!
Located at the foot of the museum is Konren-ji Temple, which was the family temple of the Murakami clan. Here you’ll also find an observation deck with great views of the whole of Suigun castle.
With stone monuments of the Muracami clan and their retainers lined up, in the temple cemetary you can find the graves of Murakami Suigun members.
Murakami Suigun controlled a part of the Seto Inland Sea area for hundreds of years. In addition to participating in numerous battles, the clan also acted as escorts to the ships of the daimyo of the surrounding areas.
Innoshima Suigun Castle is a museum designed to convey the power that the Murakami clan held at that time.
If you climb up to the remains of the inner citadel, you will feel the romantic winds of history!
Innoshima Suigun Castle
Location: 3228-2 Nakanosho-cho, Innoshima, Onomichi city, Hiroshima prefecture
Parking: Available (toll required)
Admission: Adults JPY310, Elementary & Middle School Students JPY150
Open: 9:30 -17:00
Closed: Thursdays (If Thursday is a national holiday, the museum is open, and then closed the following day)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Hironobu Matsuoka
Hironobu Matsuoka / Photo-writer Born in 1974 in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, and currently living there, Hironobu is the president of Mediapolis Inc. "I travel around the country in Solar King, an eco-camping car that has a solar power generator, and film the beautiful scenery of Japan in high-definition. I want to move around the country as much as possible and leave behind videos of precious Japanese nature and scenery for future generations to enjoy. Although I travel all over the country, I love my home area of Setouchi." 'Healing Japan TV' - Traveling virtually around the country through 'healing videos'.
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