Azuchi-cho, Shiga

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Azuchi, Shiga (安土町; Azuchi-chō)
Azuchi Castle Azuchi Castle stone work. More Azuchi photos here.
Map of Shiga with Azuchi highlighted
Google Map of Azuchi here.
Location Shiga Prefecture, Kinki region, Honshu island, JAPAN  
Population 12,080 (2005-04-01)
Area 24.30 km²
Town Centers Azuchi Station, Azuchi Castle, Bungei no Sato 
Major Sights Azuchi Castle, House of Nobunaga 
Major Gateways JR Azuchi Station 
Train Stations Azuchi Station 
Claim to Fame Azuchi Castle (built by Oda Nobunaga)
Products
Neighbors Higashi-Omi (Notogawa), Omi-Hachiman 
Old Name(s)
Keywords Azuchi-jo, Nobunaga, Azuchi-Momoyama Period
Historical Persons Oda Nobunaga
Links Azuchi Articles | Azuchi Photos
Azuchi Tourist Information
Location In front of Azuchi Station (Coffee shop Azuchi, closed Tue.)
Phone 0748-46-4234 
Tourist Links Azuchi town Tourism  
Int'l Association Web site Tel: 0748-46-7201  
Volunteer Guides Tel: 0748-46-4234  
Azuchi Town Hall 安土町役場
Address 〒521-1392滋賀県蒲生郡安土町大字小中1番地8

Konaka 1-8, Azuchi-cho, Gamo-gun, Shiga-ken 521-1392 JAPAN

Phone/Fax Tel: 0748-46-3141

Fax: 0748-46-5320 

Official Site Japanese | English  
Symbols Flower:  Reed flower よしの花
Tree:  Camellia つばき
Bird:  Reed warbler よしきり
Others:  Azuchi Castle
Logo:  Katakana for "A" and semi-circle kanji for "tsuchi."
Sister Towns Cultural exchange cities: Vila Vicosa in Portugal; Toledo, Barcelona, and Zaragoza in Spain; Imola, Ferrara, Mantova, Genova, and Livorno in Italy

by Philbert Ono

Azuchi (安土町; Azuchi-chō) was a town in eastern Shiga Prefecture. It was dissolved on March 21, 2010 upon merging with the neighboring city of Omi-Hachiman.

Best known for Azuchi Castle built by Oda Nobunaga. The Azuchi-Momoyama Period of Japanese history is named after this town. Azuchi has lots of waterways, an inner lake, mountains, and historical remains. Old castle ruins, tumulus, temples, and museums. A must-visit for castle fans, Nobunaga fans, and history/archaeological researchers.

Getting There

Azuchi-cho has only one train station, Azuchi Station on the JR Tokaido/Biwako Line. The kaisoku (or shin-kaisoku) express trains do not stop at Azuchi Station. You must take a local kaku-eki train. Maibara Station is the closest shinkansen station.

Sights

http://photoguide.jp/pix/albums/shiga/east/azuchijo/thumb_jIMG_5341a.jpg http://photoguide.jp/pix/albums/shiga/east/nobunagamatsuri/thumb_021-IMG_3201.jpg http://photoguide.jp/pix/albums/shiga/east/azuchi/thumb_IMG_5784.jpg
Azuchi Castle Azuchi Nobunaga Matsuri Azuchi Castle Museum
  • Azuchi Castle 安土城跡 - Built in 1579 by Oda Nobunaga, Azuchi Castle was unique for its octagonal castle tower. It was attacked and destroyed only 3 years later. The castle ruins are on a hill in Azuchi-cho. Lots of stone work remains. Many stone steps to the top.
  • Bungei no Sato 文芸の里 - A cultural facility and park area including House of Nobunaga and Shiga Prefectural Museum of Azuchi-castle, Archaeology.
  • House of Nobunaga 信長の館 (Nobunaga no Yakata) - A museum housing a magnificent replica of the top two floors of the Azuchi Castle's main tower. This replica was displayed in the Japan Pavilion at the Seville Expo '92 in Spain.
  • Azuchi Castle Museum 城郭資料館 (Azuchi Jokaku Shiryokan) - Castle museum next to Azuchi Station. The main exhibit is a 1/20 scale model (and cross section) of Azuchi Castle tower. Small admission charged. Open 9:00-17:00, closed Mon. and the day after a national holiday.
  • Azuchi Nobunaga Festival, - Held in early June, festival held for Oda Nobunaga who built Azuchi Castle. Various events and activities highlighted by the Musha Gyoretsu warrior procession and a demonstration of firing matchlock guns. The boat ride along the moat is also enjoyable.
  • Kannonji Castle ruins 観音寺城跡 - Atop Mt. Kinugasa 繖山 (also called Kannonji-yama) stood this medieval castle occupied by Sasaki Rokkaku. Many ruins and artifacts have been found. The elevation is 432 meters, a much higher climb than Azuchi Castle.
  • Kyorinbo Garden 教林坊 - Japanese garden designed by Kobori Enshu. Part of Kannon Shoji temple at the foot of Mt. Kinugasa.
  • Kannon Shoji temple 観音正寺 - Atop Mt. Kinugasa near the Kannonji Castle ruins, this is the 32nd temple of the Saigoku (Western Japan) Pilgrimage circuit of 33 temples. According to legend, Prince Shotoku received help from a mermaid to build this temple. Unfortunately the temple caught fire in 1993 and and the important Kannon wooden statue was destroyed. The temple was rebuilt in 2004, and a new Kannon statue was made.

Travel Tips

  • In front of Azuchi Station (north exit where the Nobunaga statue stands) is a tourist information office integrated with a coffee shop.
  • Rental bicycles are available in front of Azuchi Station (North exit). Convenient for getting to Azuchi Castle and other places of interest. Taxi is also available at the station.

Getting Around

Rent a bicycle in front of Azuchi Station, or ride a taxi.

Maps

Placemarks in the Google Map of Azuchi are in English.


View Larger Map

  • [http Sightseeing Map of Azuchi]

Event Calendar

  • Early June - Azuchi Nobunaga Festival with a warlord procession, matchlock gun demonstration, boat rides in the moat, and food booths.

Photos

http://photoguide.jp/pix/albums/shiga/east/azuchi/thumb_IMG_5313.jpg http://photoguide.jp/pix/albums/shiga/east/azuchi/thumb_IMG_5340.jpg http://photoguide.jp/pix/albums/shiga/east/azuchi/thumb_IMG_5790.jpg
Statue of Oda Nobunaga House of Nobunaga Canal to Johama

More photos at Azuchi Photos. More Shiga photos here.

Videos

Click on the video image to start playing the Azuchi Nobunaga Festival video showing a demonstration of firing matchlock guns held on June 4, 2006. More Shiga videos here.

Side Trips

Other sights in neighboring cities/towns within easy reach from Azuchi.

History

  • 1579 - Azuchi Castle is completed by Oda Nobunaga after three years of construction.
  • 1582 - Azuchi Castle is attacked by the forces of Akechi Mitsuhide. The castle is burnt to the ground.
  • 1914 - Azuchi Station opens for trains.
  • 1954 - The towns of Oiso and Azuchi merge to form Azuchi-cho town.
  • 1993 - A fire destroys Kannonsho-ji Temple's main hall and a Kannon statue.
  • 2004 - Kannonsho-ji Temple's main hall is rebuilt and completed.

Miscellaneous

Recent News

  • On Sept. 12, 2009, the movie Katen no Shiro (火天の城) is released in Japan. The movie is about a master carpenter named Okabe Mataemon who in 1576 was ordered by Japan's leading warlord Oda Nobunaga to build Azuchi Castle.
  • On Sept. 9, 2007, incumbent mayor Tsumura Takashi 津村孝司 won reelection as mayor of Azuchi-cho. In favor of the town merging with neighboring Omi-Hachiman (and Ryuo-cho), he defeated an opponent who was against any town merger.

Trivia

  • The town of Azuchi-cho since 1986 has been trying to find a folding screen with a painting of Azuchi Castle supposedly sent by Oda Nobunaga to Pope Gregorio XIII at the Vatican. In Nov. 2005, the town mayor was able to meet the Pope at the Vatican while showing what the folding screen might look like. The folding screen is yet to be found. The magnificent Azuchi Castle existed for only three years before it was burned to the ground. Since few records remain of the castle, the folding screen would shed much light on what the castle looked like.
  • The majority of Azuchi citizens do not wish to merge with any city (Omi-Hachiman).
  • Next to Azuchi Station on the south side is a sumo ring. Nobunaga held a sumo match in the area and thus helped to develop sumo.

Famous People

Oda Nobunaga 織田 信長 (1534-1582)
Native of Owari (now Aichi Prefecture), major warlord who sought to conquer and unify Japan. He needed to control Shiga since it was next to Kyoto and a major crossroad. He built a magnificent castle in Azuchi, and also torched many Buddhist temples such as Enryakuji in 1571 whose warring monks might have opposed him. The Azuchi-Momoyama Period of Japanese history is partially named after the castle in Azuchi. Assassinated in Kyoto by Akechi Mitsuhide.

Related Articles

External Links

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