|Azuchi, Shiga (安土町; Azuchi-chō)|
|Azuchi Castle stone work. More Azuchi photos here.|
|Google Map of Azuchi here.|
|Location||Shiga Prefecture, Kinki region, Honshu island, JAPAN|
|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)|
|Neighbors||Higashi-Omi (Notogawa), Omi-Hachiman|
|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.)|
|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|
Konaka 1-8, Azuchi-cho, Gamo-gun, Shiga-ken 521-1392 JAPAN
|Official Site||Japanese | English|
|Symbols||Flower:||Reed flower よしの花|
|Bird:||Reed warbler よしきり|
|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.
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.
- From Maibara Station - 25 min. via JR Tokaido/Biwako Line.
- From Kyoto Station - 46 min. via JR Tokaido/Biwako Line.
- From Omi-Hachiman Station - 3 min. via JR Tokaido/Biwako Line.
- 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.
- 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.
Rent a bicycle in front of Azuchi Station, or ride a taxi.
Placemarks in the Google Map of Azuchi are in English.
- [http Sightseeing Map of Azuchi]
- Early June - Azuchi Nobunaga Festival with a warlord procession, matchlock gun demonstration, boat rides in the moat, and food booths.
|Statue of Oda Nobunaga||House of Nobunaga||Canal to Johama|
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.
Other sights in neighboring cities/towns within easy reach from Azuchi.
- Omi-Hachiman - A neighboring castle town.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Shiga Prefecture
- Shiga Prefecture Sights
- Shiga Prefecture Transportation
- Shiga Prefecture Municipalities
- Azuchi-cho Web site - Japanese
- Azuchi-cho Web site - English
- shiga-ken.com - Comprehensive guide to Shiga Prefecture.
|Municipalities of Shiga Prefecture 滋賀県|
|Cities & Towns: Aisho-cho | Higashi-Omi | Hikone | Hino-cho | Koka | Konan | Kora-cho | Kusatsu | Maibara | Moriyama | Nagahama | Omi-Hachiman | Otsu | Ritto | Ryuo-cho | Taga-cho | Takashima | Toyosato-cho | Yasu|
|愛荘町 | 東近江市 | 彦根市 | 日野町 | 甲賀市 | 湖南市 | 甲良町 | 草津市 | 米原市 | 守山市 | 長浜市 | 近江八幡市 | 大津市 | 栗東市 | 竜王町 | 多賀町 | 高島市 | 豊郷町 | 野洲市|
|Prefectures of Japan|
|Aichi | Akita | Aomori | Chiba | Ehime | Fukui | Fukuoka | Fukushima | Gifu | Gunma | Hiroshima | Hokkaido | Hyogo | Ibaraki | Ishikawa | Iwate | Kagawa | Kagoshima | Kanagawa | Kochi | Kumamoto | Kyoto | Mie | Miyagi | Miyazaki | Nagano | Nagasaki | Nara | Niigata | Oita | Okayama | Okinawa | Osaka | Saga | Saitama | Shiga | Shimane | Shizuoka | Tochigi | Tokushima | Tokyo | Tottori | Toyama | Wakayama | Yamagata | Yamaguchi | Yamanashi|