Hagi Castle 萩城
Founder Mori Terumoto
Year 1604
Type Mountaintop
Condition Ruins
Alternate Name Shizuki-jo
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Historical Site National Historic Site
Historical Value Top 100 Castles
Location Hagi, Yamaguchi Pref.
Map Google Map
Access Higashi Hagi Sta. (San'in Line), bus
Website Hagi City Tourism
Notes Not personally viisted. All pictures donated by Dan from Japanese Castle Explorer.

After losing to Tokugawa in the Battle of Sekigahara, Mori's lands around Hiroshima were confiscated and he was moved to Hagi. Amazingly, the Mori family continued to rule over Hagi until the Meiji restoration.

The structure of Hagi Castle is interesting in that it is primarily a Flatland castle but Mori also built a a yagura partway up the mountain and another one at the top in what is called the Tsume no maru. The 5 story main keep, yagura and other structures were demolished in 1874 under the Castle Abolition Law. Only the stone walls were spared. The Hagi Castle ruins are a National Historic Site. The castle town is also a National Historic Site and a famous tourism destination.

Viewer Comments

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  • Kris on My Page    July 23, 2012 at 10:05 PM
    Hagi in the Summer was definitely a good choice; the castle site is surrounded by amazing beaches and the green leaves, blue ocean, and stone walls looked fantastic. Even though I have reputation for being slightly Choshu-girai, I'm not a Mouri fan, and the fact that a black spider bit me on the lip at the tenshukaku ruins, (possibly due to the first two facts), Hagi was completely worth seeing. A friend and I walked from the Hagi Bus centre, (taking a detour to see the statues and houses of hot dead men), through the castle town, to the North Gate. Then from there we walked through the castle town to the beach, and then to the site of the castle ruins. Although they promote bicycle rental, walking was a great idea because there was so much to see, so many old buildings you could enter, and it recreated the feel of a castle town better than many other places I have been to. The beach was what surprised me the most – I have island resort style photos that the Bakufu could use in a Choshu seibatsu summer campaign – well it's not often you get to see turquoise seas and ishigaki together. It was peaceful to wander around and beautiful to see.
  • Amaro    August 26, 2011 at 12:25 PM
    If ever any interest in this castle one should read `Tales of Otori` a fantasy novel about a not-quite-Japan but which takes place in Hagi and surrounding area. It`s a beauitful book about feudal Japan culture and the author has drawn a lot from the local history but made it her own. Anyway, inspried and in the area I visited the castle ruin and have to say despite not having a castle tower it is by far the most peaceful frounds I have ever been to. Furthermore, because the west coast of Japan is not as visited as the east, I almost had the whole place to myself! And if in Hagi, you must go a little bit north and visit Matsue Castle which is an original and one of the most atmospheric castles I have ever been to! Overall, a gorgeous area of Japan!
  • Matt    April 22, 2011 at 01:11 PM
    I visited Hagi and it's castle in 2007. Hagi Castle was the demolished shortly after the Meiji restoration and on the site there is actually a black and white photograph of the castle in full glory before deconstruction. The grounds of the castle are quite large and well signposted in English. The old section of town has a river cum moat around it (beyond the moat around the castle) and the entire area seems constructed in such a way that they were ready for invasion (not surprising given the history). The Samurai quarter has well preserved buildings and sits close to the castle. While the ruins of the castle itself are interesting the preserved areas of town also give you a really good idea of what living in a joka-machi might have been like.
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Hagi, Yamaguchi Pref.
Hagi Castle views
moat and stone walls main keep foundation, moat, stone walls
earthen wall stone wall
Main keep foundation North Gate
Stone stairs moat and top of wall from tenshukaku
moat west of the main keep foundation nashiba family tearoom
Former Okazaki yagura Main keep foundation and moat
toen east garden mountain with the castle