Innoshima Suigun castle
Innoshima is a small island in the Seto Inland Sea, and from the Muromachi through the Sengoku eras was the stronghold for one of the three main branches of the powerful Murakami family. Ten forts were constructed around the island’s perimeter, with a mountain castle at the center to supervise the forts. From here, the Innoshima Murakami controlled two vital routes through the surrounding waters, the Onomichi Channel and the Strait of Mekari.
The Murakami are sometimes referred to as pirates, and from early times imposed ‘sail taxes’ on passing ships. At times, this was legitimized to an extent in agreements with individual warlords, but in practice the authority of the Murakami superceded all others. The sea was their territory, and only they could guarantee the safety of shipping. According to some accounts, Murakami ships sailed as far as the China coast and Southeast Asia, engaging in both legitimate trade and piracy. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, in unifying Japan, eventually found it necessary to forcibly remove the maritime warrior clans from their islands and relocate them inland. From : http://www.japan-in-motion.com/jim/item/mov_134/
How to get there: From the south-exit of Onomichi station get on a bus at stop number 7. 3 choices are then possible. 1) get off at Innoshima Ohashi iriguchi and take an island bus to Suigunjô iriguchi, 2) like 1) but take a taxi to the castle (there is only one bus per hour) and 3) get off at the next bus stop and walk 3km to the castle site, like i did. I took the local bus to go back to the Ohashi iriguchi and another bus to go to Onomichi station. (only 1 bus/h too) Ask the bus driver if you aren't certain. There are alot of other buses passing at the bus stop.
With the entrance ticket you also get admittance to the little museum at the lower side of the hill.
About the site: There are 3 buildings and one gate reconstructed. In the biggest building you'll find alot of artifacts and explanations (in English too) Not everything is translated but there is still a lot to read. At the entrance you may put a kabuto, a jinbaori, haidate and a katana on. You can take a nice shot of the site from an observation platform on an opposite hill (easy to access: there is a paved path between both)
Photos and history by JCastle member Furinkazan</a><p>JCastle Editor's note: There is no historical evidence that such buildings existed on the island. These mock reconstructions are probably fairly well embellished. Besides Innoshima, the Murakami built fortifications on several islands around the same area of the Seto Inland Sea. More than 40 locations of fortifications have been identified. I formerly hesitated to add this site, but I've seen it taken up in more books and even on the "castle knowledge exam" (日本城検定) so I decided to add it now.
|English Name||Innoshima Suigun castle|
|Alternate Names||Murakami Suigunjô|
|Castle Condition||Reconstructed main keep|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Main Keep Structure||1 yagura, 2 other buildings|
|Year Reconstructed||1983 (concrete)|
|Features||gates, turrets, stone walls|
|Access||JR Onomichi station plus buses(see notes|
|Visitor Information||open from 09:30 to 17:00; closed Thursdays (except national holiday), and 12/29-12/31 entrance fee: Adults: ¥310 Children: ¥150|
|Website||http://www.city.onomichi.hiroshima.jp/english/kanko/data inno/h suigun.html|
|Location||Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture|
|Coordinates||34° 19' 41", 133° 9' 59"|
|Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|