Tsuwano Castle Town: A Visit by Our Castle Curator, Sachiko Hagiwara



The first view of Tsuwano

Surrounded by Mount Aono and Mount Jozan, the castle town of Tsuwano is a mixture of red-shingled merchant’s houses, samurai mansions, and historical buildings like the old clan school. In 2015, the Hundred Views of Tsuwano, combining 100 pictures of Tsuwano during the Edo period and explanatory text, was recognized on the first Japan Heritage list. The work records famous places in Tsuwano as well as its natural beauty, traditional arts, customs, and way of life. And the very first picture depicts “Sanbonmatsu Castle”—today known as Tsuwano Castle, though only the walls remain.

rd1700_tsuwano-2rd1700_tsuwano-3rd1700_tsuwano-4 (1)A “little Kyoto” in the San’in area

Tsuwano Castle was built on Mount Reigi, 367 meters above the town, and moved to its current location during the Kamakura Period. Due to family connections between the castle’s ruling Yoshimi clan and the prosperous Ouchi clan during the medieval period, much of the capital’s culture was actively brought to the region. Even the famous Heron Dance is originally from Kyoto’s Yasaka Shrine.


Next page: “Reborn after the Battle of Sekigahara