Innoshima Suigun Castle

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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this was legitimized to an extent in agreements with individual warlords, but in practice the authority of the Murakami superceded all others.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 :

Visit Notes

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 User:Furinkazan</a>

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.


Castle Profile
English Name Innoshima Suigun Castle
Japanese Name 因島水軍城
Alternate Names Murakami Suigunjô, Katagarijô
Founder Murakami Clan; Kiyohara Moritaka
Year Founded 1300's
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Reconstructed main keep
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Main Keep Structure 1 niju-yagura, 2 other buildings
Year Reconstructed 1983 (concrete)
Features gates, turrets, stone walls
Visitor Information
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
Time Required 60 minutes
Website inno/h suigun.html
Location Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 19' 40.87" N, 133° 9' 59.44" E
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Added to Jcastle 2013
Contributor Furinkazan
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

(3 votes)
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Matthew WardGunshi

8 months ago
Score 0++
This is a cute little mogi, but doesn't feel like a real castle to me. The best point was the museum.


23 months ago
Score 1++
The castle's historical name was Katagarijō 片刈城. The castellan was Kiyohara Moritaka. The Blue Murakami's main base was actually Aokagejō on the opposite mountain.


75 months ago
Score 1++
The structures are all mock reconstructions. The museum, though small, housed in the faux palatial structure, was engaging however and i learned a lot about the Murakami Clan and their castles and naval history. Thank's to Furinkazan's description on this page I knew to get off and walk at the north interchange. It was much less hassle than going all the way to the opposite side of the island to change busses. I actually managed to find a trial up the mountain from behind which came out just behind the museum! The trial also came out at the next road along so I took that route to appreciate the approach to the castle then went back to the bus stop from the trial starting behind the museum, shaving about ten minutes off the walk.