Mikazuki Jin'ya

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When the Mori of Tsuyama were reassigned, this branch family was given the small landholding and new domain of Mikazuki. Their descendants would continue to rule until the Meiji Period when the castle was dismantled.

Visit Notes

The Monomi Yagura, the large slightly darker colored yagura on the left side of this section of castle, is original. It was used as part of the Civic Center (kominkan) following the Edo Period until it was dismantled and move back to its original location in 2003. The inside has been restored and you can go inside today. The connected Tamon yagura houses a small museum of artifacts but mostly explanations about the reconstruction.

The Omotemon Gate is also original. It was moved from the castle to Saihoji Temple, about 6km away, in the Meiji Period but was moved back to its original location in the castle town in 2018. You will still see many castle websites that show it at the Saihoji Temple.

The Kogyokan building is from the Hanko, or Domain School. It was built in the 1700s and was relocated to the nearby shrine just a short walk from the restored castle.

The restored and reconstructed fortification is a truly imposing structure. The long wall of tamon yagura connecting three gates and the big Monomi Yagura is one of a kind. I imagine this is what some complete defensive walls at other big castles like Osaka Castle or Edo Castle might have looked like. For this small jin'ya though, all it had was the one major defensive structure, but it is still a fabulous reconstruction and thankful for it. The jin'ya is nestled right at the edge of the valley and effectively closes off a corner behind it which results in something a bigger castle than it is. From the castle spreading out downhill to the river was a well developed castle town. It still holds many signs of the castle town from the end of the Edo Period in the layout of streets and plots of land.

There is a grouping of 4 extant Samurai Residences near to the castle in the area that was zoned for middle class samurai. The Takeuchi Residence has seen some modern renovations. Two seem to have been condemned and a fourth (Fukaya Residence) is hidden in trees. No one lives in the Takeuchi Residence today, but the house has a collection of artifacts from the Edo Period and tours are occasionally held during local festivals. The 2023 autumn festival held a tour and was gathering donations to restore the house. I had actually planned my visit to Mikazuki Jin'ya precisely for this tour and event only to come down with COVID. Even so, I visited as soon as I recovered anyway, even if I could not go inside. Perhaps they will do it again. I'm watching and waiting, but Mikazuki is not an easy place to get to! I also have leads on two other samurai homes in the town to check out if I ever make it back.

There are few trains running from Himeji all the way to Mikazuki. Mikazuki Station also does not take IC cards. You'll need to buy a paper ticket from Himeji. The train conductor was kind enough to ask if I was going to the castle and would be going back to Himeji or not (yes). He told me to keep my IC card and settle up for a round trip fare back at Himeji Station. This is probably another "only in Japan" moment that they would be so trustworthy.

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  • Original Monomi Yagura
  • Inside Monami Yagura
  • View out the back of the yagura
  • stone garden

Castle Profile
English Name Mikazuki Jin'ya
Japanese Name 三日月陣屋
Alternate Names Noino Jin'ya
Founder Mori Nagatoshi
Year Founded 1697
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Historical Period Edo Period
Features gates, turrets, bridges, samurai homes, water moats, stone walls, walls, castle town
Visitor Information
Access Mikazuki, 20 min walk
Visitor Information Open 10am-4pm weekends and holidays; free admission
Time Required 45 mins for restored area
Website https://www.town.sayo.lg.jp/cms-sypher/www/info/detail.jsp?id=727
Location Sayo, Hyogo Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 59' 27.02" N, 134° 25' 52.50" E
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Added to Jcastle 2024
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2023
Admin Visits November 4, 2023
Friends of JCastle
Jokaku Horoki
Shiro Meguri Fan
(one vote)
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