The castle town for the Obi clan which flourished for 280 years
Obi thrived as a castle town under the control of the Ito family within the Obi clan starting from the year 1588 for 280 years. The beautiful townscape consisting of the remaining structures from those days including stone walls, storehouses, samurai residences and a merchant’s street was selected to become Kyushu’s first Important Preservation District of Historic Buildings.
A townscape which harkens back to the Edo Era
The former Obi Castle which was a castle built upon the plains that had 9 other castles in the surrounding vicinity no longer exists, but in 1978, the Ote-mon Gate, which was restored through the usage of 4 Obi cedars which were 100 years old, is a profound Yagura-mon gate that was the main entrance to the castle. Beyond the gate and into the castle area, the fortress and stone walls remain as structures of the Edo Era. On the castle grounds, the Obi Castle Historical Museum which has 220 exhibits on display connected to the Obi clan including swords and armor, and the Matsuo-no-Maru court built in the Edo Era’s shoin-zukuri style from century-old Obi cedars can be toured. As well, there are buildings such as the Yoshokan, a samurai residence into which the lord of the castle had moved with the arrival of the Meiji Era, and Shintoku-do Hall which was constructed in 1831 as a center of learning for the Obi clan. Once you leave the castle grounds through the Ote-mon gate, there are other buildings such as Komura Memorial Hall named after Jutaro Komura, a diplomat born from the Obi clan who was involved in the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth for the Anglo-Japanese Alliance; Takahashi House, a modern Japanese manor from the middle of the Meiji Era which is located on Honmachi Shonin Street some distance away from Obi Castle; Old Ihei Yamamoto House; and the Mercantile House Museum which uses an old Edo Era house to display the instruments used by mercantile houses and merchants during the Edo Era.
Tour the area advantageously
To sightsee these areas, the Ayumi-chan Map is economical and convenient for its admission tickets. The map can be bought at the parking lot for Obi Castle or at any ticket window for any of the facilities. You will also want to try deep-fried Obi-ten which has been available in the Obi area since the Edo Era and resembles Satsuma-age fish cakes, and the ancient delicacy of tamago atsuage (thick Japanese-style omelettes).