Name in Japanese: 安土城郭資料館
Pronunciation: azuchi jōkaku shiryōkan
Azuchi Castle Museum is housed in a striking, Japanese-style building adjoining the plaza of JR Azuchi Station, a couple of miles from the site of the castle itself. The exhibits offer a good understanding of what the castle was like, and the atmosphere of Oda Nobunaga’s reign in the Ōmi region.
The focal point of the museum is a large 1/20-scale model of Azuchi Castle as it was thought to have looked. It’s a beautiful work of craftsmanship in itself. The staff will ask if you want to see inside. At the push of a button, the model splits into two and slides apart and you can walk between the two halves and admire the amazingly complex and ornate interior. A huge atrium extended for four floors. At its base stood a stupa rising two floors, and on each of the two floors above, a gallery looked down on it. The gorgeously decorated top two storeys rose above this structure. In the model, the tiny figure of Nobunaga gazes out over his domain.
The museum has two floors, and you can look down on the model from above too. Nobunaga’s time preceeded the Edo period when the country was largely shut off from the rest of the world and was closed to foreigners. Conversely, Nobunaga seems to have been very interested in the doings of other parts of the world. A large exhibit shows images of a mission undertaken by four youths to Europe, bearing a folding screen depicting Azuchi Castle. The ceramic panels, created by a contemporary artist, depict Azuchi Castle and its town and the route through Kyōto and Nagasaki and the voyage via Macau to Lisbon and Rome for an audience with the pope.
Other exhibits include replica suits of armour, a diorama of Kannonji and Azuchi castle sites, and expressive dolls made of washi paper depicting scenes of medieval life. You can purchase attractive souvenirs including postcards and figurines. The museum also has a cafeteria offering simple food.
Visiting this museum, the castle site, the nearby Azuchi Castle Archaeological Museum, and Nobunaga’s Castle Museum makes an enjoyable and educational day out.
place 700, Konaka, Azichichō, Ōmihachiman, Shiga Prefecture
The engaging exhibits provide enjoyable and informative background to Azuchi Castle.
Although Oda Nobunaga wasn’t originally from Ōmi, he spent so much time here and left such a mark that we’ll consider him one of the people of Ōmi. Nobunaga built a huge castle at Azuchi in today’s Ōm
Azuchi Castle was built by Oda Nobunaga on Mt. Azuchi on the eastern shore of Lake Biwa. It was a magnificent structure, with the first large keep designed as a symbol of the owner’s prestige, atop wa