A Day in Obi

Obi

Labelled as the ‘Little Kyoto of Kyushu’, Obi Castle Town is an ancient town in Nichinan city. It was built on the remains of Obi Castle, ruled by the Ito Family for more than 280 years. The town is popular for its old streets lined with samurai villas and merchant houses.

History

During the Nambokucho period (1336 – 1392), feudal lords had been constantly competed for Obi, and the castle was built around this time. Later, during Sengoku period (1467–1603), Obi became a major battleground between Ito clan and Shimadzu clan.  In 1568, Ito succeeded in occupying Obi from Shimadzu clan. For once, the Ito clan was driven from Obi by Shimazu clan, but they were rewarded with the land by Toyotomi Hideyoshi for their contribution in Kyushu campaign. After that, they proceeded to rule Obi for more than 280 years.

Attractions

Obi Castle

Obi castle was ruled by the Ito clan during the Edo period, and chosen as one of the Japan’s Top 100 Castles in 2006. When passing by the Otemon Street, you will see a group of colourful koi in the sewer next to the road. Once entering the castle, the stately castle walls and stone stairs covered by moss will come into view. The Obi Castle History Museum is located inside castle, exhibiting valuable artefacts that represent the history of Obi such as armours and swords of Ito Family. You may also have a walk at the obi cedar forest to enjoy a relaxing moment.

Yosho-kan Samurai House

Yosho-kan Samurai House was the samurai residence of the daimyo of the Obi region. The site is now open to the public.

Merchant House Museum

The Merchant House Museum exhibits the tools used by merchants in the Edo period, giving you a deeper understanding of the lifestyles of merchants who lived in Obi Castle town at the time.

International Center Komura Memorial Hall

Born in Obi Han, Komura Jutaro was a diplomat who served twice as Minister for Foreign Affairs. International Center Komura Memorial Hall was opened in 1993 to commemorate his contribution to Japan foreign relations expansion, exhibiting various materials and documents about him.

Experiencing Shihan Mato

Shihan Mato is a style of Japanese archery which uses a lightweight short bow, with the archer shooting from a seated position. The name Shihan Mato (literally four and a half target) derives from the distance to the target which is approximately 4.5 ken (8.2 metres), the short bow with a length of 4.5 shaku (1.36 metres) and the target which is 4.5 sun (13.6 centimetres) across. It is said that Shihan Mato originated in Sengoku period, when Ito Yoshisuke attacked Shimazu clan at Obi Castle. Peasants loyal to the Ito clan were armed with bamboo bows for battle. Shimazu clan was finally driven from Obi by Ito clan.  After that, peasants were allowed to practice archery as an informal spot. Visitors can go to the archery field near Obi Castle for a shihan-mato archery experience. There will be instructors in the field to guide participants how to shoot arrows.

Highlighted Products

Shōchū

Kyushu is the centre of production for Shōchū. There are so many reputable breweries especially in Miyazaki prefecture. Due to the warm climate and long daylight time, Miyazaki is the major agricultural area of Japan, abounding in a variety of crops and fruits such as citrus, barley and sweet potatoes. With excellent materials and water source as well as advanced brewing methods, Shōchū produced in Miyazaki is highly recognized for its good quality.

Pottery

Kirakutouen is a pottery factory in Miyazaki, dedicated to making pottery in traditional way.

Wooden products

The Obi cedar is known for its resistance to termite. Paak Supply makes use of the Obi cedar and transforming it into contemporary houseware and accessories.

Essential oil
LC Miyazaki is a store in Nichinan City selling 100% natural essential oils distilled from Miyazaki plants such as Hyuganatsu, Hebesu, and Yuzu. They hope to provide products that heal everyone’s mind and body.
Beer
Nichinan Brewery is a microbrewery which was born in 2017 in Nichinan City. Its beer is very easy to drink and accessible for beginners.

Accommodations

Nazuna Obi Onsen Resort

Located alongside Otemon Street, Nazuna Obi Onsen Resort is renovated from an old samurai residence built over 140 years ago. The resort consists of 5 theme rooms decorated according to elements of Obi including Honmurasaki, Sugi, Chaboku, DaiDai and Koke. The resort is a traditional Japanese house with a beautiful garden. Throughout their stay, guests may step back in time and experience Japan’s Edo period.

Access to Obi

Access to Obi

From Miyazaki airport to obi:
By bus
By JR Nichinan Line (from Miyazaki airport to Obi station)
Driving: Japan National Route 220

From Miyazaki city to obi:
By bus
By JR Nichinan Line (from Miyazaki Station to Obi station)
Driving: Japan National Route 220