The town of Obi, also known as the “Little Kyoto of Kyushu,” is a charming and picturesque castle town located in Miyazaki Prefecture, japan. Renowned for its stunning architecture, ancient stone walls, Obi cedar, and old-world charm, Obi is a delightful destination for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
One of the main attractions in Obi is the expansive grounds of Obi Castle. As you wander around the manicured castle grounds, you can’t help but be transported back in time to the late 1500s to the 1860s when Obi Town was a thriving samurai district under the powerful Ito clan. Although most of the original castle no longer remains, reconstruction work took place in the 1970s, allowing visitors to get a glimpse of what the castle would have looked like during its prime.
The lush grounds of Obi Castle are a sight to behold, with open spaces and beautifully manicured garden areas. As you explore the grounds, you can also peek inside the remaining samurai residences in the streets around the castle, offering a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the samurai during that period.
After working up an appetite from all the walking and exploring, you can indulge in some delicious traditional Japanese cuisine at one of the nearby restaurants. One highly recommended dining option is Hattori Tei, known for its extensive menu and stunning gardens. The restaurant’s back opens up to an incredible Japanese-style garden, providing a serene and picturesque backdrop as you enjoy your meal.
If you wish to extend your visit and experience the true essence of Obi, consider staying overnight in one of the renovated samurai residences. Katsume Tei, converted into accommodation for visitors in 2017, offers guests their own private Japanese garden and a full cultural experience. Another option is Oya Tei, a former samurai residence renovated from an Edo period middle-class vassal’s house. Both accommodations provide a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the history and ambiance of Obi.
In the evening, the streets outside Obi Castle light up, creating a magical and nostalgic atmosphere reminiscent of the bygone era of samurai Japan. The illuminated streets add an extra touch of charm to the already enchanting town and offer a glimpse into what Obi might have looked like during its heyday.
To reach Obi, the best options are by car or train from Miyazaki City. Trains run to Obi Station from Miyazaki Station via the JR Nichinan line, but public transport is limited. Therefore, renting a car is a more convenient way to explore Obi Castle Town and its surrounding areas. By car, you can drive along the Nichinan coastal road, which offers breathtaking views along the way. Simply take Route 220 south from Miyazaki City and follow it for about 40 kilometers. After the Udo Shrine turnoff, you’ll see signs for Obi Castle. Turn right off Route 220 and follow the signs all the way to the town.
To reach Miyazaki City, there are several options available, including air travel or a combination of train and bus travel. From Tokyo, flights operate from both Haneda and Narita airports to Miyazaki. If you’re coming from Osaka, you can take flights from Itami Airport or Kansai International Airport. Alternatively, you can opt for a train journey by taking a shinkansen to Kagoshima-Chuo Station and then transferring to the JR Kirishima line for Miyazaki City.
In conclusion, a visit to Obi Castle Town in Miyazaki Prefecture is a journey back in time to the days of the samurai. With its stunning architecture, ancient stone walls, and charming atmosphere, Obi is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Japanese history and culture. Whether you explore the manicured castle grounds, indulge in delicious traditional cuisine, or simply soak in the nostalgic ambiance of the illuminated streets, Obi will leave you enchanted and captivated by its timeless beauty.
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