The town of Tatsuno in Hyogo Prefecture is a historic castle town that is well worth a visit. Here travelers can still find traces of a bygone era when Kyoto was the capital of Japan. From narrow streets lined with samurai residences and white adobe houses to the nearby castle grounds, there is much to discover here. In this article, you will learn more about the history and culture of Tatsuno in the Setouchi region, as well as some of the attractions that await you here.
Tatsuno – A castle town with historical flair
Tatsuno is a neighborhood in the city of Tatsuno that is still marked by the traces of a former castle town. From magnificent samurai residences to white warehouses, there are many traditional buildings here, built between the 17th and 20th centuries. No wonder, then, that Tatsuno is recognized as one of Japan’s districts for preserving traditional groups of buildings. The region is also particularly famous as the birthplace of “usukuchi” (light) soy sauce, which is why many buildings related to soy sauce production have been preserved here. Visitors can learn about brewing culture here and enjoy lunch and sweets made with soy sauce and koji fermentation molds.
Somen – A noodle specialty
In the world of somen, there are three varieties that are considered particularly valuable: Miwa somen from Nara Prefecture, Shodoshima som en from Kagawa Prefecture, and Banshu somen from Hyogo Prefecture. Ibonoito somen belongs to the Banshu variety, Banshu being the former name of the region where it is produced. The production of somen is an artisanal process in which the dough is kneaded, stretched and then stretched even thinner. At the Ibonoito Museum, visitors can learn more about the world of somen making through detailed displays and demonstrations, and maybe even try their hand at stretching the noodles themselves. The exhibition on the second floor of the museum is dedicated to the cultural history of the noodle.
Sights in and around Tatsuno
- Tatsuno Castle: Tatsuno Castle, also known as Kuroi Castle, is one of the main attractions of the city. Here visitors can get a great insight into the history of the region. There is also a museum dedicated to the history of the castle and the city.
- Soy sauce: Tatsuno City’s climate is ideal for producing high quality ingredients not only for somen, but also for soy sauce.
- Tatsuno City’s climate is ideal for producing high-quality ingredients not only for somen, but also for soy sauce. The traditional recipe for soy sauce requires only four ingredients: Water, wheat, soybeans and salt, all of which can be found in abundance in the Tatsuno area.
- Visit Tatsuno Park: Tatsuno Park is a large park in the center of the city and offers a beautiful environment to relax. There is also a small lake where you can go boating.
- Discover the surroundings of Tatsuno: about 30 minutes away by car you will reach Ako City. The pride of Ako are its hot springs. Ako therapeutic water is rich in salt and minerals and is said to help with ailments such as digestive problems, chronic muscle and joint pain, mild hypertension and more. The water also has a moisturizing effect, which is good for the skin.
For travelers looking for an authentic and historical experience in Japan, Tatsuno is definitely worth a visit. From the castle and samurai residences to soy sauce making and festivals, there is much to see and do here. With its proximity to other historic sites like Himeji and Ako, Tatsuno is also a great base for exploring other parts of the region.