After spending time in self-exile in Suma, the hero of The Tale of Genji travels to nearby Akashi and finds romance with The Akashi Lady. Their daughter subsequently becomes empress.

Akashi Castle Moat

The moat around Akashi Castle.

Akashi is now an ugly industrial port city, but its castle - built in 1619 by Lord Ogasawara Tadamasa and associated with legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi - has extensive grounds and is an excellent cherry-blossom viewing spot.

Akashi Castle View

Akashi Castle.

Akashi Castle Turret

One of the castle turrets.

According to local legend, the Tsukimi-no-Ike (moon-viewing pond) at Asagao Komyoji temple is where Genji composed poems to the Akashi Lady while gazing at the moon's reflection in the water.

Akashi Asagao Komyoji Temple Pond

Tsukimi no Ike pond at Asagao Komyoji Temple.