Welcome to the blog!

Greetings everyone and welcome to the first in a series of blogs I will be writing about JOGE, a small town in northern Hiroshima where the charm of traditional Japanese lifestyle, architecture, and hospitality abounds.

Joge holds a special place in my heart – I lived here for three years and found so much to love about the place. Whenever I visit Joge’s main street lined with wooden and white plaster buildings, I feel as if I’m slipping back in time to the Edo period. Walking around town, friendly locals greet me. Exploring winding allies, I find hidden treasures and scenic views. To me, Joge represents adventure, beauty, and a warm, supportive community.

Like many other countryside areas in Japan, Joge’s population is decreasing, and the locals are hoping to revive their town through tourism. They are so excited for foreigners to know more about Joge and eventually visit! It is my hope that these articles will spread interest in a town that I adore so much. So, let’s get started.

Tenryou Joge

Today, in my very first blog, I’d like to introduce you to Tenryou Joge, an inn and tourist information center on Joge’s main street. The building is 150 years old—locals took three years to carefully renovate the traditional structure, making sure to preserve its spirit and character.

To explain the significance of this building to Joge and to Japan requires a brief history lesson. During the Edo period, Joge was a tenryou territory, meaning it was under direct control of the Shogunate, the rulers of Japan.

Located in the center of the “Silver Highway” used to transport one third of the world’s silver supply, Joge was an extremely prosperous town akin to a Japanese Wall Street. There were 33 lending institutions in Joge, and the town was responsible for sending funds to the Tokugawa and Meiji regimes.

One of the most influential folks in town was a man named Hirosuke Sumikura, owner of Sumikura Bank and namesake of a famous Joge lending conglomerate. What we know today as Tenryou Joge was once one of the homes within the Sumikura family complex, a branch of the main house where Hirosuke’s relatives lived.

In her old age, the wife of Sumikura’s grandson entrusted the house to Fuchu City, which provided funds for the renovation. She died before the renovations were completed, but she was overjoyed to see the progress, as she cared deeply about preserving Joge’s history and culture.


When you enter Tenryou Joge, you are met by a friendly staff member at the front desk. Tenryou Joge has been designated by Fuchu City as Joge’s tourist information center. Here, you can find local Joge products as well as information about the surrounding area.

Tenryou Joge also has three beautiful guest rooms, some with a view of the adjacent Japanese garden. Most of the furnishings are traditional items donated by the local people. The inn can accommodate up to fourteen people, with four to five people per room. Tenryou Joge is equipped with shared showers, toilets, and a kitchenette with a refrigerator and microwave. Free wifi is available.

There is also a community space that locals or others can rent out for meetings or events. The day that I visited, Joge locals were having a study session about tourism led by a member of the Fuchu City Tourism Association.

If you ever come to Hiroshima, we look forward to greeting you at Tenryou Joge! To make a reservation, please send an email to the staff: https://jogetenryo.com/en/

Check-in is from 16:00 to 20:00 and check out is by 10:00. The price becomes more inexpensive the more people you have in your party. For one person the price is ¥8000, two people ¥12,000, three people ¥16,000, four people ¥20,000, and five people ¥24,000.

You can also find some limited English information about Tenryou Joge on their website. We will hopefully have more English information up soon!:https://jogeyado.com/index_en.html

To reach Joge, you can take the Fukuen train from Fukuyama or Miyoshi, or the highway bus that leaves from Hiroshima Bus Center. Please get off at Joge Station! More infomation is here >>https://jogetenryo.com/en/

Thank you for reading this first of many blogs about Joge, a hidden gem tucked away in the mountains of Hiroshima! I hope you will visit someday and experience the history and whimsy of Joge for yourself!

By Mary Popeo

Mary Popeo has lived in Hiroshima Prefecture for four years, three of which she spent in Joge. She is passionate about sharing the magic of the Japanese countryside with people from around the world. Mary currently works at a peace education nonprofit in Hiroshima City, and collaborates with Fuchu City and the Joge Town to plan programs for inbound English-speaking tourists.



まずご紹介するのは、本通りにある宿泊施設と観光案内所を兼ねた宿「泊まれる町家 天領上下」。

江戸時代、ここ上下町は「天領地」でした。つまり当時日本を支配していた幕府直轄の領地であったわけです。世界の銀の供給量の3分の1を輸送していた「銀山街道」の中心部に位置していたため、日本版ウォールストリートとも呼べるほど栄えた町でした。当時の町には33軒の金融業者があり、徳川(幕府)と明治政権に財源を送るという重責を担っていました。最も有力な町民の一人は角倉銀行の所有者であり、地元の金融集合体の代表でもあった角倉博佐(すみくらひろすけ)という人でした。今、宿になっている「泊まれる町家 天領上下」は、かつてはこの角倉一族の住まいのひとつで、博佐氏の親族が住んでいた分家と言われています。


「泊まれる町家 天領上下」に足を踏み入れると、受付の優しいスタッフに迎えられます。府中市観光協会の上下支部が併設されていて、周辺地域の情報や特産品なども紹介されています。



広島にいらっしゃることがありましたら、「泊まれる町家 天領上下」をせひご利用ください!

チェックイン 16:00~20:00 / チェックアウト10:00まで
1名: ¥8,000 / 2名:¥12.000 / 3名:¥16.000
4名:¥20.000 / 5名:¥24.000

アクセスは、福山または三次よりJR福塩線が出ている他、広島バスセンターから高速バスでも来れ、「上下駅前」でお降りください。詳しくはサイトで確認されてくださいね。 https://jogetenryo.com/access/


広島県在住歴4年、そのうちの3年間を上下町で過ごす。来日した海外の人たちと広島県の田舎の魅力を共有することが願い。現在は広島市内で非営利の平和教育団体で働いており、府中市や上下町とも協力しながら英語圏からの旅行者の受け入れなどの企画をしています。  – Translation by Chizuko Inagaki –

2020.8.24 / Joge Guides