2018年06月02日

'Honjin' means the accommodations developed across the country for the people of high standing in the 'Edo period' in the 17th-19th century.

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Edo/Tokugawa feudal government ordered all the feudal lords in Japan to live in their domains and Edo (Tokyo) alternately in yearly shifts. More than 300 feudal lords periodically went and returned between their domains and Edo with many attendants according to their power, and this system was called 'Sankin-Kotai'. In order to support this system, the accommodations for them were prepared in the major post towns throughout Japan. These honjin accommodations were not for the common people but exclusively for the people of high standing. The private houses of the leading locals were generally used as honjin when they were needed. In the wake of weakening of the feudal government, Sankin-Kotai system was beginning to break down, and finally died at the end of the feudal years. Honjin accommodations were not needed anymore.
The picture shows 'Hino Honjin' in Hino City, Tokyo, which is one of the original honjin buildings still remaining in Japan, most of them are opened to the public.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:10 | Suburbs of Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年08月28日

'Shuzenji Onsen' in the north of the Izu Peninsula, Shizuoka Prefecture, is the oldest hot spring resort found in this peninsula abounds in hot springs.

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A direct bus service from Shinjuku takes you to Shuzenji Onsen in 100 minutes. This major hot spring resort is said to be discovered by 'Kobo Daishi', a well known high-ranking priest, in the 8th-9th century. Many hot spring inns as well as restaurants line both sides of the Shuzenji flowing across the central part of the resort. The first picture shows the Shuzenji and 'Tokko-no-Yu' public foot bath in the center. Tokko-no-Yu is the first source of hot springs in this area, which used to be used as a public bath. A promenade runs along this river by way of 'Chikurin-no-Komichi' bamboo path, which attracts many sightseers. The second picture shows 'Shuzenji' Buddhist Temple standing in the heart of the resort, which is the origin of Shuzenji Onsen. This temple is not large-scale though, the certain history for as long as 1,200 years old has passed.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:27 | Suburbs of Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年03月13日

'Bannaji' Buddhist Temple in Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture, is an old temple which was built in the part of the castle grounds of 'Ashikaga' clan, a feudal lord of this domain.

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Ashikaga clan built their castle with some 40,000 square meter grounds, which was surrounded by a moat and an earthwork, in the middle of the 12th century. The first picture shows 'Taiko-bashi' bridge spanning the old moat with 'Sanmon' main gate leading to Bannaji Temple. The original aspect of the very the old castle in those years can be traced back from this modern picture. Bannaji, being originated from a small temple building built by Ashikaga clan in 1196, had gradually developed as a full-scale family temple of this clan since the main building completion in 1299. This 'Hondo' main building in the second picture was repaired early in the 15th century and was designated as a national treasure recently. Hondo aside, many old precious buildings such as a bell tower and a sutra repository, they are designated as important cultural assets, are found in this temple grounds. Bannaji Temple is a very important historical site in the Kanto region.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 16:36 | Suburbs of Tokyo | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする