Takayama

Higashiyama Walking Course to know more about Takayama

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Higashiyama Yuhodo is a promenade at the foot of the mountain located east of the Takayama city area. If you walk along, you may find many temples and shrines lined up there. This area was built as a part of castle town when the war lord named Nagachika Kanamori entered Hida in 1586.

Source: kankou-gifu.jp

Construction of castles and development of castle towns

The war lord, Kanamori Nagachika, started to build a castle on Mt. Shiroyama and samurai mansions on the hill surrounding the castle. He also placed temples at the foot of the mountain and develop the castle town which is nowadays known as Sanmachi street.

After Takayama came to be under direct control of Tokugawa shogunate, the castle and samurai mansions were dismantled but the temples and town remained there. The land divisions and roads in the center of Takayama City remain in the same shape as they were almost 400 years ago.

Higashiyama Yuhodo

While walking along the Higashiyama Yuhodo promenade, you will see a number of temples which were placed when the war lord Kanamori came to rule this region. Let’s pick up some of interesting temples.

Unryu-ji Temple(雲龍寺)

It was originally built in 720 A.D. After it delined, the temple was rebuilt by the member of zen buddhism sect known as Soto sect. This was also a family temple of Kanamori Naganori (the oldest son of Kanamori Nagachika) who died in Honno-ji Incident. Honno-ji Incident was the assasination of the war lord Oda Nobunaga, who was on the verge of unifying the country but died in the unexpected rebellion of his vassal, Akechi Mitsushide.

Toun’in Temple(洞雲院)

It was built in 1614 A.D. to rescue the spirits of the children who died in the famine caused by the eruption of Mt. Asama in 1783 A.D.

Higashiyama Shinmei Shrine(東山神明神社)

It is impossible to tell when the shrine was established. However, the shrine was worshiped by the provincial governors and lords from generation to generation. It is said that Tsukimi-den Hall at Takayama Castle was relocated here when Kanamori Nagachika was ordered to leave Takayama by Tokugawa shogunate. The four ema paintings that was drawn when Kanamori family still ruled this region.

Shiroyama Park(城山公園)

The park is a castle ruin of Takayama castle, which is categorized into hirayamajiro (flatland-mountain) type.

Hirayamajiro castle is a combination of hirajiro (flatland) type and yamajiro (mountain) containing the advantages of those two types. Similar to yamajiro type, it has a main tower on the top of the hill which allows for easy protection. And similar to hirajiro type, main tower was also surrounded with defensive walls, moats and yagura (watch tower). Hirayamajiro castles were generally built on a hill and allowed for constructing many buildings which could accommodated a number of samurais.

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ABOUT ME
YUICHI
YUICHI
National Licensed Guide Interpreter / Web Creator
Hi my name is YUICHI. I'm from Toyama city, Japan. I guide foreign tourists with a passion to promote the popularity of Hokuriku & Hida region. I'm a friendly person who like to listen to the story of your country such as food, culture and history. I also like walking, cooking, drinking and traveling.
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