Kakegawa is a historic town located between Tokyo and Nagoya, making it an ideal stopping point for those interested in Japanese culture and history. With its atmospheric castle and post town on the old Tokaido Road, Kakegawa offers a fascinating insight into life during the Edo period.
One of the main attractions in Kakegawa is Kakegawa Castle, which provides visitors with a glimpse into the lifestyle of the Edo period. Built in the 1470s by Asahina Yasuhiro, the castle changed hands multiple times during the Warring States period. However, once peace was established under the Tokugawa Shogunate, Kakegawa became a post town on the Tokaido Road, which connected the new capital in Edo (Tokyo) to Kyoto.
Despite the rush to modernize during the Meiji Restoration, Kakegawa Castle was rebuilt in 1994 using traditional materials instead of ferro-concrete. This restoration allows visitors to experience the authentic atmosphere of an Edo era castle. The castle displays examples of military hardware and historical documents, offering a deeper understanding of the region’s history.
Within the castle grounds, visitors can also find the Ninomaru Tea House. This beautiful tea house provides a peaceful setting to relax and enjoy some of the famous tea from Shizuoka. Adjacent to the tea house is the Ninomaru Museum of Art, which houses fine examples of Japanese arts and crafts. The museum also serves as a platform for local artists and artisans to showcase their work.
In addition to Kakegawa Castle, there are also the ruins of two other castles in the area. Takatenjin Castle is nestled in an atmospheric cedar and cypress forest, while Yokosuka Castle overlooks it from a hilltop. The latter was built as a base to besiege Takatenjin Castle when it was seized by a rival clan. These ruined castles offer a glimpse into the conflicts that shaped the region’s history.
Apart from its historic attractions, Kakegawa also offers other points of interest worth visiting. Shimizu Garden is one of Shizuoka’s most beautiful gardens, showcasing the artistry of Japanese garden design. Honjin Street, on the other hand, features about two dozen stalls selling local crafts and serving traditional food, creating a self-contained village atmosphere.
Another notable attraction in Kakegawa is Nissaka-shuku, the only remaining Edo period building on the Tokaido Road. This historical site provides a glimpse into the past and the vibrant culture that once thrived along this famous route. The Yayoi Yoshioka Memorial Museum celebrates the achievements of the woman who founded Tokyo Women’s Medical University, while Matsumoto Kamejiro Park commemorates a local man who taught Communist Party luminary Zhou Enlai, among others.
To reach Kakegawa, visitors can take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line to Kakegawa Station. The station is approximately an hour away from Nagoya and only 20 minutes from Shizuoka City. This convenient transportation link makes Kakegawa easily accessible for both domestic and international travelers.
In conclusion, Kakegawa is a town rich in history and culture, offering visitors a unique glimpse into japan‘s past. From the atmospheric castle and post town on the old Tokaido Road to the tea house and art museum within the castle grounds, there are plenty of opportunities to immerse oneself in the Edo period. Whether you’re interested in military history, traditional arts and crafts, or simply want to experience the beauty of a Japanese garden, Kakegawa has something for everyone. So, if you’re planning a trip to Japan, make sure to include Kakegawa on your itinerary for an unforgettable cultural experience.
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