中馬街道の脇道宿場町、日本大正村・明智 / Akechi, where Nanboku and Chuma highways come together.

In days gone by, the crossroads in Akechi town was formed where the Nanboku highway met the Chuma highway. Along the Nanboku highway peddlers and packhorse caravans carried salt and textiles north from the Mikawa area to Kiso and Shinshu. On the chuma highway, the traffic was firewood, charcoal, and silk cocoons, carried from the Nanshin-iida area to Seto and Owari.(refer to Ena City Tourist Association) Akechi, Ena-City, Gifu-Prefecture, Japan December 2016, Olympus OM-D E-M1 江戸時代に中馬街道脇道の宿場町として発展した、恵那市明智町のまちなみです。 明治・大正期には養蚕・製糸産業で栄えましたが、その後窯業が主産業となりました。 市街地には西洋文化の影響を受けた当時の建造物が残っており、過疎化に直面する町の村おこしの一環として、それらを生かして昭和59年に日本大正村が開村し現在に至ります。 岐阜県恵那市明智町 2016年12月撮影、Olympus OM-D E-M1

6つの枡形を持つ大井宿 / Ohi post town, with right angles at six places.

Ohi Juku (Ohi post town) was the forty-sixth post town of the Nakasendo Road (the highway between Edo and Kyoto). Ohi Juku had right angles at six places. Honjin, Hatagoya, and a house of a village headman (Shoya) still remains along the Nakasendo. (cf : The Board of the Education of Ena City). Ohi-Juku, Ena-City, Gifu-Prefecture,Japan December 2016,Olympus OM-D E-M1 中山道46番目の宿場、大井宿の風景です。 江戸方から、横町・本町・竪町・茶屋町・橋場と5町があり、それぞれの町は6ヶ所の枡形によって区切られていました。 岐阜県恵那市大井宿 2016年12月撮影、Olympus OM-D E-M1

物資の集積地として大いに栄えた中津川宿 / Nakatsugawa-juku, a former post town and a trade center.

Nakatsugawa-juku was the forty-fifth of the sixty-nine stations of the Nakasendō-Road. During the Edo period, Nakatsugawa-juku flourished as a trade center, and reached a population of over 1,230 people and contained over 175 homes. Nakatsugawa – City, Gifu – Prefecture, Japan. December 2015, Olympus OM-D E-M1 中山道45番目の宿場町、中津川宿は、物資の集積地として繁栄し、本陣と脇本陣、さらに29軒の旅籠を擁する大規模なものだったといいます。 現在、本陣、脇本陣跡の石碑の界隈に立派な卯建を構えた商家を見ることができます。 岐阜県中津川市、中山道中津川宿 2015年12月撮影、Olympus OM-D E-M1

中山道の山深き宿、大湫宿 / Ōkute-juku, in the hilliest situation

Ōkute-juku was the forty-seventh of the sixty-nine stations of the Nakasendō during the Edo period. This is the first station along the Nakasendō to be in the domain of the Owari Clan, one of the most powerful regional clans. Ōkute-juku was first established in 1604, and came to serve as a post town between Ōi-juku and Hosokute-juku (which come before and after Ōkute-juku, respectively). Biwa Pass (琵琶峠 Biwa-tōge) crossed a small mountain between those two post towns and is near where Ōkute-juku was established. Okute-jiku, Mizunami-City, Gifu-Prefecture, Japan. November 2015, Olympus OM-D E-M1 大湫宿(おおくてじゅく、大久手宿とも)は中山道の47番目に当たる山深き宿場です。 慶長9年(1604年)に新設された宿場で、尾張藩領でした。皇女和宮親子内親王の宿泊地となったことで知られています。 鉄道駅から遠く離れた現在、集落には本陣であった建造物も残され、その他の伝統的建造物の軒数は少ないながらも、当時の宿場町の面影を色濃く止めています。 岐阜県瑞浪市大湫宿 2015年11月撮影、Olympus OM-D E-M1

女城主で知られる城下町、岩村 / Iwamura, the castle town, well known for the female castle load.

Iwamura flourished as a castle town. The most famous lords of the castle was a woman called “Onna Joshu” and protected her vassals and people while she chose a political marriage. Iwamura, Ena-City, Gifu-Prefecture, Japan November 2015, Olympus OM-D E-M1 山城、岩村城の城下町として栄えた、岩村の商家の街並みです。 戦国時代末期の元亀3年(1572年)、武田軍が恵那郡に侵攻して遠山氏が敗れ、飯羽間遠山氏の飯羽間城、大圓寺等が武田軍の兵火により消失してしまいます。当時、岩村城主は既に亡くなっており、信長の叔母のおつやの方(修理夫人)が女城主を務めていましたが、武田軍の軍勢の前に降伏し、武田方の秋山虎繁と政略結婚して岩村城を明け渡すことになりました。遠山氏は武田方となりましたが、1576年に織田信長が岩村城を攻めて武田軍を降伏させるとともに、おつやの方と秋山虎繁等を逆さ磔にして処刑してしまいます。 その後、江戸時代は岩村藩領となり、岩村藩と城下は廃藩置県まで三万石の城下町として栄えたといいます。 岐阜県恵那市岩村町 2015年11月撮影、Olympus OM-D E-M1

清流に心洗われる郡上八幡 / Gujo Hachiman, with pristine waterways.

Gujo Hachiman is a small town, known for its pristine waterways. The town flourished as a castle town (Hachiman Castle). When we were walking around the town, we can look at the many streams, canals, and fountains. These clear streams are still used for washing vegetables, dishes, clothes, and so on. Gujo Hachiman, Gifu-Prefecture, Japan. July 2015, Olympus OM-D E-M1 清流と名水の城下町,郡上八幡(現・郡上市)のまちなみです。 小さな街の至る所に清流や湧き水を見つけることができ,その澄んだせせらぎの音がのどかな町に響き渡っていました。 岐阜県郡上市(郡上八幡) 2015年7月撮影,Olympus OM-D E-M1

驟雨の高山/ Takayama,in autumn rain

Takayama (高山市 Takayama-shi) is a city located in Gifu Prefecture, Japan Takayama was settled as far back as the Jōmon period. Takayama is best known for its inhabitants’ expertise in carpentry. It is believed carpenters from Takayama worked on the Imperial Palace in Kyoto and on many of the temples in Kyoto and Nara.[citation needed] The town and its culture, as they exist today, took shape at the end of the 16th century, when the Kanamori clan built Takayama Castle. About a hundred years later the city came under the rule of the Tokugawa shogunate. However, the high altitude and separation from other areas of Japan kept the area fairly isolated, allowing Takayama to develop its own […]

木曽馬籠宿,江戸の旅人の足跡を辿って / Magome-juku, post town of an ancient road, paved with stones

                        Magome-juku was the forty-third of the sixty-nine stations of the Nakasendō, an ancient road that connected Kyoto and Edo during the Edo period. It was also the last of eleven stations along the Kisoji, which was the precursor to a part of the Nakasendō, running through the Kiso Valley. As a post town, it was relatively prosperous and cosmopolitan, with a currency-based economy. It fell into obscurity and poverty, however, after the completion of the Chūō Main Line railway, which did not pass through Magome. In recent decades, it has been restored to its appearance as an Edo […]