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Kusatsu-juku was the fifty-second station on the Tokaido Road (following Ishibe-juku) and the sixty-eighth station (following Moriyama-juku) on the Nakasendo Road. During the Edo Period, Kusatsu was an important post town at the crossroads of both roads.The roof is shaped like a Honjin lodge, with a gate. 草津駅
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JR Kusatsu Station
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Kusatsu town map. Kusatsu basically developed along the old Nakasendo and Tokaido Roads as they intersected before going on to Kyoto, Shiga's neighboring prefecture.
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Kusatsu River
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Oiwake Guidepost road marker at the intersection of the Tokaido and Nakasendo Roads. The left side says "Left for Nakasendo Road" and the right side says "Right for Tokaido Road."
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Road marker at the intersection of the Tokaido and Nakasendo RoadsThis tunnel goes under the Kusatsu River.
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Road marker plaque
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Hiroshige's woodblock print of Kusatsu-juku (69th post town on the Nakasendo) from his Kisokaido series.
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Hiroshige's woodblock print of Kusatsu-juku (53rd post town on the Tokaido) from his "Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road" series. A rest house and servants are depicted.
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Kusatsu historyBeing a stage town along the Tokaido Road connecting Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto, Kusatsu had over 70 inns for travelers. The best inn was the Honjin, reserved for daimyo warlords, Imperial family members, etc.
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Kusatsu-juku Honjin on the Tokaido Road. MAP
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Kusatsu-juku Honjin. the Honjin was the town's most luxurious accommodation catering to society's elite like daimyo warlords, Imperial family members including the emperor, and other dignitaries.At stage towns along the major roads like the Nakasendo and Tokaido, the Honjin was the town's most luxurious accommodation catering to society's elite like daimyo warlords, Imperial family members including the emperor, and other dignitaries. It operated during 1635 to 1870. The Honjin is now a museum.

This Honjin in Kusatsu is a very impressive example of traditional architecture. It is designated as a National Historical Place. It underwent a complete renovation and reconstruction during 1989 to 1995. (In case you wonder why such an old building looks so new.) Admission 200 yen. 10-min. walk from Kusatsu Station.
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Kusatsu-juku Honjin entrance. This Honjin in Kusatsu is a very impressive example of traditional architecture. It is designated as a National Historical Place. It underwent a complete renovation and reconstruction during 1989 to 1995. Admission 200 yen.
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Genkan Hiroma entrance hall straight ahead. It was the entrance for daimyo feudal lords. 玄関広間
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About the Kusatsu-juku Honjin
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Sekifuda name plates in Genkan Hiroma entrance hall. This is what you see when you enter the Honjin through the Genkan Hiroma entrance hall. The name plate for the warlord staying at the lodge was displayed. 玄関広間This is what you see when you enter the Honjin through the Genkan Hiroma entrance hall. The name plate for the warlord staying at the lodge was displayed here.
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Kusatsu-juku Honjin corridor. Pass by numerous Japanese-style rooms. 畳廊下畳廊下
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Kusatsu-juku Honjin guest book. See the names of Kira and Lord Asano both of whom once lodged at this Honjin (at different times). These two men later became adversaries which led to the legendary chushingura or vendetta of the 47 masterless samurai. 大You can see the names of Kira and Lord Asano both of whom once lodged at this Honjin (at different times). These two men later became adversaries which led to the legendary chushingura or vendetta of the 47 masterless samurai.

大福帳
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Jodan no Ma: Kusatsu-juku Honjin's best room in the house. Reserved for daimyo warlords, emperors, etc. 上段の間

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Jodan no Ma - Kusatsu-juku Honjin's best room in the house. Reserved for daimyo warlords, emperors, etc. 上段の間
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Jodan no Ma - Kusatsu-juku Honjin. The Gyokuza raised tatami mats was where the lord or Emperor slept or sat.Reserved for daimyo warlords, emperors, etc.

上段の間
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Jodan no Ma - Kusatsu-juku Honjin's best room in the houseReserved for daimyo warlords, emperors, etc. The room had an elevated tatami mat for the person to sit and sleep on.

上段の間
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Mukae Jodan no Ma 向上段の間向上段の間
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Mukae Jodan no Ma. Painting on the fusuma sliding doors by Matsumura Keibun. 向上段の間
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Urinal (made of lacquered wood) for warlords. The room has two tatami mats. Right below the urinal is a bamboo mat. Above is a small shoji paper window to provide light.
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Toilet (made of lacquered wood) for warlords. This is a separate room adjacent to the urinal. It also has two tatami mats. The walls are plain and not decorated. The toilet had a box which was likely replaced each time it was used. 上段雪隠This is a separate room adjacent to the urinal. It also has two tatami mats. The walls are plain and not decorated. The toilet had a box which was likely replaced each time it was used.

Jodan settin

上段雪隠
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Marker for Emperor Meiji's visit and outdoor garden
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Outdoor garden
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Yudono bath room for warlords. The hot water was heated nearby and carried to this room. 湯殿

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Bath for feudal lordsLooks kind of small to me.

湯殿
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Kitchen (Daidokoro doma). Dirt-floored room with wood-heated stoves. High ceiling with no chimney, but the ceiling has a covered opening. 台所土間
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Honjin owner Tanaka's house
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Honjin owner Tanaka's house
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Honjin owner's house
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Ceiling
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Kusatsu-juku Kaido Koryu-kan is a history museum with various exhibits showing Kusatsu's post town history. Admission 200 yen. You can buy a set ticket good for both the Honjin and this history museum. 草津街道交流館
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Kusatsu-juku Kaido Koryu-kan. Terminals are provided to find information about Kusatsu. 草津街道交流館 MAP
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Kusatsu-juku Kaido Koryu-kan 草津街道交流館
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Kusatsu-juku Kaido Koryu-kan. Sample food from the old days, dinner on left and breakfast on right. 草津街道交流館
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Photo op room at Kusatsu-juku Kaido Koryu-kan. You can dress up as a traveler on the Tokaido/Nakasendo Road and take a picture of yourself. You can even sit in the palanquin. A tripod is provided too. 草津街道交流館
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Palanquin at Kusatsu-juku Kaido Koryu-kan 草津街道交流館For photos.
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Ukiyoe prints of Kusatsu-juku at Kusatsu-juku Kaido Koryu-kan 草津街道交流館
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Kusatsu-juku Kaido Koryu-kan草津街道交流館
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Model of the town at the Kusatsu-juku Kaido Koryu-kan 草津街道交流館
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Waki Honjin souvenir shop and restaurant脇本陣
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Temple with road marker
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Closeup of road marker indicating the Tokaido Road to the right and Nakasendo to the left.
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