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Date is pronounced "DAH-tay." The city of 37,000 was founded in 1870 by a samurai named Date Kunishige and his vassals and citizens who migrated from Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. Thus, you will find occasional references to the samurai in Date.
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Date Rekishi no Mori is a large park with various public facilities including a Japanese garden. The park was completed in 2000 after about 11 years of construction. This is the castle-like Otemon Gate built when the Crown Prince got married in 1993.
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Although the park is designed like a castle grounds with a castle wall and moat, it is not the site of any former castle.
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The park includes a culture center, public library, sports ground, and the Kaitaku Kinenkan museum.
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Reconstructed castle wall and cherry blossoms.
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The park has a number of buildings. This is the tourist gift shop and hands-on workshop for swordmaking and fabric dyeing.
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Map of Date Rekishi no Mori. Various festivals and events are also held in the park. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to see everything in the park.
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Rest House
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Rest House windows
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Entrance to the swordsmith and fabric dyeing workshop. You can see a swordsmith making a sword. You have to check when he's doing it though. Free admission. Web site 黎明観
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Miyao Tomiko Literature Museum. Admission 120 yen. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to enter it. 宮尾登美子文学記念館
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One of the main attractions of the park is the Geihinkan State Guesthouse. Cherry blossoms were in full bloom.
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Geihinkan Guesthouse and cherry blossoms. 迎賓館
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Plum blossoms and cherry blossoms in the background, blooming at the same time.
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Cherry blossoms next to the Geihinkan were beautiful in early May.
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Geihinkan Guesthouse in Date Rekishi no Mori park, Hokkaido. Two-story wooden structure built in 1892 during the Meiji Period. 迎賓館
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The Geihinkan was used to receive high-ranking government officials visiting Date to inspect the development of the town. 迎賓館
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On display on the first floor were samurai armor.
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Samurai armor displayed on the first floor veranda of the Geihinkan.
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Samurai armor displayed on the first floor veranda of the Geihinkan.
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Samurai armor displayed on the first floor veranda of the Geihinkan.
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Samurai armor displayed on the first floor veranda of the Geihinkan.
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Western-style room inside the Geihinkan.
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Japanese-style room on 2nd floor of the Geihinkan.
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2nd floor of the Geihinkan.
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2nd floor of the Geihinkan.
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2nd floor corridor of the Geihinkan.
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Near the Geihinkan is the Date Kaitaku Kinenkan Museum (opened in 1958) displaying swords, lacquerware, etc., from the Date samurai clan, donated to the city by the Date family. Photography is not allowed inside the museum. Closed Dec.-Feb. 伊達市開
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Behind the Date Kaitaku Kinenkan Museum is the former Mitobe house on display. It is a typical house of the first settlers of Date, Hokkaido. Based on Sendai-style (Miyagi Pref.) architecture. Important Cultural Property. 旧三戸部家住宅
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Inside Mitobe house. Web site 旧三戸部家住宅
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Inside Mitobe house with a hearth.
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