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Itabashi-shuku (or Itabashi-juku) was the first post town on the Nakasendo Road from Nihonbashi to Kyoto. It was where travelers lodged and arranged travel logistics. Today, Itabashi-juku is totally modern, basically a shopping and residential area.Ukiyoe print of Itabashi-juku by Eisen.
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But I was able to find a few remnants of the old post town or at least stone markers. Itabashi-juku had three sections, Hirao-shuku, Naka-shuku, and Kami-shuku. Naka-shuku was in the middle and the busiest part of the town.
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There is also Itabashi Bridge after which Itabashi Ward takes its name. You can walk along Itabashi-juku from Shin-Itabashi Station to Itabashi-Honcho Station on the Mita subway line.
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I walked from Shin-Itabashi Station to this entrance to Itabashi-shuku on the right. In the middle, they used to have the old Itabashi Police Station until 1933.
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Entrance to Itabashi-shuku. Itabashi-shuku had one Honjin lodge for VIPs, three Waki-honjin, and 54 other lodges.
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About Itabashi-shuku.
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Today, Itabashi-shuku is a hodgepodge of shops, restaurants, and condominiums.
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Roadside map showing places of interest. Temples are the main remnants still remaining from the old days.
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Entrance to Kanmyoji tle.
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Koshin-to stone monument 庚申塔
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Koshin-to stone monument at Kanmyoji temple in Itabashi-shuku, Tokyo 庚申塔
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About the Koshin-to stone monument 庚申塔
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Another gate at Kanmyoji temple.
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Kanmyoji temple social hall
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Kanmyoji temple main hall
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About Kanmyoji
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Shrine at Kanmyoji temple
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A sento public bath in Itabashi-shuku, Tokyo.
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Signboard at a small park.
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In pink is the area that was once the Kaga samurai clan's estate in Itabashi. The Kaga clan was from present-day Ishikawa Prefecture (Kanazawa).
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Itabashi Tourist Information office.
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Inside Itabashi Tourist Information office. They had friendly guides explaining about Itabashi-shuku.
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A 3D map of the old Nakasendo Road from Tokyo to Kyoto with all the shukuba post towns marked. The road winds through many valleys.
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Part of Itabashi-shuku that was the small red-light district.
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End of Hirao-shuku section of Itabashi-shuku.
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Entrance to the Naka-shuku section of Itabashi-shuku. This was and still is the main section of Itabashi-shuku.
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Nakasendo Road marker
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Old building in Naka-shuku
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Nakashuku in Itabashi-shuku.
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Coffee shop in an old building.
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Gyoza dumpling shop in Naka-shuku, Itabashi-shuku.
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Approaching the center of Naka-shuku.
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The brown building on the right was where Itabashi-shuku's Honjin was. (There's a sign and stone marker.) The Honjin was the special lodge for VIP travelers such as daimyo and emperors.
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The brown building was where the Honjin was. (There's a sign and stone marker.)
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Sign and stone marker for Itabashi-shuku's Honjin.
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Sign for Itabashi-shuku's Honjin.
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Site of the Waki-Honjin in Naka-shuku in Itabashi-shuku. A huge condominium now stands here. The landowner lives on the top floor.
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Sign and stone marker for Itabashi-shuku's Waki-Honjin in Naka-shuku in Itabashi-shuku. There were two other Waki-Honjin in Itabashi-shuku, but I couldn't find them.
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Sign for Itabashi-shuku's Waki-Honjin in Naka-shuku in Itabashi-shuku.
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文殊院
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Straight ahead is Itabashi Bridge.
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Itabashi Bridge goes over the Shakujii River. Itabashi-shuku (and Itabashi-ku Ward) got its name from this bridge. The first Itabashi Bridge was built during the Heian Period.
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Itabashi means wooden plank bridge. The Itabashi Bridge during the Edo Period was a wooden arch bridge 16.4 meters long and 5.5 meters wide. In 1932, it was rebuilt with concrete. This current bridge was built in 1972.
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Sign post next to Itabashi Bridge indicating the distance to Nihonbashi.
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Itabashi Bridge over the Shakujii River.
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Itabashi Bridge over the Shakujii River.
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About the Itabashi Bridge.
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Itabashi Bridge is one of Itabashi Ward's Ten Famous Sights.
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Shakujii River as seen from Itabashi Bridge.
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Shakujii River as seen from Itabashi Bridge. The bridge serves as the boundary between Naka-shuku and Kami-shuku.
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Kami-shuku at Itabashi-shuku, Tokyo. More condos and fewer people walking around.
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Koban police box at Kami-shuku, Itabashi-shuku.
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Kami-shuku stone marker next to the koban.
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Kami-shuku stone marker next to the koban.
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About Kami-shuku.
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On a quiet street corner near the koban in Kami-shuku is the En-kiri enoki (縁切榎) which means, "Cutting-ties hackberry tree."
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I thought this little shrine and Chinese hackberry tree was Itabashi-shuku's most interesting remnant.
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En-kiri enoki (縁切榎) which means, "Cutting-ties hackberry tree." Cutting ties can refer to breaking a relationship or connection with someone (spouse, GF, BF, etc.) or something (illness, etc.).
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About the En-kiri enoki (縁切榎) "Cutting-ties hackberry tree."
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I call this the divorce shrine, opposite from the numerous en-musubi shrines (縁結びの神社) for making a connection/relationship (marriage partner, etc.).
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In the old days, people (especially newlyweds) avoided walking near this tree. The tree today is the third incarnation of the original one.
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There's a famous story of Princess Kazunomiya traveling from Kyoto to Tokyo in 1861 to marry future shogun Tokugawa Iemochi. She and her entourage arrived in Itabashi-shuku and made a detour to avoid this tree. She lodged in Itabashi.
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Wooden prayer tablets for cutting ties.
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It was amusing to read the cutting-ties prayers on the ema wooden tablets. This one says that she wants her husband to cut ties from obtaining things so she can cut ties from putting away those things. A pack rat.
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This woman wants to sever her headaches.
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This one says that she wants to break away from a Mr. Matsuda whom she met in Shinjuku on Jan. 27, 2013. A stalker perhaps.
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This one says that HE HATES [name of girlfriend] and wants to break up.
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And this one, I Photoshopped for the 2nd anniversary of the Tohoku triple disasters.
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Kami-shuku
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Kan-nana loop road
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Itabashi-shuku goes further north.
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Kan-nana loop road
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