Most viewed - GIFU 岐阜県
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Samurai armor with matchlock gun bullet holes.1355 viewsCreated by an experiment with matchlock gun fired at the body armor at over 50 meters aways, piercing both the front and back body armor.
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Weapons used in battle934 views
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Mt. Momokubari is where Tokugawa Ieyasu first set up his base camp for the Battle of Sekigahara. It is next to busy Route 21. A short distance east of Sekigahara Station. The former Sekigahara battlefield has numerous monuments.793 viewsSekigahara saw one of Japan's most pivotal battles on Oct. 21, 1600 (Sept. 15 of Keicho 5) between Tokugawa Ieyasu's Eastern Forces and Toyotomi Hideyoshi loyalist Ishida Mitsunari's Western Forces. Ieyasu's victory in the Battle of Sekigahara sealed Japan's historical fate for the next 250 years. The former battlefield is dotted with monuments indicating the positions of various warlords during the battle.
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Unique helmets worn by warlords on the battlefield.729 views
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Explanatory map of the Battle of Sekigahara685 views
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Dinner at Isaburo: River fish and mountain vegetables. After dinner, the proprietress and her husband and daughter sang and danced for us. 629 viewsThey demonstrated different traditional musical instruments and had us try playing them. It was great. However, I was told that they don't do that anymore.
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Map of battlefield for Western Forces. Also see Ishida Mitsunari Birthplace in Nagahama, Shiga.617 views
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Shirakawa-go 白川郷593 views
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On Oct. 18-19, 2008, the town of Sekigahara held a special festival to commemorate the Battle of Sekigahara. The last time they did this was in 2000 for the 400th anniversary of the battle. The main venue was near the town hall.522 views
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The Nagaragawa River ukai cormorant fishing is held nightly from May 11 to Oct. 15 except during the Full Moon and if the river overflows. You can buy tickets and board the viewing boats here, next to Nagarabashi Bridge. 鵜飼観覧船のりば520 views
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Statue of Lord Takenaka Hanbei 竹中半兵衛重治515 views
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Illustration of Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp where he inspected the heads of his defeated enemies.488 views
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Map on lookout deck.462 views
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Bird's eye view of Shirakawa-go from Ogimachi Castle ruins.460 views
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Warlord banners, left to right: Kuroda, Fukushima, Honda, and Tokugawa.446 views
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Explanatory map of the Battle of Sekigahara443 views
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Panoramic view of where the Battle of Sekigahara started. Most battle monuments are within walking distance from the train station, but they are numerous and spread over a wide area.439 viewsThe battle started at the foot of the hill on the left of the road. The small hill on the right was where Shimazu Yoshihiro was stationed. Mt. Ibuki is in the background in the middle.
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Banners mark the site where the battle started.431 views
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View of the Sekigahara battlefield from Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp.429 views
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Path to Gifu Castle tower420 views
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Breakfast at Otaya402 views
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The battle started at the foot of the hill on the left of the road. The small hill on the right was where Shimazu Yoshihiro was stationed. Mt. Ibuki is in the background in the middle.387 views
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2nd floor386 views
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Defensive barriers on Mt. Sasaoyama, Ishida Mitsunari's base camp. 笹尾山 石田三成陣跡379 views
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Ieyasu and his troops were here from about 6 am to 10 am on the day of the Sekigahara battle. He later moved closer to the front line as the battle was going his way. This is a National Historic Place. 桃配山 徳川家康最初陣跡370 views
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Shirakawa-go 白川郷366 views
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Mountain vegetables 山菜366 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu inspecting the head of his enemies at his base camp364 views
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Dinner357 views
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Grilled Iwana river fish356 views
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Banners and a monument mark the spot on Mt. Momokubari where Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp was established during the Battle of Sekigahara on Sept. 15, 1600.349 views
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Illustration of Mt. Matsuo where Lord Kobayakawa Hideaki was based.348 views
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Breakfast at Isaburo minshuku341 views
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Ishida Mitsunari, age 41 at the time of the battle338 views
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Yoro Station on the Yoro Railway Line which starts at Ogaki in Gifu and ends in Kuwana in Mie.335 views
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Yamauchi Kazutoyo334 views
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Gifu Castle on Mt. Kinkazan as seen from the Nagara River. In the foreground is Nagaragawa Onsen Spa. Commanding a strategic viewpoint of the entire city, Mt. Kinkazan must have looked like an obvious place to build a castle.329 views
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At the top, see the two large rocks which served as a table and bench for Ieyasu. 家康の腰掛岩と机石328 views
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Ishida Mitsunari's banner with his family crest.320 views
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Profiles of neutral armies318 views
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Banner with Ukita Hideie's crest.318 views
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Mt. Sasaoyama, Ishida Mitsunari's base camp, as seen from the final battlefield. 笹尾山315 views
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Steps going up to Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp during the Battle of Sekigahara on Oct. 21, 1600 (Sept. 15 of Keicho 5). Today it's just a small hill. The highway seemed to have cut through most of it.310 views
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Path to the Kaisenchi or site where the battle started, at the foot of the hill straight ahead. 開戦地303 views
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Profiles of Western Forces300 views
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Fried Iwana, eat the head and all.294 views
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Foot of Mt. Sasaoyama, Ishida Mitsunari's base camp. 笹尾山 石田三成陣跡294 views
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Foot of Mt. Sasao, Ishida Mitsunari's base camp. 笹尾山 石田三成陣跡293 views
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Warlord banners291 views
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Steps going up to Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp during the Battle of Sekigahara.289 views
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Monument marking the site where the Sekigahara battle started. 開戦地285 views
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Tofu284 views
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Sekigahara Warland284 views
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Cannon283 views
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View of Gifu city and Nagara River. Also see the video at YouTube.271 views
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Monument marking the site where the Sekigahara battle started at 8 am on Sept. 15, 1600 (Oct. 21 Western calendar) with Ii Naomasa firing upon Ukita Hideie.271 views
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Close-up of Ogimachi269 views
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From Ogaki Station, a straight shopping road (Eki-dori) goes through the center of the city. A marker shows where you turn to visit Ogaki Castle.267 views
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Only four of the 12 floats have karakuri puppets which perform. Takayama Matsuri, Gifu265 views
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Sekigahara Battlefield, now occupied mainly by rice paddies, a school, and homes. 関ヶ原古戦場263 views
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Statue of Lord Toda Ujikane who was the Ogaki Castle lord in 1635.261 views
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Site where the battle started and Mt. Matsuo in the background.255 views
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Monuments marking Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp during the Battle of Sekigahara. The banners have the Tokugawa family crest.253 views
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The bottom ends of these beams are pegged into a point (komajiri) resting on another cross beam. Wada House, Shirakawa-go251 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu at his base camp251 views
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Wada House, Shirakawa-go245 views
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Monument for the final battle, about 1 km in front of Mt. Sasaoyama, where the fighting was the fiercest. 決戦地241 viewsThe left banner has the Ishida Mitsunari's crest and the right banner has the Tokugawa crest.
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Statue in Ukai Hiroba. Also see my YouTube ukai video here.240 views
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Conch shell for battle.235 views
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Path to Konishi Yukinaga's station, near where the battle started.234 views
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Ryuujintai Karakuri, Takayama Festival, Gifu 龍神台からくり232 views
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Gifu Castle Museum231 views
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Monument for Konishi Yukinaga's station. 小西 行長陣跡231 views
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Floats are displayed on the street. Takayama Matsuri, Gifu231 views
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Gifu Castle Museum230 viewsIt is located on the site of a storehouse.
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Inside Sekigahara Town History and Folklore Museum 関ヶ原町歴史民俗資料館230 views
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Sekigahara Town History and Folklore Museum 関ヶ原町歴史民俗資料館229 views
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Battlefield as seen from the final battle site. Thousands died here. The battlefield is a small plain surrounded by hills and mountains.228 views
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Barriers and steps looking down the slope.224 views
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Lookout deck with a bird's eye view of the battlefield.224 views
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Area around Konishi Yukinaga's position.223 views
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Gifu Castle on Mt. Kinkazan as seen from the Tokaido Line train. The castle can still be seen from many kilometers away. It is one of the symbols of Gifu city.219 views
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Well where the decapitated heads of Western Force leaders were washed.219 views
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Myozenji Temple, Shirakawa-go217 views
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Water tower painted in Sekigahara motif.217 views
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Isaburo minshuku 民宿 伊三郎216 views
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Lookout deck on Mt. Sasao. 笹尾山214 views
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Sunomata Castle and gourd sculpture. The gourd (hyotan) was Toyotomi Hideyoshi's trademark as well as a symbol of this area.214 views
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Kobayakawa Hideaki on Mt. Matsuo who turned against Ishida Mitsunari and helped Ieyasu win the battle.213 views
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Monument marking Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp during the Battle of Sekigahara.213 views
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Ogaki has a city-operated bicycle racetrack called the Ogaki Keirinjo or Ogaki Cycling Stadium. This is the entrance. Admission is 100 yen. 大垣競輪場212 views
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Side view of Wada-ke House210 views
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Behind the monuments is a trail probably used by Ieyasu's troops on Mt. Momokubari-yama.210 views
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Plastic samurai armor210 views
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Sekigahara Battlefield and Mt. Matsuo 関ヶ原古戦場209 views
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Monument for Konishi Yukinaga's station. 小西 行長陣跡209 views
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Gifu Castle tower206 viewsGifu Castle was originally called Inabayama Castle. Its known history starts from the 16th century with Lord Saito Dosan. Oda Nodunaga later took over the castle in 1567. He also renamed Inaba city as "Gifu."

Nobunaga left Gifu Castle and moved to Azuchi Castle in Shiga Pref. His sons took over Gifu Castle. Right before the Battle of Sekigahara, Tokygawa Ieyasu's forces attacked Gifu Castle which burned to the ground on Aug. 23, 1600.

The current castle tower was reconstructed in 1954.
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The bird then spits out the fish. The person on the right is the fishing master's son being groomed to take over his father's job. The fishing master has been doing this for 50 years. It is a hereditary position and occupation. 鮎206 views
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Also see my YouTube video here.204 views
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Gifu Castle on Mt. Kinkazan and ropeway203 viewsA convenient ropeway makes it a snap to visit the castle.
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Castle tower203 views
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Inside Otaya203 views
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Sign explaining that the two rocks below were said to be used as a bench and table for Ieyasu.201 views
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Myozenji temple bell with thatched roof200 views
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Tenka Daiichi-no-mon Gate195 viewsThe first gate toward the castle tower.
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Otaya minshuku 民宿 太田屋195 views
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Sekigahara Town History and Folklore Museum 関ヶ原町歴史民俗資料館194 viewsNear Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp.
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A woman samurai194 views
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The burning torch provides light and attracts the sweetfish. The cormorants dive into the water to catch the fish. The bird then is pulled to the boat to spit out the fish. The ukai cormorant fishing master holds the leash to 10 to 12 birds.193 views
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There is also a small park called the Ukai Hiroba 鵜飼ひろば。192 views
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East Burial Site, where the decapitated heads of the Western force leaders were buried. 東首塚190 views
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Inside Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp189 views
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Monument marking Ii Naomasa and Matsudaira Tadayoshi's position. 井伊直政・松平忠吉 陣跡189 views
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Site where the battle started as seen from Shimazu Yoshihiro's position.189 views
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Top floor of castle tower188 views
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Ropeway station188 views
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The Takayama Festival is held twice a year, during April 14-15 and Oct. 9-10. The spring festival is held by Hieda Shrine and it is called Sanno Matsuri. 187 viewsThe festival features twelve ornate "yatai" floats which are displayed and pulled along the streets. In a large plaza, katakuri puppets perform on a few of the floats. The festival is also dramatic at night with a float procession. The Takayama Festival procession in spring starts at Hieda Shrine. Photo shows a banner reading "Hieda Jinja." 祭行列
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Mt. Sasaoyama and stone marker. 笹尾山186 views
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Steps up to the top of Mt. Sasaoyama.185 views
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I caught one. Pure mochi (no adzuki bean paste inside). It was a very impressive and enjoyable festival.184 views
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Monument for Konishi Yukinaga's station. 小西 行長陣跡183 views
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Inside the castle tower182 viewsIt is a museum inside the tower.
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From this park, you can also watch the nightly ukai fishing on the river.182 views
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Gifu Castle ropeway boarding area180 views
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West Burial Site for the corposes of West Forces leaders. Nishi Kubizuka 西首塚180 views
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Banners mark the site of Todo Takatora and Kyogoku Takatomo's position.180 views
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Low-angle view of castle tower179 views
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Castle tower observation deck179 viewsMarvelous views of Gifu city can be had.
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East Burial Site, where the decapitated heads of the Western force leaders were buried. 東首塚179 views
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Banners with Kyogoku Takatomo's crest.178 views
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Another smaller monument marking Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp during the Battle of Sekigahara.178 views
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Sunomata Castle.178 views
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Former horseback riding grounds177 views
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Inside Gifu Castle Museum177 views
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Near Ogaki Station is a small plaza with signs telling you that Haiku poet Matsuo Basho came here and that Ogaki was his last stop on his Oku no Hosomichi journey.176 views
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Art park to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the battle in the year 2000. Near the Shimazu position.175 views
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The floats cross Nakahashi Bridge.174 views
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Mt. Sasaoyama and stone monument marking Ishida Mitsunari's base camp.173 views
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Mihoro Dam, made only of rocks and clay. 131 meters high, 405 meters long.172 views
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Monument for the final battle. By 1 pm, Ishida's Western Forces fell apart, and Ishida fled the scene at 2 pm. 決戦地172 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu at the Battle of Sekigahara Festival, 2008172 views
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Road to Sunomata Ichiya Castle. "Ichiya" means "one night," referring to how long it took to build the castle according to legend. Phone: 0584-62-3322, Address: 岐阜県大垣市墨俣町墨俣1742-1172 views
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West Burial Site, Nishi Kubizuka 西首塚171 views
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Memorial shrine170 views
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Although there is cormorant fishing in other parts of Japan, Gifu's Nagara River ukai cormorant fishing is most famous because it is connected to the Imperial family. Statue of a ukai cormorant fishing master called an "usho." 鵜匠の像169 views
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Yoro manhole cover, Gifu.169 views
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Implements to raise silkworms.167 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp at Jinbano 陣場野 徳川家康最後陣跡167 views
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Path to the castle tower166 viewsGo up the left steps to proceed to the tower.
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The thatched roof is replaced every 30 years. Every spring, 6 or 7 thatched roofs are replaced in Shirakawa-go.166 views
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Top of Mt. Sasaoyama166 views
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After spitting out its catch, the bird goes back into the water. The title of usho 鵜匠 (cormorant fishing master) was created by Oda Nobunaga. Only the Nagara River ukai fishing masters have this title. Other cormorant fishermen are u-zukai 鵜使い.166 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu retainer at the Battle of Sekigahara Festival, 2008166 views
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Ogaki's biggest festival held on the weekend on or before May 15 has 13 ornate floats called "yama." They are paraded along the streets in central Ogaki. The road leading to Hachiman Shrine is lined with food stalls.166 viewsThere are different types of floats. Mostly karakuri doll floats, but also two floats with a stage for traditional Japanese dances by young kids. The floats were inspired by karakuri floats in Aichi Prefecture and kabuki floats in Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture.
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Myozenji is a Buddhist temple of the Jodo Shinshu sect, the most common sect in Shirakawa-go.163 views
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Entrance to Isaburo163 views
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The famous Yoro Falls in Gifu.162 views
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Shimazu Yoshihiro161 views
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Explaining the parts of samurai armor.161 views
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People enjoy the river and flowers in Yoro.161 views
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Mt. Sasaoyama and stone monument marking Ishida Mitsunari's base camp.160 views
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Site of Ogaki-juku's Waki-Honjin160 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp at Jinbano 陣場野 徳川家康最後陣跡158 views
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Natural spring in Ogaki157 views
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Manhole in Shirakawa-go.156 views
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Shimazu Yoshihiro's position.156 views
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Monument for Shimazu Yoshihiro from Satsuma (Kagoshima). Ishida asked for his assistance at 10 am, but was refused.156 views
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Tarui manhole depicting koinobori carp streamers and cherry blossoms. Gifu Pref.156 views
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Marker for Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp155 views
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Matchlock guns155 views
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On Nakahashi Bridge.155 views
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Remains of the Ninomaru-mon Gate154 views
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Castle clock154 views
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West Burial Site, Nishi Kubizuka 西首塚154 views
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Ogaki Castle's cherry blossoms were more beautiful than I had expected.154 views
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Myozenji is the only temple in the gassho-zukuri style with a thatched roof. The Hondo worshp hall is the largest building in Shirakawa-go.153 views
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Due to a lack of thatch, only half of one side of Otaya's roof is newly thatched.153 views
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Yoro-no-taki Falls is 32 meters high and 4 meters wide. Swimming under the falls is not allowed. This is the closest you can get.153 views
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Another observation deck152 views
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Castle tower base151 views
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Hill where Shimazu was.151 views
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Yoro town's most famous attraction is Yoro Park and Yoro (Yoro-no-taki) Falls, especially during cherry blossom season in early April151 views
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Fierce samurai150 views
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Foundation and pillars rest on stones. The beam is shaped to fit the stone.149 views
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Photo gallery148 views
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Rethatching a small storehouse.147 views
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Site of Todo Takatora and Kyogoku Takatomo's position now within the grounds of junior high school. 藤堂高虎・京極高知陣跡147 views
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The light of the fireworks immediately attracted a swarm of bugs which died from the fire and dropped into the river. Stupid bugs.147 views
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Two foundation beams interlock.145 views
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Shimazu Yoshihiro145 views
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The finale was the throwing of mochi.145 views
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Entrance to Sekigahara Warland144 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp at Jinbano. At 10 am, he moved here from Mt. Momokubari to be closer to the front line. 陣場野 徳川家康最後陣跡143 views
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JR Tarui Station on the JR Tokaido Line, south side 垂井駅143 views
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It costs several million yen and a small army of workers to replace the thatch. The cost is subsidized by the town, prefecture, and national government.142 views
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Top of Mt. Sasaoyama and stone monument142 views
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Marker for Tokugawa Ieyasu's Final Base Camp142 views
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Monument for Shimazu Yoshihiro's position.140 views
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Model of Sunomata which was a post town on the Mino Road between Atsuta in Nagoya and Tarui in Gifu.140 views
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Restaurant139 views
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Gassho-zukuri Minka-en outdoor museum139 views
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Ii Naomasa and Matsudaira Tadayoshi's position, near Sekigahara Station. And also next to Higashi Kubizuka.139 views
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Path to Shimazu Yoshihiro's position.139 views
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138 views
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Evidence of victory138 views
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Ogaki Castle in April138 views
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Hand-to-hand combat137 views
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Path to/from Shimazu Yoshihiro's monument.137 views
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137 views
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River next to the inn, mainly to carry away snow.136 views
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Warland path136 views
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Memorial tree136 views
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Dam reservoir135 views
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135 views
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Site of Todo Takatora and Kyogoku Takatomo's position.135 views
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Site of Todo Takatora and Kyogoku Takatomo's position.135 views
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Ishida Mitsunari135 views
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135 views
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Shokawa River133 views
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Hida beef133 views
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133 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu at Sasaoyama.133 views
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132 views
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Rear view of monument marking the site of Todo Takatora and Kyogoku Takatomo's position.131 views
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Site of Fukushima Masanori's position. 福島正則陣跡131 views
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Tofu steak130 views
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130 views
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Signs show the way and distance to the various monuments.130 views
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JR Takayama Station 高山駅129 views
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128 views
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