JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.


Last additions - Sekigahara 関ヶ原町
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Hiroshige's woodblock print of Sekigahara from his Kisokaido series.Apr 23, 2011
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Imasu-juku was the fifty-ninth of the sixty-nine stations or shukuba post towns of the Nakasendo Road. It follows Sekigahara-juku and comes before Kashiwabara-juku in Shiga Pref. Hiroshige woodblock print of Imasu. Apr 23, 2011
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Old Sekigahara Station in the 1980s.Jul 06, 2009
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Also see my YouTube video here.Jan 14, 2009
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Ieyasu and his gang.Jan 14, 2009
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Tokugawa IeyasuJan 14, 2009
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After the hour-long play ended, a photo opp for all. Mitsunari and his gang here.Jan 14, 2009
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A woman samuraiJan 14, 2009
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I caught one. Pure mochi (no adzuki bean paste inside). It was a very impressive and enjoyable festival.Jan 14, 2009
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Ieyasu (left) and Mitsunari then walked toward each other and bowed to everyone together.Jan 14, 2009
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Tokugawa Ieyasu kneeling.Jan 14, 2009
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Tokugawa Ieyasu Jan 14, 2009
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A final salute, Ishida's forces.Jan 14, 2009
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The Sekigahara Ondo dance was then held. 関ヶ原音頭Jan 14, 2009
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Photo oppJan 14, 2009
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Fierce samuraiJan 14, 2009
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Ishida Mitsunari kneeling.Jan 14, 2009
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Ieyasu (left) and Mitsunari bowing to everyone.Jan 14, 2009
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Water tower painted in Sekigahara motif.Jan 14, 2009
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Mock battle staged during the Battle of Sekigahara Festival.Jan 14, 2009
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An angelic dancer then came to cover Ishida's body with a white cloth.Jan 14, 2009
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Tokugawa Ieyasu retainer at the Battle of Sekigahara Festival, 2008Jan 14, 2009
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Plastic samurai armorJan 14, 2009
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Spear-wielding women warriors (with foxy makeup on).Jan 14, 2009
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Tokugawa Ieyasu at the Battle of Sekigahara Festival, 2008Jan 14, 2009
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The finale was the throwing of mochi.Jan 14, 2009
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Later, Ishida came back to life as he stood up and walked. People giggled.Jan 14, 2009
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Ishida Mitsunari is beheaded and dies.Jan 14, 2009
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Ishida's western forces on the left, and Ieyasu's eastern forces on the right.Jan 14, 2009
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Ishida Mitsunari loses the battle, and is executed.Jan 14, 2009
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Execution of Jan 14, 2009
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Another lord dies in battle.Jan 14, 2009
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Battle continues.Jan 14, 2009
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Also see my YouTube video here.Jan 14, 2009
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Apparently they had women warriors too. Or maybe they did not have enough male actors to fit into the samurai costumes.Jan 14, 2009
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My lord!!Jan 14, 2009
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Samurai lay dead.Jan 14, 2009
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Then Ieyasu's guns fired.Jan 14, 2009
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The entire play was scripted and the speaking parts were prerecorded. The actors/actresses only had to move and didn't speak. They were all prompted by script prompters (seen on lower left).Jan 14, 2009
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Tokugawa Ieyasu never engaged in actual combat.Jan 14, 2009
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A total of about 130 actors/actresses took part, and 80 of them were recruited from all over Japan. A few were professional actors. The scale was much smaller than the 800 people recruited for the 400th anniversary in 2000.Jan 14, 2009
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Tokugawa Ieyasu at Mt. Momokubari, his base camp near the Sekigahara battlefield.Jan 14, 2009
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The matchlock gun battalions then appeared.Jan 14, 2009
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The battle ensues.Jan 14, 2009
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Tokugawa Ieyasu gives commands during the Battle of Sekigahara.Jan 14, 2009
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Ishida's guns fire first.Jan 14, 2009
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Ishida Mitsunari acting during the Battle of Sekigahara FestivalJan 14, 2009
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Ieyasu's eastern forces.Jan 14, 2009
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While Ishida Mitsunari was on the stage on the other side of the field.Jan 14, 2009
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Tokugawa IeyasuJan 14, 2009
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Ishida's western forces ready for battle.Jan 14, 2009
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Soon after the samurai procession arrived at Fureai Hiroba Square at 2 pm, a mock battle was staged in the form of a narrated outdoor play. It opened with a lady walking across the field. 関ヶ原合戦絵巻2008Jan 14, 2009
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Tokugawa Ieyasu was on one side of the field (Mt. Momokubari). The play mainly took the viewpoint of Ishida Mitsunari. 「義の人・三成〜運命の関ヶ原決戦〜」Jan 14, 2009
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The troops enter town on a perfectly sunny day for a festival.Jan 14, 2009
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Tokugawa IeyasuJan 14, 2009
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Ishida's forces were on one side (seen here).Jan 14, 2009
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Tokugawa IeyasuJan 14, 2009
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Tokugawa IeyasuJan 14, 2009
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Head of the procession. Mt. Ibuki can be seen in the background.Jan 14, 2009
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Tokugawa Ieyasu leaving Sasaoyama.Jan 14, 2009
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The foot of Sasaoyama is full of samurai and spectators.Jan 14, 2009
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It was actually kind of humorous.Jan 14, 2009
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A few spectators were on the route.Jan 14, 2009
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The procession leaving Sasaoyama.Jan 14, 2009
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Ishida MitsunariJan 14, 2009
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After a brief ceremony, the samurai procession started to leave Sasaoyama at 1:30 pm. They headed for Jinbano (Fureai Hiroba Square).Jan 14, 2009
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The matchlock gun battalion arrives as well.Jan 14, 2009
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Also see my YouTube video here.Jan 14, 2009
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Ishida MitsunariJan 14, 2009
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Ishida Mitsunari spotted me and my camera and posed for me. He's a friendly guy. Jan 14, 2009
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With Mt. Sasaoyama and the larger Mt. Ibuki (to which Ishida escaped after the battle) in the background, the Sekigahara samurai procession makes its way to Fureai Hiroba at the town center.Jan 14, 2009
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Ishida Mitsunari 全軍武者行列Jan 14, 2009
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At the Monument for the decisive battle, one lord's troops give out a battle cry.Jan 14, 2009
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Tokugawa IeyasuJan 14, 2009
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Most of the forces who took part in the Battle of Sekigahara are represented. Banners with the lord's crest indicate who's who.Jan 14, 2009
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Ieyasu retainerJan 14, 2009
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Ishida Mitsunari posing for me. He said, "You got an unusual-looking camera." (Because I was shooting both stills and video.)Jan 14, 2009
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At around 12:30 pm, some of the samurai staged a mock battle at Sasaoyama.Jan 14, 2009
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Tokugawa Ieyasu at Sasaoyama.Jan 14, 2009
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Ishida MitsunariJan 14, 2009
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Great photo opp.Jan 14, 2009
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And Tokugawa Ieyasu.Jan 14, 2009
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Mock combat with a spectator.Jan 14, 2009
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Ishida MitsunariJan 14, 2009
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Ishida MitsunariJan 14, 2009
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The Sekigahara samurai warriors arrived Sasaoyama at noon.Jan 14, 2009
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Ishida MitsunariJan 14, 2009
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Ishida Mitsu-nyan, another cat, was the most popular.Jan 14, 2009
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Straw pole pieces cut by a sword.Jan 14, 2009
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All these samurai were gathering at Sasaoyama for a procession to the Fureai Hiroba Square where a mock battle would be staged. This is Lord Shimazu Yoshihiro.Jan 14, 2009
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This man wore newer samurai armor made of plastic.Jan 14, 2009
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Mini banners for all the clans who battled at Sekigahara.Jan 14, 2009
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Ishida Mitsu-nyan and his calligraphy brushJan 14, 2009
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The smoke from the guns.Jan 14, 2009
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Shimasako-nyan, a cat based on one of Ishida Mitsunari's retainers. しまさこにゃんJan 14, 2009
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Matchlock gun warrior posing for pictures.Jan 14, 2009
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Bento box lunches named after Ieyasu and Hideyoshi. 1000 yen.Jan 14, 2009
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After the demo, they posed for pictures.Jan 14, 2009
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A few lifesize mascots walked around the foot of Sasaoyama. This is Chacha Hime, the oldest Azai sister who became Yodogimi.Jan 14, 2009
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This man wore authentic samurai armor, over a century old, made of metal. A family heirloom.Jan 14, 2009
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Sekigahara samurai warriors gather at Sasaoyama.Jan 14, 2009
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Ishida Mitsu-nyan goodsJan 14, 2009
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Sword demoJan 14, 2009
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Food and souvenir stalls at the Sasaoyama parking lot.Jan 14, 2009
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They fired the gun a few times.Jan 14, 2009
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Matchlock gun warriorJan 14, 2009
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There are a number of matchlock gun battalions in Japan, and they often demonstrate the guns at festivals like this.Jan 14, 2009
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A sword demonstration. He's cutting up a straw pole. That's one sharp knife. These people have licenses to carry these guns and swords.Jan 14, 2009
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Also see my YouTube video here.Jan 14, 2009
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Load, get ready, and...Jan 14, 2009
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Top of Mt. Sasaoyama.Jan 14, 2009
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BOOM!!!Jan 14, 2009
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FIRE!! Those guns make a huge noise.Jan 14, 2009
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They are all dressed in colorful samurai armor.Jan 14, 2009
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A few matchlock gun battalions gathered on the Sasaoyama stage.Jan 14, 2009
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Stone monument on the top of Sasaoyama marking Ishida Mitsunari's base camp.Jan 14, 2009
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Lookout deck on Mt. SasaoyamaJan 14, 2009
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Near the foot of Sasaoyama is this clearing used as a stage.Jan 14, 2009
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At 11 am, the gun battalions arrived.Jan 14, 2009
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They get ready to fire their matchlock guns. (No bullets)Jan 14, 2009
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View of the Sekigahara battlefield from the top of Mt. Sasaoyama.Jan 14, 2009
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Smoke signal on Mt. Sasaoyama.Jan 14, 2009
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Smoke signal on Mt. Sasaoyama. Also notice the bell on the left.Jan 14, 2009
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Climbing to the top of Mt. Sasaoyama.Jan 14, 2009
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People also climbed up Mt. Sasaoyama.Jan 14, 2009
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Foot of Mt. SasaoyamaJan 14, 2009
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Monument for the decisive battleJan 14, 2009
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Foot of Mt. Sasaoyama was the other festival venue. The parking lot had food and souvenir stalls.Jan 14, 2009
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Banners with the crest of Ishida Mitsunari and Tokugawa Ieyasu flank the Monument for the decisive battle, near Mt. Sasaoyama, where the fighting was the fiercest. 決戦地Jan 14, 2009
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Festival bannerJan 14, 2009
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Mt. Sasaoyama had a smoke signal rising.Jan 14, 2009
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The Sekigahara Town Hall parking lots were used for flea markets, food stalls, and souvenir stands. These photos were taken on the second day of the festival when a samurai procession and mock battle were staged. Jan 14, 2009
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Food stallsJan 14, 2009
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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.Jan 14, 2009
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On Oct. 19 during 10 to 11 am in the Sekigahara Fureai Center Hall, a free lecture about Ishida Mitsunari was given by a Shizuoka Univ. professor. The hall was packed.Jan 14, 2009
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There were two festival venues. One was at the Fureai Hiroba Square (Jinbano) and the other was at Mt. Sasaoyama. A free shuttle bus plied between the two venues, but it was short enough to walk.Jan 14, 2009
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Mt. Sasaoyama, the small hill that was Lord Ishida Mitsunari's base camp. Behind it is Mt. Ibuki.Jan 14, 2009
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1000-meter elevation mark and Mt. Ibuki haiku poem by Basho, on Ibukiyama Driveway.Jan 13, 2009
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View from Ibukiyama DrivewayJan 13, 2009
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Ibukiyama Driveway is a toll road that leads to the summit of Mt. Ibuki. Also see my Mt. Ibuki summit pictures.Jan 13, 2009
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The driveway is open only during non-winter months.Jan 13, 2009
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Marker indicating the west entrance of Imasu-juku.Aug 19, 2008
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Imasu-juku on the NakasendoAug 19, 2008
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Hachiman Jinja Shrine in Imasu.Aug 19, 2008
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Imasu-juku's most famous stone lantern is this Eitai Joyato or Eternal Lantern which lit the road at night for travelers. 永代常夜灯Aug 19, 2008
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Imasu Post OfficeAug 19, 2008
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Hydrangea along the river in Imasu.Aug 19, 2008
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Imasu-juku has many stone lanterns.Aug 19, 2008
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Imasu-juku on the NakasendoAug 19, 2008
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Path to Myooji temple. 妙応寺Aug 19, 2008
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Shinshuji temple 真宗寺Aug 19, 2008
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Imasu-juku's Toiyaba. 今須宿問屋場Aug 19, 2008
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Imasu-juku's most notable shukuba-era building called the Toiyaba. It is the only Toiyaba still existing among the 16 post towns in Mino (Gifu). 今須宿問屋場Aug 19, 2008
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The Toiyaba was like the town's logistics management office where they arranged lodging, horses, document deliveries, etc., for officials and travelers. Today, this building is a private residence. 今須宿問屋場Aug 19, 2008
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Imasu-juku's Toiyaba. 今須宿問屋場Aug 19, 2008
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Entrance to Imasu Elementary and Junior High School. This was the site of the two Waki-Honjin lodges. 今須小中学校Aug 19, 2008
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Site of Imasu-juku's Honjin lodge. 今須宿本陣跡Aug 19, 2008
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Site of Imasu-juku's Honjin lodge. 今須宿本陣跡Aug 19, 2008
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Site of Imasu-juku's Honjin lodge. 今須宿本陣跡Aug 19, 2008
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Site of Imasu-juku's Honjin lodge.Aug 19, 2008
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The tall tree on a hill indicates the site of Imasu-juku's Ichirizuka or milestone. 今須宿の一里塚Aug 19, 2008
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Imasu-juku's Ichirizuka or milestone. Today, Imasu is a small, sleepy cluster of houses. It has no train station, but you could walk it from Kashiwabara Station. 今須宿の一里塚Aug 19, 2008
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Imasu-juku's Ichirizuka or milestone on the west end of Imasu. 今須宿の一里塚Aug 19, 2008
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Monument marking Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp during the Battle of Sekigahara.Apr 07, 2008
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Sign explaining that the two rocks below were said to be used as a bench and table for Ieyasu.Apr 07, 2008
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Behind the monuments is a trail probably used by Ieyasu's troops on Mt. Momokubari-yama.Apr 07, 2008
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Another smaller monument marking Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp during the Battle of Sekigahara.Apr 07, 2008
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Steps going up to Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp during the Battle of Sekigahara.Apr 07, 2008
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Monuments marking Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp during the Battle of Sekigahara. The banners have the Tokugawa family crest.Apr 07, 2008
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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Apr 07, 2008
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View of the Sekigahara battlefield from Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp.Apr 07, 2008
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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.Sekigahara 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.Apr 07, 2008
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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Apr 07, 2008
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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.Apr 07, 2008
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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.Apr 07, 2008
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Monumental tree next to Hachiman ShrineJan 17, 2007
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Hachiman ShrineJan 17, 2007
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Monumental treeJan 17, 2007
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Fuwa-no-seki Museum's model of an ancient warriorJan 17, 2007
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Site of Fuwa-no-seki Gate 不破関Jan 17, 2007
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Fuwa-no-seki Museum 不破関資料館Jan 17, 2007
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Inside Fuwa-no-seki Museum 不破関資料館Jan 17, 2007
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JR Sekigahara Station on the Tokaido Line 東海道線 関ヶ原駅Jan 17, 2007
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Site of Fuwa-no-seki Gate 不破関Jan 17, 2007
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Site of Fuwa-no-seki Gate (no entry) 不破関Jan 17, 2007
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Central Sekigahara townJan 17, 2007
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Shimazu YoshihiroJan 16, 2007
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Art park to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the battle in the year 2000. Near the Shimazu position.Jan 16, 2007
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Path to/from Shimazu Yoshihiro's monument.Jan 16, 2007
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Shimazu YoshihiroJan 16, 2007
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Hill where Shimazu was.Jan 16, 2007
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Fukushima Masanori's position and shrine.Jan 16, 2007
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Monument for Shimazu Yoshihiro's position.Jan 16, 2007
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Site where the battle started as seen from Shimazu Yoshihiro's position.Jan 16, 2007
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Monument marking the site of Todo Takatora and Kyogoku Takatomo's position.Jan 16, 2007
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Path to Shimazu Yoshihiro's position.Jan 16, 2007
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Monument for Shimazu Yoshihiro from Satsuma (Kagoshima). Ishida asked for his assistance at 10 am, but was refused.Jan 16, 2007
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Signs show the way and distance to the various monuments.Jan 16, 2007
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Site of Fukushima Masanori's position. 福島正則陣跡Jan 16, 2007
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Shimazu Yoshihiro's position.Jan 16, 2007
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Banners mark the site of Todo Takatora and Kyogoku Takatomo's position.Jan 16, 2007
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Monument at West Burial Site, Nishi KubizukaJan 16, 2007
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Monument marking Fukushima Masanori's position.Jan 16, 2007
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Rear view of monument marking the site of Todo Takatora and Kyogoku Takatomo's position.Jan 16, 2007
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Jan 16, 2007
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Site of Todo Takatora and Kyogoku Takatomo's position.Jan 16, 2007
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