12 Chapters of Nagoya Tour: Chap 10 – Arako Walking Course of Maeda Toshiie
We’re getting there, Chapter 10 of the 12 Chapters of Nagoya Tour, not a bad challenge at all. Considering the amount of hours walking around, of course including those when I got lost, but all in the greater effort to get to know my current city better. This chapter takes us through the Arako neighbourhood. A very quiet neighbourhood not far from Nagoya station shows us where one of the important families in Japan the Maeda clan started.
1. The Statue of Maeda Toshiie at His First Battle. Maeda Toshiie born in Arako, known for his outlandish dressing sense, played an important role as a general serving Oda Nobunaga – who initiated the reunification of Japan. He fought many battles and was a lifelong rival of Tokugawa Ieyasu – founder and first Shogun of the Tokugawa Shugunate of Japan. These leaders fought many battles between them and made important changes to the Japanese history. Maeda Toshiie was the most famous member of the Maeda clan, one of the most powerful samurai families in Japan then later on became a Daimyo, leading figures of important Japanese families during the Edo period between the 17th and 19th centuries. The family’s emblem is the plum blossom.
2. Arako Kannon-ji Temple. The temple has a two-storey pagoda, the oldest wooden building in Nagoya, was established in the 8th century. Famous for the Enku-buddhas, wooden statues carved by Enku buddhist monks, where more than 1200 statues were found in the two-storey pagoda. The statues are famous for its simplicity and uniqueness. This temple became the Maeda family’s temple.
3. Ruins of Arako Castle (Fuji-gongen Tenmangu Shrine). Believed to be where Maeda Toshiie was born and raised. This was the traditional location of the Arako Castle the residence of Arako Maeda. The present structure has a stone monument indicating Toshiie’s birthplace. The shrine bears the plum blossom emblem to represent their occupancy of that castle.
4. Hoshu-in Temple. One of Nagoya’s three major temples built in the 729 and related to Kobo Daishi who established Shingon buddhism in Japan. The temple is small but the garden has many large venerable stones and beautiful buddhas.
5. Ryutan-ji Temple. Known for its magnificent black pine trees, Ryutan-ji Temple was built in 1455. On the temple ground there is a large buddha’s feet and carved on stone is a car, believed to help those who are in distress to go quickly by car.
6. Sokunen-ji Temple. Historical records indicated that Maeda castle was located here, the origin of the Maeda family, and also believed to be where Maeda Toshiie was born. Within the temple are ancient grave for the owner of the castle and the family’s plum blossom crest.
This was a beautiful area to walk through. The houses around the area were made in modern Japanese architecture with manicured gardens, I wished I could go inside and take photos, but I just settled for looking from the outside. The Maeda family must have created a high standard neighbourhood here.
If you would like to trace back to previous chapters, here they are:
Chapter 1: Nagoya Castle Course
Chapter 2: Course covering region of the Owari Tokugawa family and the Cultural Path
Chapter 3: Oda Nobunaga “Owari’s Foolhardy Youth” Course
Chapter 4: Course Covering the Birthplace of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Kato Kiyomasa
Chapter 5: Course for Experiencing Nagoya Manufacturing
Chapter 6: Nagoya Stroll Course
Chapter 7: Funtown Osu Course
Chapter 8: Atsuta History Course
Chapter 9: Course Featuring the Townscape of Arimatsu and the Battle of Okehazama
Wishing you all a peaceful week ahead. Until next time.