Few words to the portrait of Japan’samurai warriors is courage, virtue, loyalty as well as physical prowess.
The Age of the Samurai is generally from 1185-1868, though the last major samurai arguably came in 1877.
In fact, samurai influences have been common throughout Japanese society. Based on some documents, Japan’s last samurai is Hiroo Onoda, a World War II lieutenant. He concealed on an island in the Philipines and declined to surrender for nearly three decades after the end of the war. He passed way in 2014.
The stories of samurai has been spread into Japan as a part in their culture. The samurai legends keep to inspire fascination the globe.
A remote area on the island of Kyushu is the most ideal place get an authentic sense of a daily life of a samurai.
Here is the preserved samurai districts, homes and battlefields that become quiet towns and suburbs.
With few shops, people or powerlines in sight, a journey back in time in these 3 little-known samurai towns that have kept their charm since Edo times (1603-1868).
1. Gotemba Golf Club
This is one of the most modern golf courses in Japan. However, in the past, it is a great castle for famous samurai in Japan. You can see samurai’s heritage easily on this golf course. In the past, samurai waited for the order from the master in this place. This golf course seems like historical places when it faced many wars in the past. Now, the castle becomes a beautiful golf course. This place is not also a simple golf course but it also a great place for business. People always talk that you can do business when playing golf. Gotemba Golf Club is a typical example
2.Izumi-Fumoto Old Samurai Residences
Visiting in Izumi- Fumoto brings familiar feels of a peaceful village. As an important samurai town, this area is spanned to 44 hectares packed with well-preserved old residences.
In order to to build the samurai district, a 30-year project was conducted to level a hill and alter a river in the area over 400 years ago. The stonewalls built from mud has been guarded the houses. However, it has changed a little since.
Although these houses almost have become private residences, 3 samurai residences including inTakezoe, Saisho, Takemiya also keep open publicly for visiting.
Filled with historic artifacts and furniture, these rooms reimagines the living environment of Samurai period.
First, the Saisho Residence is the oldest one. It was built during the late Edo period in 19th century. The clan itself has roots in the Izumi area going back to 1599.
The residence contains an indoor archery quarter and a secret meeting room concealed beneath one of the floorboards.
The residence next to the Saisho Residence is the Takezoe. This is a complex with multiple structures consisting of main living quarters, separate bathing house, a barn, warehouse and nodachi sword training grounds. It takes about 20-30 minutes to look around each house.
In addition, free Japanese-languege tours for visitors is offered by a team of volunteer docents made up of proud locals stationed in each of the residences.
During the tour, a tour guide will lift a floorboard and jumps into the secret underground passage to show how deep it is. The tourists also can experience this challenge to discover inside the secret passage.
Besides, the Takezoe Residence is appeared in “Atsuhime,” a hugely popular historical drama produced by NHK. If you already watched this movie, you will catch many familiar sights in this film.
It is free to enter and open daily from 9 a.m -5 p.m so you should notice this to visit it during this time. On weekends, the visitors can choose a guided tour on an ox-cart that takes about 30 minutes. But it takes only less than 2 hours if you visit it on foot.
In order to get there, you will catch the train to Izumi JR station or Kagoshima JR station. The Izumi-Fumoto Old Samurai Residences is a 20-minute walk or five-minute taxi ride from Izumi JR station while it takes approximately 25 minutes on the Sakura Shinkansen from Kagoshima JR station.
When visiting there, you will have a real look on the sarumai’s life and learn many things from their stories.
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