ODA NOBUNAGA TOUR/ Tsushima & Shobata

Here is another chapter dedicated to my Nobunaga Tour of 2014.

Idealistically, this should be the first part of this report, but as I took care of these visits on the day after my arrival in Nagoya, I decided to respect the chronological order of my tour.

The first stop was Tsushima Station, located in the area of old Owari Province, to reach for the famous Tennokawa Park (天王川公園), site of the Tsushima Matsuri, a festival connected to Tsushima Jinja (津島神社), that was Nobunaga's favourite in his youth.

I arrived at the station but its touristic point was closed... Though, I found a map where I could see the locations of my targets.

As the temple was easier to reach, I decided to stop there first, and proceed to the park later.

The Tsushima Jinja is a bit far from the station, but definitely easy to reach.
It's been founded in 540, and it's dedicated to Gozutenno, one of the many identities of the Shinto deity Susanoo.

The Tsushima temple enjoyed the care of the Oda clan for centuries, and its strict relationship with the clan is still quite strong even today.

Once I was done with the temple, I reached for the nearby park.
The Tennokawa Park (天王川公園) is the main stage of the Tsushima Matsuri, the festival that Nobunaga enjoyed the most in his youth, which main treat are the danjiri, boats decorated with splendid floating paper lanterns.
The connection between shrine and park is so strong that even the park's entrance features a torii:

Even without the matsuri, the park with its artificial lake is still quite suggestive.
Around you can spot references to the celebrations and enjoy a serene mood.

I got back to the Meitetsu Tsushima Line and got off at the next station, Shobata.
Shobata was the name of one of the eight districts of Owari, the one closer to the provincial border, controlled by Nobunaga's father, Nobuhide.

In the recent years, it's been demonstrated that Shobata Castle (勝幡城) was the birthplace of Nobunaga.
According to recent studies on ancient documents, it seems that Nobuhide got grabs of Nagono only in 1538, thuse removing its famed castle from the possible Nobunaga's birthplaces.
As nothing but some landmarks are left of the original castle, the main "exhibition area" is the train station itself.
Right outside of it, you can find in order, a statue of Dota Gozen and Nobuhide holding a child Nobunaga, the model of the Shobata Castle and a mosaic featuring a young Nobunaga.

I was very curious about the mosaic, and it was interesting to note that it was very well executed: some stones are shiny, giving to the whole work a precious look. The artwork mimics that archaic Portuguese style of icons, it's interesting, also if I still think that it's a bit out of place.

These pieces decorate the main Northgate of the Station, but the opposite gate is worth a visit too, as you may find a useful map to locate the landmarks of the location of Shobata Castle:

From this map I got to understand that there are two landmarks of the site, one located in Aisai City and another in Inazawa City. Both landmarks are located by the trail of Nikko River:

--Taking pictures of the Aisai landmark was kinda embarassing, it's practically placed in the garden of a private house >_>; !

I want to end this post with two fun pictures.
The first is the one of Inappi, the mascotte of the Shobata Castle located in Inazawa City:

And the other comes from one of the decorations of the walls around the statues of the Oda family, by the hands of the students of a close-by elementary school: the detail of a fiery Nobunaga leading his army in a painting dedicated to the battle of Nagashino:
Mphf, how cute XD