S H I N C H O U - Oda Nobunaga Fixation


Nagoya + Okehazama

So, our first destination once we arrived to Tokyo was Nagoya, Nobunaga's birthplace and the city that saw the most of his turbulent youth.
In Nagoya I decided to try a "condensed" version of this sightseeing course suggested on a Nagoya touristic website.

Here I am in front of the entrance of JR Nagoya Station after a devasting trip on bus from Tokyo... What a poor tourist has to do to save some cash during crisis time!

The station reminded us that Nagoya is also a place filled with delicacies and of course the whole thing was sponsored by Nobunaga and Nouhime in a caricatuiral fashion∼
Me and my fellow Nobunaga-fan, Teap, decided that we had to try, if not all, at least a good amount of those typical dishes!

We also got to know that on the 20th and 21st there was another matsuri worth a visit, Nagoya Matsuri, dedicated to the "three fathers of Japan", effectively captured in this wonderful cartoonesque caricature.
Unfortunately we could stay in Nagoya only for a limited time, this festival had to wait T_T;

So, we did our best to localize the touristic informations office in the huge station of Nagoya.
We put the staff in some serious troubles when it came to locate one of the temples in our list-- The girl who was helping us had to take out of the shelves at least three guides for a precise location on the map she gave us XD

Anyway, under a sunny sky, blessed by our devotion, we started our tour willing to follow Nobunaga's steps into conquer∼

Our first stop was the popular Banshoji (万松寺), a temple in Osu district, located next to the shopping arcade.

Banshoji was built by Oda Nobuhide, Nobunaga's father; in its original location is was closer to Nagoya's castle, it got rebuilt in its current location because, during the built of Nagoya's castle, it was suposed to bring bad luck to have the Oda temple in the shadows of Tokugawa's castle.
This is an important place in Nobunaga's life!
It's told that a mochi presented to him by a priest from this temple saved his life during an attempt to assassinate him in his youth, and it was the setting of Nobunaga's disrespectful behaviour during his father's funeral.

Here are a few pictures of the picturesque area around:

A small underground pathway will bring you to Nobuhide's grave:

Satisfied by our first successful find we continued our route, according to the map.
Our second destination was Sokenji (総見寺), another important temple built by Nobukatsu after Nobunaga's death to cherish his memory.
The temple was originally located in Kiyosu, but got moved in Nagoya.
Unfortunately this temple is open to the public only once a year, in conjuction with the celebration of Nobunaga's birth. It tresures a good amount of Oda's relics, among which the most important is a popular portrait of Nobunaga.

Our third destination, the tiny Hioki (日置神社), a little temple where it's said that Nobunaga stopped to pray before going to Okehazama for his famous battle against the Imagawa.

Our next stop was the impressive Higashi Betsuin Temple:

Not because of the temple itself, but because its grounds were once occupied by the Furuwatari Castle (古渡城跡), a castle owned by Nobuhide where the young Nobunaga, once called Kipposhi, had his coming of age ceremony; right now there's nothing about the castle, but a few ruins marked by a memorial stone:

Next we took some metro to reach our next stop, the Atsuta shrine (熱田神宮):

The Atsuta shrine is one of the biggest, oldest and most important shrines in Japan as it collects one of the three Imperial treasures, the Kusanagi no Tsurugi, the legendary sword of Yamato Takeru.
In our case, we decided to visit it because of the Nobunaga wall (信長塀), a wall donated by Nobunaga to the temple as a token of gratitude for the protection during Okehazama battle.

It's written that Nobunaga used an advanced technology to create the lime used for the construction of the wall, applying Western knowledge.

--Now that I think about it it's a pity that I didn't buy an omamori there ;_;
These hamaya were quite impressive, for example ;_; ...

Our last stop for the day was a place that was mentioned quite frequently in this article... The legendary Okehazama battlefield (桶狭間古戦場), my friends!

After an absurd walk and losing orientation over and over we finally reached the park dedicated to the battle, placed on the actual location of the fight... Nobunaga's statue met all our awe:

From what we got, the park is constructed so to look like a "map" of the battlefield with its vital locations--

Please look at the cute rendition of the Nobunaga's Wall in Atsuta XD

These were the hills from where Nobunaga launched his attack--

A stone marking the site of the battle.

We guessed that Nobunaga launched his attack from these hills, so we went and tried to find the correct location, but we failed--

But the memorial manhole's covers hinted that we were on the right place indeed XD

So, well, after walking around the whole place to get to the bus stop that brought us to the train station, we went for the first Nagoya delicacy of our trip, hitsumabushi (櫃まぶし):
It's a famous dish consisting in grilled eel relished in a sweet sauce, on top of rice in a wooden box.
Teap took it in its original bowl version, but your Dae who had her stomach still messed up by the long trip and flight opted for this "one bite" sushi-styled version.
It was simply delicious!!