<< Hear the footstep of swordsmen･･･Romantic road of Yagyu >>
It is officially named as Jingosan Houtoku-ji temple.
In 1638, Munenori Tajimanokami Yagyu constructed the temple for pray of
his late father Sekishusai and the temple became the family temple of the
Yagyus since then. Zen master Takuwan as a friend of Tajimanokami made
the foundation of the temple and the temple is located on the mountain
or Sannoudai with entirely overlooking the village of Yagyu. The place
was considered as the old castle of the Yagyu family or Kakiage castle
so you can find the traces such as stone stairway, roadside canal, and
sentry station there. Sannoudai can be said as a natural castle tower.
The place was located at a border with Yamato (presently Nara prefecture),
Yamashiro (presently Kyoto prefecture), and Iga (presently Mie prefecture)
during the war period and could be the most ideal place to watch war situation's
movement from there.
■Old residence of chief retainer of the Yagyu domain
The magnificent stone wall seen in the west road is a part of the old residence
of Chief retainer Oyamada who restored the financial situation for the
Yagyu domain and there is a description on the wall as saying "A stone
craftsman from Owari region (presently Aichi prefecture) constructed the
residence in 1841". The residence was sold in 1956 but a writer Souhachi
Yamaoka owned the residence in 1961 and then the idea of NHK period drama
"Haru-no-sakamichi (sloping road in spring)" was developed here.
In 1980, the residence was donated to Nara-city from the deceased's family
Mr. & Mrs. Kenji Yamaoka by will of Sohachi Yamaoka. Nara-city renovated
the residence and the background information materials have been exhibited
to public at a part of the main building.
There was an old Japanese cedar at the foot of the Yagyu-shimocho hill.
People call the cedar, Jubei. In 1598, when one-eyed Mitsuyoshi Jubei Yagyu
was about leaving to travel all over Japan, he visited his ancestor's grave
and it is said that the cedar was planted at the time. After 350 years
since then, the cedar died due to lightning strike as we can see it now.
■Ittou-seki (Stone slashed into two by sword)
It is a huge stone at Toiwa-dani valley with approximately 7 m in all directions
and slashed into two at middle. When Muneyoshi Yagyu during the training
stepped into Toiwa-dani valley, he found Tengu (long-nosed goblin) and
fought with him. At that time, Munenori thought he cut Tengu with his sword,
but he actually slashed the huge stone into two. This is why the stone
is called, Ittou-seki now.
■Old encampment remain of the Yagyu domain
According to "Old description of the Yagyu domain", the residence
of Muneyoshi Yagyu was located around Momiji-bashi bridge, but Munenori
Tajimanokami Yagyu constructed Houtoku-ji temple in 1638 to pray for his
father Muneyoshi, and then the encampment construction on the hill of Msakizaka
was started and completed in 1642 within 3 years. Later, it is said that
Munefuyu build an extension and maintained the building. The encampment
was completely burned down in 1747 and the temporary building continued
to be used as the official building of the Yagyu domain in the Maiji era,
but it was sold in public auction afterward. At present, the building with
remembrance of the past is still maintained as a historic park and becomes
a rest/walking place for the citizens.
■Grave site of the Yagyu family
There is a grave site of the Yagyu family in pine forest, located behind
the mountain (50m of north direction from Houtoku-ji temple). Over 80 successive
mossy tombstones are orderly lined up with the tombstone of Munenori Tajimanokami
Yagyu at the center as well as Muneyoshi Sekishusai and Mitsuyoshi Jubei.
Among those tombstones, the tombstone of Toshichika Yagyu (the second son
of the 8th domain load) gets much attention due to the shape of Sake barrel
foundation, bottle tower, and glass umbrella.
■Housou Jizo (Guardian deity of children)
The inscription was written on the lower right of Housou Jizo with halting
words being interpreted as "From 1428, 4 villages of Kanbe will not
hold any debt", and it is said that this indicates the exceptional
inscription of debt moratorium in Japan.
A huge panorama scene with 800,000 irises in 10,000㎡ of the big flower
■Yagyu iris garden
Yagyu iris garden with beautiful and colorful irises as grown gregariously in the Yagyu village.
From here, please slowly enjoy the day in early summer of Yagyu village to the encampment remain, Houtoku-ji temple, and the chief retainer residence.
●The best viewing season will be from early to mid June.
Yagyu Iris Garden
TEL.0742-94-0858 (only during the season)