Sekigahara, Gifu

I am interested in Japanese history, so it was important for me to go to Sekigahara, the birth of the Tokugawa Shogunate.


The History

The Battle of Sekigahara (Shinjitai: 関ヶ原の戦い; Kyūjitai: 關ヶ原の戰い Sekigahara no Tatakai) was a decisive battle on October 21, 1600 (Keichō 5, 15th day of the 9th month), that preceded the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate. – Wikipedia

For the Tokugawa shogunate, the last feudal military dictatorship of Japan, this would last until 1868, the beginning of the Meiji period / restoration.

So who cares right?

Tokugawa period, also called Edo period, (1603–1867), the final period of traditional Japan, a time of internal peace, political stability, and economic growth under the shogunate (military dictatorship) founded by Tokugawa Ieyasu. As shogun, Ieyasu achieved hegemony over the entire country by balancing the power of potentially hostile domains with strategically placed allies and collateral houses.

A hierarchy was also establiahed which included the infamous Samurai. Basically if you ever watch any movie or think of ‘ancient Japan’ like Memoirs of a Geisha, Rurouni Kenshin, Tales of the Otori, etc this is the time it was all established.

Other events of importance were the banning on Christianity and many imports/exports to/from Japan. This place also stems the rebellion at Shimabara which I will visit towards the end of my trip.

I highly recommend watching the battle video on YouTube below:


My Experience

My Dutch cycle mate was also heading to Kyoto so joined me for a trip around Sekigahara. We visited the following sites.


Most of the sites had English translations too. It was really something to stand in a place that is actually interesting to you. Most travelling bores me these days. Sightseeing is a waste of time unless you’re genuinely interested, I almost think dropping pins in google maps is the same. So this was something special to view these sites.




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