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History and Culture

Nakasuji Iseki (Nakasuji Ruins)

About 1500 years ago, the ancient village was suddenly burried by a great eruption of Mt. Haruna.  This site is now Nakasuji Iseki.  Though some parts have been restored, the ruins of vertical cave houses, farms, shrines and others structures, remain almost completely untouched, covered by volcanic ash. To view these ancient houses and their village environments is a very unique opportunity to look into the past of Japan.

●Location
Close to 660 Miyukida, Shibukawa, Gunma 377-0006 Japan
●Telephone
+81-279-52-2102 (Appointment necessary for the inside tour of ruin)
●Driving Directions
Nakasuji Iseki is located approximately 5 minutes away from Shibukawa-Ikaho exit off the Kanetsu Expressway.
●Hours
9:00 – 16:30 Closed on Monday, and the day after holidays and Dec. 29 – Jan. 3
●Charge
Free
●HP
http://www.city.shibukawa.gunma.jp/
kankou/rekishi/kanrenshisetsu/index.html

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Mokugabashi Sekisho Ato (the site of Mokugabashi Check Point)

Mokugabashi Sekisho was a check point at the intersection of the Agatsuma River and the Mikuni Way. Because Mokugabashi was the second most important point on the Mikuni highway after Yokokawa, magistrates of the Edo Period like Sado Bugyo (Magistrate of Sado) and Niigata Bugyo and many travelers passed through this check point. Now there remains only an officer Tanaka’s residence with steep raftered roofs.

●Location
69 Nanmoku, Shibukawa, Gunma 377-0026 Japan
●Driving Directions
The Tanaka’s residence is located approximately 10 minutes away from Shibukawa-Ikaho exit off the Kanetsu Expressway.

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Miyata Fudoson (Statue of Fudou at Miyata)

Miyata Fudoson is a statue of Fudo carved from stone and enshrined in the natural cave of the Fudo Temple. It is said that the statue was carved in 1251 by Inryu and Inetsu, sculptors of Buddha statues in the Kamakura period. Its beauty and heaviness of its feature is of the Kamakura period’s statues. Miyata Fudoson is designated as a important cultural property by the nation. Every year, gokaicho, an exposition, takes place on the 28th of January.

●Address
Miyada, Akagi-machi, Shibukawa, Gunma 379-1121 Japan
●Driving Directions
Miyata Fudoson’s Fudo Temple is located approximately 10 minutes away from Akagi exit off the Kanetsu Expressway.

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Sorinji (Sorin Temple)

In 1457, Sorinji, a prestigious temple of Sodoshu, was built by Nagao Kagenaka, the lord of the Shiroi Castle. Back then, Sorinji was a registration office for monks from the four ancient nations of Kouzuke, Shinano, Echigo and Sado; therefore, this was a large-scaled temple.  There were more than 2000 monks registered at a time. Sorinji is also famous for the Seven Wonders of ancient stories.

●Location
2399 Nakago, Shibukawa, Gunma 377-0202 Japan
●Driving Directions
Sorinji is located approximately 20 minutes away from Shibukawa-Ikaho exit off the Kanetsu Expressway.

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Yagisawa Shimizu Iseki (Yagisawa Shimizu Ruins)

Yagisawa Shimizu Iseki is the site of vertical caves dwellings of the Initial Jomon Period.  The caves are about 460 meters high and located between Mt. Onoko and Mt. Komochi. Because many ancient clay pots and stone artifacts of the Jomon Period, such as Nenshimon and Oshigatamon, were found at the site, the place is designated as a historical site by the Gunma prefecture. The original site has been refilled and replaced with a full scale replica.

●Location
Onoko, Shibukawa, Gunma 377-0312 Japan
●Driving Directions
Directions: Yagisawa Shimizu Iseki is located approximately 20 minutes away from Shibukawa-Ikaho exit off the Kanetsu Expressway.

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Komuro Gokura (Komuro Warehouse)

Komuro Gokura was a emergency warehouse for use in the time of famine. Komuro Gokura is the only warehouse remaining in the Shibukawa area.

●Location
922 Komuro, Hokkitsu-machi, Shibukawa, Gunma 377-0065 Japan
●Driving Directions
Komuro Gokura is located approximately 20 minutes away from Shibukawa-Ikaho exit off the Kanetsu Expressway.

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Kamimiharada no Kabuki Butai (Kamimiharada Kabuki Stage)

Kamimiharada no Kabuki Butai is a kabuki stage built in 1819, the 2nd year of the Bunsei Period. Designated as a national cultural property, it is the oldest kabuki stage in Japan.  It displays important features of the kabuki stage mechanism. The traditional method of the stage construction has been handed down over centuries, and even now Kabuki is played on this stage.

●Location
269 Kamimiharada, Akagi-machi, Shibukawa, Gunma 379-1125 Japan
●Driving Directions
Kamimiharada no Kaguki Butai is located approximately 5 minutes away from Akagi exit off the Kanetsu Expressway.

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Shinkoji (Shinko Temple)

Shinkoji, well-known as Ajisai Dera, the temple of the hydrangea, is one of five prestigious temples of Kanto Tendaishu. Its huge hanging bell is designated as an important cultural property by Gunma Prefecture. Well known for the beautiful weeping cherry trees that blossom in April.

●Location
748 Shibukawai, Shibukawa, Gunma 377-0000 Japan
●Telephone
+81-279-23-5152
●Driving Directions
Shinkoji is located approximately 10 minutes away from Shibukawa-Ikaho exit off the Kanetsu Expressway.

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Kanai-juku (Kanai Posting Station)

Kanai-juku was a settlement along the Mikuni Highway in the Edo Period. There are dungeons underground built in the middle Edo Period. The walls are masonry and the entrances are heavy stone doors 1.65 meters high. The atmosphere of dungeons in those days persists down through the ages to the present.

●Location
Located near 1814 Kanai, Shibukawa, Gunma 377-0027 Japan
●Driving Directions
Kanai-juku is located approximately 10 minutes away from Shibukawa-Ikaho exit off the Kanetsu Expressway.

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Kuroimine Iseki (Kuroimine Ruins)

The eruption of Futatsudake of Mt. Haruna was 1450 years ago in the Kofun Period, and Kuroimine Iseki is the site of the settlement buried by the eruption. It is designated as a national historical site.  The accumulation of 2 meters of pumice has been cleared away so some call it Japanese Pompeii because the condition of village life from that time is still easily seen.

●Location
3-48 Kitamoku, Shibukawa, Gunma 377-0205 Japan
●Driving Directions
Kuroimine Iseki is located approximately 20 minutes away from Shibukawa-Ikaho exit off the Kanetsu Expressway.

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Shibukawa Hachimangu (Shibukawa Hachiman Shrine)

Shibukawa Hachimangu is a shrine where Yoshiaki Shibukawa who ruled the area in the Kamakura Period enshrined the spirit of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu in Kamakura. The shrine retains many historic features of the architecture of the Early Edo Period. Especially noteworthy is the design of Tabasami Chokoku, a beautiful carving, something quite valuable and not typically seen anywhere else.

●Location
1 Shibukawa-Kou, Shibukawa, Gunma 377-0008 Japan
●Telephone
+81-279-24-0122
●Driving Directions
Shibukawa Hachimangu is located approximately 10 minutes away from Shibukawa-Ikaho exit off the Kanetsu Expressway.

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Nagaizaka Josi (Nagaizaka Castle Ruin)

It is said that the Nagaizaka Castle was built during the Eiroku Period (1558-1570) by Kenshin Uesugi.  The castle ruin is in a valley and Kenshin met warlords of the Joshuu area in this castle. Battles of warlords of the Sengoku Period such as Uesugi vs. Takeda and Uesugi vs. Houjo took place in this area.

●Location
Located near 582 Tanashita, Akagi-machi, Shibukawa, Gunma 379-1101 Japan
●Driving Directions
Nagaizaka Josi is located approximately 5 minutes away from Akagi exit off the Kanetsu Expressway.

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Komochi Jinja (Komochi Shrine)

Komochi Jinja is a historic shrine which was revered by famous warlords of the Sengoku Period including Uesugi, Takeda and even Houjo. Many believe that the god of safe delivery is enshrined here. On the 1st of May, crowded with many worshippers, the dedication of Daidaikagura takes place at Komochi Jinja.

●Location
2910 Nakago, Shibukawa, Gunma 377-0202 Japan
●Driving Directions
Komochi Jinja is located approximately 25 minutes away from Shibukawa-Ikaho exit off the Kanetsu Expressway.

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Kiso Sansha Jinja – Hakodataki no Miya

Hakodataki no Miya is a shrine associated with Yoshinaka Kiso a famous warlord. In the shrine ground is a street lined with Japanese cedars and a natural water springs. This beautiful place is designated as a nature conservation area.

●Location
1-1 Shimohakoda, Hokkitsu-machi, Shibukawa, 377-0061 Japan
●Driving Directions
Hakodataki no Miya is located approximately 15 minutes away from Shibukawa-Ikaho exit off the Kanetsu Expressway.

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Takizawa Sekki Jidai Iseki (Takizawa Ruins of the Stone Age)

Takizawa Sekki Jidai Iseki is the site of settlements ranging from the Old Stone Age to the Kofun Period. It is an important ruin in the history of religion of the Jomon Period. Because Mt. Akagi is located to the east and Mt. Haruna to the west and also the unique arrangement of stones, there is speculation that ancient people in that era worshiped these mountains.

●Location
Takizawa, Akagi-machi, Shibukawa, Gunma 379-1124 Japan
●Driving Directions
Takizawa Sekki Jidai Iseki is located approximately 15 minutes away from Akagi exit off the Kanetsu Expressway.

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Akagi Rekishi Shiryo Kan (Akagi Museum of Historical Objects)

Akagi Rekishi Shiryoukan is located in the Katsuhozawa Castle Ruin. There are exhibits of stone tools and clay pots from the Old Stone Age and also ethnic documents and cultural materials of the modern era. Lessons of cultural property for adults and clay figure making for children are conducted.

●Location
110 Katsuhozawa, Akagi-machi, Shibukawa, Gunma 379-1122 Japan
●Telephone
+81-279-56-8967
●Driving Directions
Akagi Rekishi Shiryoukan is located approximately 5 minutes away from Akagi exit off the Kanetsu Expressway.
●Hours
9:00 – 17:00 Closed on Monday, the next day of holiday and New Year holidays.
●Charge
Adults-100 yen / University students and high school students-50 yen / Junior high school students and youger - Free
●HP
http://www.city.shibukawa.gunma.jp/
kankou/rekishi/kanrenshisetsu/index.html

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Hokkitsu Rekishi Shiryo Kan (Hokkitsu Historical Museum)

Hokkitsu Rekishi Shiryo Kan is a museum of historical artifacts where we can learn of historical changes of the Hokkitsu, or Kitatachibana, area, from the Stone Age to the present. You can view a full-scale restored model of Komuro Shikiishi Jukyo Ato, the vertical cave housing, of the Jomon Period.

●Location
246-1 Makabe, Hokkitsu-machi, Shibukawa, Gunma 377-0062 Japan
●Telephone
+81-279-52-4094
●Driving Directions
Hokkitsu Rekishi Shiryo Kan is located approximately 15 minutes away from Shibukawa-Ikaho exit off the Kanetsu Expressway.
●Hours
9:00 – 17:00 Closed on Monday, the next day of holiday and New Year holidays.
●Charge
Adults-200 yen / University students and high school students-100 yen / Junior high school students and youger -Free
●HP
http://www.city.shibukawa.gunma.jp/
kankou/rekishi/kanrenshisetsu/index.html

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Shiroi-juku (Shiroi Inn)

Shittou Banri, a monk of the Muromachi Period, wrote on his book of travel that Shiroi-juku is like Kyoto. The central Shiroi Weir, eight wells, street signs, mud-wall houses and more ancient structures show us what Shiroi-juku used to be like. Shiroi-juku Yae Zakura Matsuri, a multilayered cherry blossom Festival, takes place with an exciting warriors’ parade when multilayered cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

●Location
Located near 2318-1 Shiroi, Shibukawa, Gunma 377-0204 Japan
●Driving Directions
Shiroi-juku is located approximately 10 minutes away from Shibukawa-Ikaho exit off the Kanetsu Expressway.

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Heso Ishi and Heso Jizo (Bellybutton Stone and Bellybutton Jizo Statue)

Heso Ishi , which means a bellybutton stone, is in Shibukawa, a city in the middle of Japan. Next to it is Heso Jizo. Jizo is a well-known statue of Buddhist bodhisattvas, usually standing along a street as the guardian of the Earth and living things. Heso Jizo in Shibukawa actually has a great bellybutton in the middle of the body. If you wish for something while touching the bellybutton of Heso Jizo, it is believed that your wish will come true!  It is also believed that a woman who wish to have a baby will be blessed with a childbirth.

●Location
2092 Shibukawa, Shibukawa, Gunma 377-0008 Japan
●Driving Directions
Shiroi-juku is located approximately 5 minutes away from Shibukawa-Ikaho exit off the Kanetsu Expressway.

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The Office of Shibukawa Tourism Association ( Tourism Department of Shibukawa-City)
80 Ishihara, Shibukawa, Gunma 377-8501 Japan TEL:+81-279-22-2111 FAX:+81-279-22-2132

Copyright (C) 2009 Shibukawa Tourism Association. All Rights Reserved.