Hyogo Prefecture Photo Library No.14 Sakura of Sakuragawa, Nishinomiya Shrine, Amagasaki

The 14th part of the series, which introduces the charm of Hyogo Prefecture with photos, introduces sightseeing spots in Nishinomiya and Amagasaki. It may be a region that does not have much image of tourism, but it is also a land with history, and it is dotted with various spots. This time, there are many popular cherry blossom viewing spots in Kansai, “Yodogawa”, the name of Nishinomiya, “Nishinomiya Shrine”, which is famous throughout Japan for its prosperous business, and Amagasaki, where unique temples gather. We will introduce “Teramachi” and “Amagasaki Castle”, which was rebuilt this year and called a big topic.

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This page is a photo library of Hyogo Prefecture and can be used as free material.
It is planned to be available for download from the Hyogo Prefecture Official Tourism Site “HYOGO! Navi” Photo Library, but it is currently being prepared. When you are ready, you will be notified on the TOP page “Notice”.

[Shuku River cherry blossoms]

Shukugawa Park (Shukugawa Riverbed Green Area) is a famous cherry blossom viewing spot that has been selected as one of the “100 Best Cherry Blossom Places”. The 100-year-old pine trees and cherry blossom trees along the river create a unique and beautiful landscape that attracts many cherry blossom visitors every year.
About 1,660 cherry trees are planted on the 2.8km side of the Yodo River. During the flower season, you can see a wonderful view by walking along the promenade from the north of Hankyu “Yodogawa” station to Hankyu “Kurakuenguchi” station. The view of cherry blossoms on the river surface is also beautiful. There is also a light up and you can enjoy cherry blossoms at night

[Nishinomiya Shrine]

Nishinomiya Shrine is the headquarters of the shrine that hosts the god Ebisu. A prosperous god of business, the Toka Ebisu from January 9 to 11 every year is crowded with over 1 million worshipers.
After the grand festival on January 10th, at the same time the Omotedaimon opens at 6:00 am, the worshipers waiting outside will “run” 230 meters to the main shrine at a tremendous speed. This is called “Kaimonshinji/ Fukuotoko Erabi”, and No. 1 to No. 3 arriving at the main hall are certified as “Fukuotoko”. This scene will be broadcast live on TV and broadcast in the news.
The main hall is an unusual form called Sanren Kasuga Zukuri. The old main shrine, donated by the 4th shogun Tokugawa family, in 1663, was designated as a national treasure.Unfortunately, it was burned down by the air raid in 1945. The current main shrine was rebuilt in 1963.

[Omote Daimon]
It is known as Akamon, a vivid vermilion gate, and is said to have been donated by Toyotomi Hideyori in 1604. It is designated as an important cultural property.

[South Gate]
You can enter the parking lot along National Route 43 from this gate.

[East Gate and Great Noodles]
The East Gate is a little norther than the Omote Gate.
Oneribei is a 247m long earthen wall that surrounds the south side from the east side of the shrine. It is said to have been built in the Muromachi period with the oldest existing training.
It is one of Japan’s three major ceremonies, along with Nobunaga’s in Nagoya and Atsuta Jingu and Dazai in Kyoto and Sanjusangendo. Oneribei is designated as an important cultural property.

[Sando]
When you pass through Omotemon (Akamon), the cobblestone approach continues. Normally, it is a quiet approach, but in the “Kaimonshinji Fukuotoko erabi” of the New Year “Toka Ebisu”, men go through the main shrine aiming for the best happiness.

[Worship hall]
It is a great hall of red pillars. There are a pair of bronze guards and a pair of bronze horses on the left and right of the shrine. There is a main shrine at the back of the Worship hall, but regular worship is only possible up to the Worship hall.

[Buildings on the east side of the Worship hall]

From the left, “Mikoshi den”, “Okuninushi Shrine”, “Rokkosan Shrine”, “Hyakudayu Shrine”, and “Homusubi Shrine”.

≪Kamiike≫
Kamiike is a pond created in the center of the precincts and in front of the shrine. There is a stone Taiko bridge called “Zuiho Bridge” in front of the worship hall. “Zuiho Bridge” is designated as a registered tangible cultural property (building).

 

[Shinme]
There is a Shinmesha next to the prayer hall along the approach. There is a tradition that Ebisu-sama goes around the city by horseback riding the night before Toka Ebisu.

[Nightlight type signpost]
There is a night-type signpost with a height of 258 centimeters on the southeast corner outside Omotesando. When it was established in 1799, it was on the opposite side of the building where Ebsan-san was placed. It is designated as Nishinomiya City Cultural Property.

[Amagasaki Teramachi]

Teramachi is a town that was created by collecting temples scattered throughout the castle area as part of the castle town formation when Amagasaki Castle was built in 1617. It is thought that the purpose of protecting the castle was to separate the temple from the town and weaken its influence.
In the early Edo period, you can see 20 temples in the castle map, but there are 11 temples at present due to relocation and abandoned temples accompanying the change of the lord. This area retains the appearance of the quaint old castle town, and in 1989 (Heisei 1), it was designated as an “urban beauty formation area” in Amagasaki City. There is also a quaint street with red brick walls and a long-established delicious takoyaki restaurant.

[Joonji Temple]

It is said that 1350 (the first year of Kannon) was the foundation of Kyoto Honkokuji IV, Myoryuin’s leading disciple and Eizoin Nichion (100 years old at that time). Sango is Daigyosan. It is a famous temple of Nichiren sect. Founded in Nanatsumatsu, it was later reconstructed in the Tatsumi (current Higashihonmachi), and in 1617 (Genwa 3), moved to the current location when Amagasaki Castle was built. The main hall and the Taho Tower, also known as “Hokkeiji”, are designated as important national cultures.Kyakuden,Kuri,Shoro are Prefecture designated cultural property.

[Nyorai-in]
The Nyorai-in Temple was established 1300 years ago by Gyoki in Kanzaki (Kanzaki-cho, Amagasaki City) upon the request of Emperor Shobu. It was said to be “Kanzaki Shakado”.
850 years ago, Honenshonin visited. About 800 years ago, the main shrine (Sakaki Nyorai) and Douu were washed away in a flood. Later, Amida Nyorai was rebuilt as the main monument, and the temple name was rebuilt as “Nyorai-in”. It is a temple of the Jodo sect, and is the No. 4 sanctuary of Honenshonin 25 reijo. “The story of Yujo Monogatari” has been handed down.

[Daikakuji]
According to Teraden, Geppousan Daikakuji was founded in 605 (Suiko 13), and the Tourodo was built by High Priest of Kudara Nichira Shoninin at Choshu-no-ura (current Daimotsu) request of Shotoku taishi,  Is the origin. This is the oldest burial mound of Amagasaki.
Medieval Daikakuji contributed to the development of Amagasaki as a center of religion, politics, economy and culture. Relocated to the present location with the construction of Amagasaki Castle in 1617 (Genwa 3), but “Amagasaki Castle” was originally called “Daikakuji Castle” because it was in the temple area.

The buildings below the main hall disappeared in 1877 (Meiji 10), and the existing building was rebuilt in the 1930s. At the “Ashikari Karakuri” in the precincts, three bodies of karakuri puppets will perform the Noh “Ashikari”written by Zeami. It will be performed before the sowing of the beans at 12, 14, 17, 19 o’clock on February 3rd.

[Honkoji Temple]

Honkoji Temple was founded in 1420 (Ooei 27), with the devotion of Mitsumoto Hosokawa, the lord of Amagasaki Castle. Kaizan is Nichiryu Shonin. It is one of the four major headquarters of the Hokke Sect. Moved to Teramachi with construction of Amagasaki Castle.
Kaizan-do, Sanko-do and Hojo, which are buildings from the Muromachi and Momoyama period, are designated as important cultural properties of the country. There are many temple treasures, and they are open to the public “Mushi Boshi kai”every year on November 3rd.

[Ganroji Temple]
It is a temple of the Jodo sect that is said to have opened in 1940 (Entoku 2). Originally located in Daimonmachi, it moved to Teramachi with the construction of Amagasaki Castle.
The main hall was founded in 1687 (Sadayoshi 4) and rebuilt in 1991 (Heisei 3). There is a fence on the roof of the main hall.

[Zentsuji]
It is a temple of the Ji sect of the founder of Kakua Shonin for the Genroku nenkan(1558-69). There is an hakkakudo that enshrines the Kubinashi Jizouson. The road that leads to the red brick wall and stone pavement is quaint.

[Zencsho-ji]
Founded by Jingoro Toda, Keicho years (1596-1615). It was built in the present Otsu City of Shiga Prefecture as a Toda family Bodaiji. In 1617, when Toda Ujikane was transferred to Amagasaki, the main monk, he was revived here by his accompanying monk, Donshu Yukiyama. It is the only temple of Soto sect in Teramachi.

[Hoenji]
Founded in Tenmon year (1532-55) and was a member of Shoyo Keikohoen Shonin. In the Middle Ages, it is in Bessho-cho (currently Higashi-Honmachi 3-4 chome), and moved to Teramachi in the original year (1615-1624) following the construction of Amagasaki Castle in the early modern period.

The tombstone on the left after entering the gate is said to be the tomb of Sasa Narimasa. During the post in Higo, the rebellion took place in the territory, and Hideyoshi took responsibility for it.
This tombstone is a duplicate, and the real thing is kept in the main hall. The temple treasure is a scroll of Waka written by Emperor Goyozei, and a portrait of Sasa Narimasa.

[Kotokuji]
Founded in Meitoku year(1390) by Gongai Sochu of Daitoku-ji, Kyoto. In the Genwa year (1615-1624), relocated from Daimotsu cho to Teramachi with Amagasaki Castle. There is an anecdote that Hideyoshi escaped to Kotokuji and escaped difficulties when Chugoku Ogaeshi. It is famous as a temple related to Taikou.

[Amagasaki Castle]

Amagasaki Castle, built in 1617 by Fudai daimyo Toda Ujikane, was the base of “Osaka’s West Guard”. It was a famous castle with three moats, four layers of castle towers, and Sannomaru. Himeji Castle and Amagasaki Castle were the only castles with a castle tower in Hyogo Prefecture. However, the building was sold or demolished by the abandoned castle ordinance in 1873 (Meiji 6), and the moat was gradually buried and disappeared completely.

After that, there were some voices wishing to rebuild, but it was not realized due to lack of funds and the impact of the economy. In November 2015, the former Midori Electrification (currently Edion) founder, Akira Abo, offered “I want to give back to the founding place” and “Reconstruction of Amagasaki Castle”, exceeding 1 billion yen We invested private property to build a castle tower and donated it to Amagasaki City. Donations received from “Shiphead Castlelord” and “One Piece Tile” also amounted to about 190 million yen.

The reconstructed Amagasaki Castle is a reinforced concrete structure with a four-tiered castle tower and a double casket, and is about 24 meters high including the stone wall. It is open to the public from March 29, 2019.

[Internal appearance]
The inside of the castle is like a VR (virtual reality) theater, games, and transformation, and it looks like a compact amusement park. (All attractions are free. There is no fee other than admission.)
You can learn the castle and history while having fun.