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Matthew Haswell | profile | all galleries >> Japan 日本 >> Hokkaidō 北海道 >> Matsumae 松前 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Sapporo 札幌 | Otaru 小樽 | Hakodate 函館 | Matsumae 松前

Matsumae 松前

The only Edo Period castle town in northerly Hokkaidō, Matsumae was founded in the late 16th century by the Matsumae Clan, upon a directive from Toyotomi Hideyoshi. For long the lone Japanese outpost in what was a wild, remote and largely Ainu territory, the town was meant to function as a sort of defensive fiefdom against "the northern barbarians" (and later the Russians). The original Edo-period castle burnt down in a 1949 fire, but was rebuilt. Parts of the old town, most notably its former Tera-machi (including the Matsumae Clan graves) remain in the area north of the castle.
Limited Express Tsugaru train at Aomori Station
Limited Express "Tsugaru" train at Aomori Station
Backpacks on the platform, Kanita Station
Backpacks on the platform, Kanita Station
Kikonai Station in Hokkaidō
Kikonai Station in Hokkaidō
Tetrapods lining the waterfront in Matsumae
Tetrapods lining the waterfront in Matsumae
Restored outer gate of Matsumae Castle
Restored outer gate of Matsumae Castle
Outer grounds of Matsumae-jō
Outer grounds of Matsumae-jō
View over Matsumae
View over Matsumae
Honmaru-gomon and donjon, Matsumae-jō
Honmaru-gomon and donjon, Matsumae-jō
Hon-maru of Matsumae-jō
Hon-maru of Matsumae-jō
Donjon view, Matsumae-jō
Donjon view, Matsumae-jō
Full view of the castle donjon
Full view of the castle donjon
Donjon and castle moat
Donjon and castle moat
Forested path leading to Hōdō-ji
Forested path leading to Hōdō-ji
Cemetery in the Teramachi
Cemetery in the Teramachi
Burial site of the Matsumae Clan Leaders
Burial site of the Matsumae Clan Leaders
Belltower and cemetery at Ryūun-in
Belltower and cemetery at Ryūun-in
Main hall detail, Ryūun-in
Main hall detail, Ryūun-in
Entrance to Kōzen-ji in the Teramachi
Entrance to Kōzen-ji in the Teramachi
Matsumae-jinja
Matsumae-jinja
Main street through Matsumae
Main street through Matsumae