Visit the spots related to the Ukita and Togawa families in Hayashima Town, Okayama Prefecture, a pioneering town in the reclamation of Kojima Bay

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Together with Ukita Hideie and his wife Gohime of the Okayama Sengoku Project, which is based in Hayashima Town, Okayama Prefecture, we toured locations associated with the Ukita and Togawa families that are essential to discussing the town's history.

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In the past, there were more than 20 islands, including Hayashima, scattered between Kojima, which is located in the Kojima Inland Sea, and the mainland, and a shallow sea called "Kibi no Anaumi" stretched out. Hayashima Town was the pioneer of the reclamation project to fill in that sea.

The Kojima reclamation project began here! The starting point of Ukita Dam (Ryujinja Shrine)

During the late Sengoku period, Ukita Hideie, who ruled this area, built a levee to fill in Kibi's Anaumi. "This is where we started building the levee!" said Hideie, enthusiastically introducing his achievements. Hideie was the lord of Okayama Castle and one of the five elders of the Toyotomi government. He ordered Oka Toyomae no Kami Katsutoshi and Chihara Tamibu Kuemon, who were in charge of building the levee for Toyotomi Hideyoshi's famous ingenious plan to siege Takamatsu Castle in Bitchu, to build the levee. In the grounds of Ryujin Shrine in Hayashima Town, there is a stone monument that reads "The starting point of Ukita's levee," which tells us that this place was the beginning of the reclamation of Kojima.

By the way, Ryujin Shrine is a shrine that is affectionately known to the locals as "Gion-sama." Within the shrine grounds are Ryuo-gu Shrine, Gionsha Shrine, and Nabemori-gu Shrine. It is said that rain-making ceremonies were held at Ryuo-gu Shrine and Nabemori-gu Shrine, which are dedicated to the water gods, during droughts.

The large embankment stretched from Tamon-ka-hana in Hayashima (where the stone monument stands) to Mukaiyama in Kurashiki, and further on to Sakatsu, and was called the "Ukita embankment." The prefectural road Kurashiki Senoo Line (Prefectural Road 152) that currently runs through Hayashima is said to be the remains of this embankment.

*The street that runs east-west in front of Ikashinoya , a cultural creation center that includes a cafe and rental space, is the Kurashiki Senoo Prefectural Route.

The perfect Hayashima souvenir! Ukita ware from "Koike Kashiho"

"Koike Kashiho" is a long-established Japanese sweets shop located along the Kurashiki Kojima Line Prefectural Road. Here you can find a sweet called "Ukita-yaki", which is perfect as a souvenir from Hayashima. The dough, made with rice flour from Okayama Prefecture, is chewy and moist. In between is a dorayaki filled with a refined sweetness of Bitchu Dainagon azuki bean paste and chopped chestnuts, making it a dorayaki that you can enjoy for its texture. Each piece costs 240 yen.

There are many other popular items. "Hatamoto (170 yen)" has the three cedars, the family crest of the Hatamoto Togawa clan, on the packaging, and is a baked confectionery with bean paste sandwiched between crispy flat dough. In addition to red bean, there are various flavors such as matcha, cherry blossom, and yuzu. There are also fresh confections, seasonal fruit daifuku, and seasonal event sweets, as well as "Hayashima Senbei (160 yen)," "Hayashima Monaka (190 yen)," and "Chestnut Pie (190 yen)."

[Koike Confectionery Shop]

Address: 1365 Hayashima, Hayashima-cho, Tsukubo-gun, Okayama Prefecture

Business hours: 8:30-18:00

Closed: Open everyday

Parking: Available (3 spaces next to the store)

Koike Confectionery Shop|Official website

The Togawa Family Memorial Museum houses historical documents of the Hatamoto who ruled Hayashima after the Ukita family.

We also visited the museum of the Togawa family, who ruled over 3,400 koku of land, including Bitchu Hayashima Village, for over 200 years during the Tokugawa period after the Ukita family, and learned about the history of Hayashima Town. The Togawa family were hatamoto (vassals directly under the shogun with less than 10,000 koku of land who were allowed to meet the shogun) who fought in the decisive battle of Sekigahara on the eastern side (Tokugawa side) and distinguished themselves as warriors.

The museum, which was renovated from the book storehouse of the former Togawa family camp completed in 1709 (6th year of the Hoei period), displays historical materials that have been passed down through the Togawa family for generations, such as a painting depicting Togawa Tatsuyasu's participation in the Battle of Sekigahara, a red seal letter from Hayashima Chiyuki stating that he was awarded 3,400 koku of rice by the second Tokugawa shogun, Hidetada, as well as armor and joinery.

The Togawa family served the Ukita family for a long time and played an active role as senior vassals in charge of Tsuneyama Castle in Kojima, Bizen. However, they left Bizen due to a power struggle among the Ukita family's vassals and went to Kanto with the help of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Hideie and Gohime had mixed feelings about the museum being about the Togawa family, who had parted ways with the Ukita family! However, they were fascinated by the explanation given by Hideki Kurose, a member of the Cultural Properties Protection Committee. They thought about the history of Hayashima in the future.

[Togawa Family Memorial Museum]

Address: 1292 Hayashima, Hayashima-cho, Tsukubo-gun, Okayama Prefecture

TEL: 086-482-1511 (Hayashima Town Hall Lifelong Learning Division)

Opening hours: Sundays and public holidays 10:00-16:00 *Closed between 12:00-13:00

Closed: Monday to Saturday *May be open upon prior request

Parking: Available (shared with Hayashima Children's Center parking lot)

Click here for details

"Furo no Michi" is a walking trail where you can experience the history, culture and nature of Hayashima

The "Furo no Michi" walking trail allows you to experience the history, culture and nature of Hayashima while following the path that people walked long ago. There are four courses: East, West, South and Sightseeing. The "Sightseeing Course" takes you to spots where you can learn about the town's history and industry, and parks where seasonal flowers bloom. It passes through the Kurashiki Senoo Line Prefectural Road (Prefectural Road 152), which is said to be the remains of the Ukita Levee, and takes you to Ryujin Shrine, the starting point of the Ukita Levee, the Togawa Family Memorial Hall, and the remains of the Togawa Family Jinya.

Click here for details

Ukita Hideie promotes the charm of the region from Hayashima! Okayama Sengoku Project

The Okayama Sengoku Project is based in Hayashima-cho and is working to create opportunities to promote the charm and historical culture of the region and pass it on to the next generation. In addition to events in Hayashima-cho, the project regularly visits Okayama Castle and Ishiyama Park (Okayama City) to provide content that allows people to enjoy experiencing Japanese history and culture, such as samurai and ninja experiences, and performances and lectures by the Okayama Omotenashi Busho-tai. At the Hayashima-cho Tourist Center in front of Hayashima Station on the JR Setouchi Ohashi Line, workshops are also held, such as the armor dressing experience and cardboard helmet making workshops.

Book your Okayama Sengoku Project experience online

[Okayama Sengoku Project/Okayama Hospitality Samurai Team]

TEL: 090-7544-5828 (10:00-21:00)


Okayama Sengoku Project | Official website

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Okayama Prefecture is located in the center of western Japan and is known as the ``Land of Sunny'' due to its mild climate with little rain throughout the year. Conveniently located in the middle of famous sightseeing spots in Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima! It is also the gateway to Shikoku via the Seto Ohashi Bridge. Okayama is also known as the "Fruit Kingdom," and the fruits that have been exposed to the sun in the warm climate of Setouchi are of the highest quality in terms of sweetness, aroma, and taste. You can enjoy seasonal fruits such as white peach, muscat, and pione! There are also world-class sightseeing spots such as ``Okayama Castle'', ``Okayama Korakuen'', one of Japan's three famous gardens, and Kurashiki Bikan Historical Quarter, which are proud of their history, culture, and art!

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