Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Today I will give some brief answers why Nobunaga built Azuchi Castle and stayed at the Honnoji later in his career.  Gifu Castle was simply too far away from the capital to control the national stage.  Azuchi was perfect for him.  It was a convenience of transport of transport by crossing Lake Biwa and he could arrive in the capital in less than a day.  Also Azuchi provided the Uesama to lead the front when at war.

Also there were two key points politically for Nobunaga.  It was close enough to control the national stage and far away from the daily pettiness of the Imperial court.  Nobunaga was smart to put his governor Murai Sadakatsu in charge of the daily affairs.  For example, the President of the United States moving his headquarters to the mountains of West Virginia leaving the Vice-President in Washington to handle the affairs. Another reason why Nobunaga built Azuchi because the area was new and had no past history to haunt it.

Since Azuchi was built, Nobunaga had no legitimate reason why he should built a castle in Kyoto.  The Honnoji became the Uesama's  "Pied-a-Terre" or his temporary second residence.  Again, it made sense because Murai Sadakatsu was Nobunaga's governor of Kyoto.  Nobunaga only needed a second home when he visited the capital which drastically decreased later in his career.

Nobunaga no tame!


Daeva-kun said...

Hello "otsuke"!
I'd rather write you an e-mail about the issue, but since I can't find a way to contact you privately I decided to comment here.

Fact is, this autumn I'd like to visit some Nobunaga's sites with a friend, another Nobunaga enthusiast, but I'm getting some troubles to figure how to move around; to visit Azuchi Castle and Honnoji, which is the fastest route?
Also, it'll be faster/easier to reach there from Gifu or Nagoya?
We're planning to stay 2 days in Nagoya and 3 in Gifu, but if it's unconvenient for travelling we can adjust that.

..Thank you in advance for the reply!

otsuke said...

It depends. If you are going to Kyoto by the Shinkansen, JRN agoya or Gifu Hashima is your best bet. If you are going to Azuchi from Kyoto. Take one of the futsuu densha going towards Maibara. The Azuchi stop is only from the local line. If you are heading to Azuchi from Gifu. Things can be tricky. usually you have to switch trains at Okagi and switch again at Maibara. It has been a long time since I have been to Azuchi.

Daeva-kun said...

No, no shinkansen for me! I'm going to take it for the Tokyo->Nagoya transfer and I'm really bothered by spending all those money already XD
I was considering to use the local rapid/express trains, which are cheaper, even if slower... I'll try to figure it out!

BTW, speaking of important sites, what about Zenshoji temple..? It's said that Nobunaga camped his troops around there before the Okehazama battle, do you think it's worth a visit?

otsuke said...

Odaka Castle landmark/ruins is better. Also the Kutsukake Castle ruins is worth a visit. if you visit the Okehazama Battlefield. Please visit both the Arimatsu and Toyoake Okehazama battlefields. You need to visit both to get a clear picture of the battle.

otsuke said...

Also a visit to Atsuta Shrine in Nagoya is a must. The Nobunaga Okehazama victory wall is still there.

Daeva-kun said...

Ahah, of course Atsuta shrine is already in my to-watch list ^_^

Thank you for the hints! I hope that I'll manage to look at everything properly... Are the Okehazama sites easy to reach from Nagoya..?

Also, do you think that it's possible to see both Honnoji and Azuchi in a day..? Like, getting up early to visit Azuchi in the morning and then going to Honnoji in the early afternoon..?

otsuke said...

Yes, both Okehazama battlefields can be easy reached from Nagoya by using the Nagoya Meitetsu Line. The Arimatsu battlefield, get off at Arimatsu station and take a taxi or walk. The Toyoake battlefield, get of at the keibajo or horse racing stop. Five minute walk from the station.

It would be really tough, but you can visit both Azuchi and the Honnoji in one day. I prefer to take your time and the Honnoji the next day. You can rent a bike while in Azuchi and that is the way to go. There are a couple of rent a bike places near the station.

Daeva-kun said...

Thank you very much, you're very helpful ;o; ..!

BTW, while trying to figure a route to reach Azuchi, I found this route:
JR Gifu -> JR Maibara
Maibara - Biwako Line -> Azuchi.
From the train station to the castle site is a 30 minutes long walk.
The whole thing would be 2+ hours long. Is it plausible..?

From Azuchi to Honnoji (closer station seems to be Kyotoshiyakushomae) GoogleMaps suggests me to take this mysterious JR東海道・山陽本線 (what is it? Tokaido - Yama-what?!) and some 東西線 metro... It should take around 1 h 14' ...Does it ring a bell? Sure it's weird looking for directions on internet XD

Also, I'm wondering about Nagashino battlefield..? The location is also in Shiga prefecture, is it easy to reach from Nagoya..?

otsuke said...

Rent a bike while in Azuchi. It is cheap and will save you a lot of time. Besides, there are two museums nearby that are worth visiting.

Daeva-kun said...

Unfortunately I can stay in Japan only for a few days, that's why I wanna try to see more things as possible... I don't think that I have the time to go around in bike to enjoy the city ^_^;

otsuke said...

I would still rent a bike while in Azuchi. It will be a lot quicker.