Follow in the Footsteps of Shizuoka’s Famous Shogun

Follow in the Footsteps of Shizuoka’s Famous Shogun

Rebecca Pasha
Authored by Rebecca Pasha
Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2024 - 12:15

Tourism Shizuoka Japan has created a series of short new videos highlighting the prefecture’s central role in Japan’s seven-century-long Shogun culture of military leaders, showcasing the destination’s past and present. Home to the majestic Mount Fuji and just 1 hour from Tokyo by bullet train, the prefecture is steeped in history and invites travellers to follow in the footsteps of the famous Shogun who once called it home.


The series begins with a short video on Minamoto Yoritomo, who came to power in the 12th century and established the first Shogunate in Japanese history. In his youth, Yoritomo was banished to the Izu Peninsula, an area on the eastern edge of modern-day Shizuoka Prefecture, where he spent much of his life before becoming Shogun. It was in the prefecture that he met and married his influential wife, and the pair played a pivotal role in the area and Japan’s history. Visitors today can visit the original outdoor onsen, hunting grounds and shrines – including the Mishima Taisha Shrine - frequented by Yoritomo to feel his presence that still emanates in the streets and countryside of the prefecture.


A further video highlights the story of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu in the 16th century, known as Japan’s most famous ruler who established the Edo Period laying the foundations for modern-day Tokyo. Ieyasu grew up in what is modern-day Shizuoka City, the prefecture’s capital. He also spent 17 years of his life as Lord of Hamamatsu Castle near Shizuoka Prefecture’s western border. Visitors today can still visit the site of the castle, where a replica now stands, and can take the same journey across Lake Hamana that Ieyasu would have many years ago.


The final video in the series details the life of the last Shogun, 19th-century Tokugawa Yoshinobu. Yoshinobu took his retirement in Shizuoka City, following his expulsion from Edo by revolutionary forces. His abdication allowed Japan to set up its first constitutionally elected Government. Out of jobs, many of his followers moved with him to Shizuoka and played a role in developing the region’s now-famous green tea production. It’s said that Yoshinobu also brought back soba noodles, which have become a much-loved staple in the prefecture. Visitors can still enjoy Shizuoka’s lush green tea fields today or can dine on soba noodles in the prefecture or enjoy the Kaiseki meal at Yoshinobu’s 19th-century retirement mansion – home to one of the most beautiful Japanese gardens in all of Shizuoka.


The video series has been launched on Tourism Shizuoka Japan’s ‘Explore Shizuoka’ YouTube channel and can be seen here:

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