Okuraike is one of the reservoir ponds in Toyoake and around the pond is a park with running and walking courses. It is a fitting place to rest during the walk between Kotokuin Temple and Sogenji Temple. There are some monuments with ancient waka poems inscribed. The park also has a barefoot cobblestone walkway designed to stimulate the soles of your feet and a wooden monument for Bulgarian junior high school student visit to Toyoake during Nagoya Expo in 2005.
Originally founded in 810 as one of the temples in Koyasan Complex, it was moved to the present place in 1884 and became the regional head temple of Koyasan. The temple grounds are believed to be the main camp of Yoshimoto Imagawa the warlord of Suruga(Shizuoka) when he headed for Kyoto to be recognized as the head of the Samurai Warriors by courting the Muromachi Shogun. The battle of Okehazama was expected to be an easy win but Nobunaga Oda made a surprise attack under the heavy rain and won the battle. Yoshimoto was beheaded. The temple also has a small museum on the battle of Okehazama.
The battle of Okehazama in 1560 was one of the major battles for Nobunaga Oda then only a minor warlord of Owari Province. The Odas had been fighting among family members and their land was often attacked by Imagawa clan then one of the strongest warlord during mid 16th century. In 1560 Yoshimoto Imagawa launched a campaign toward Kyoto and attacked Owari which is in their way. Nobunaga was only 26 years old when it happened. Being outnumbered the Odas would never dreamed of winning the battle. Nobunaga prayed Atsuta Shrine for the victory of war. (Nobunaga later donated sturdy wall to show gratitude to the shrine). A number of factors and Nobunaga's excellent use of the army led to the victory of the battle. Then it was just the beginning of Nobunaga's road to the unification of warring-states-period Japan. What's confusing is there are two battlefield sites for Okehazama: One is in Toyoake and the other is in Midori-ku, Nagoya. Both have long been engaging the battle of the battlefield site. The one in Toyoake is filled with monuments erected in 18th to 19th century.
Senninzuka mound is a burial mound for deceased soldiers during the battle of Okahazama in 1560. Buried underneath is about 2,500 soldiers who lost their lives as Imagawa-side warriors. The mound was built by the head priest of Sogenji Temple Kaiou for the memorial of the war-deceased. Current mound is one of the remaining such mounds also nicknamed as Suruga mound because most of them buried inside were from Suruga Province(currently middle part of Shizuoka Prefecture). It is designated as National Historical Monument.
How to get there?
It is not easy to find the way to the mound from Old Tokaido because there are no guiding boards before crossing National Route #1. After passing the intersection passing the intersection leading to the Zengo station, turn right to the narrower road. (Photo #2). After crossing the National Route #1. Go up the slope and turn left and there is a direction board in Kanji leading to the mound. After climibing the steep slope for about 40 meters go up the mound from the entrance.
Most of the Buddhist temples in Japan are built with wooden structure. Sakabe Zenkoji founded in 1872 Ryuan Sanda who also was a reputed doctor is one of the exceptional cases. In 1947 the main hall was so dilapidated it had to be destructed. Since then the buddha statue, the main object of worship had been given no places to be housed other than temporary hall. The Main Hall was finally rebuilt in 1995 as part of the plan to rebuilt Sakabe Community Hall complex built on the former site of the main hall.
When you are walking toward Zengo station passing Ichirizuka Mound at Ano you will find a nice old house with impressive wooden fences. It is Sanda Residence of the family reputed for excellent doctorship. The Sandas currently run a dermatology clinic adjacent to the old house. In that residence there is a monument to commemorate that Emperor Taisho (then Crown Prince) rested for two hours. It is now a private residence and the entry is not allowed. So all you can do may be to photograph the nice fences.
Ichirizuka Mound at Ano is the 86th milestone mound from Edo(currently Tokyo). Ichirizuka mound was placed at every 4 kilometer distance mark serving as the landmarks for Old Tokaido travellers. Ichirizuka mound was usually built in pairs but today most of such Ichirizuka mounds along the Tokaido Road has been lost and in some places even exact location of where the mound had been was not certain. Ichirizuka milestone of Ano is really a fortunate case that a pair of mounds remain in original place. Because of such rarity both north and south mounds are designated as a National Historical Site. The mounds, however, are partially destroyed.
How to get there?
From Zengo station walk northward for a few minutes and you will soon find narrow road. Turn right along the road about ten minutes and you will soon find a wooden monument showing the historical site.
Owaki Shrine is a nice old shrine about a few minutes walk from Sogenji temple. It is best known by the performance of Hashigojishi at Owaki held on the second Sunday in October. Hashigojishi is the traditional art started about 400 years ago with acrobatic dances of Shishi (imaginary lion-like creature) during the climb of the tall ladders.
Founded about 700 years ago as a Tendai-sect temple it was converted to Soto-zen temple about 500 years ago. The temple is best known as the start of Chita Pilgrimmage of Eighty-Eight Temples modelled after Shikoku Pilgrimmage.
How To Get There?
Walk southward from Zengo station of Meitetsu Nagoya Main Line about ten to fifteen minutes turn left at the sign near the convenience store(photo #5).