6th Station: 藤沢 Fujisawa

07_Fujisawa

Art by Ando Hiroshige, late 1830s, chuban yokoye published by Sanoki – Kyoka edition

Fujisawa-shuku (藤沢宿 Fujisawa-shuku?) was the sixth of the fifty-three stations of the Tōkaidō. It is located in the present-day city of Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Fujisawa-shuku was established as a post station on the Tōkaidō in 1601, but did not become the sixth post station until Totsuka-juku was later established. Before the establishment of the Tōkaidō, Fujisawa flourished as a “temple town” (門前町 monzen-machi?) for Shōjōkō-ji, also known as “Yugyō-ji” (Japanese: 遊行寺), the head temple of the Ji-sect of Japanese Buddhism. It was also located on a fork along the Odawara Kaidō, which connected Odawara Castle and its two supporting castles, Edo Castle and Hachiōji Castle during the period of the Late Hōjō clan. The gate of post station (見附 mitsuke) toward Edo was to the east of Yugyō-ji, and the gate towards Kyoto was on the western side of the modern Odakyū Enoshima Line; these boundaries mark the general limits of Fujisawa-juku.

Tokaido06_Fujisawa

Art by Ando Hiroshige, “Fujisawa-shuku“, Hoeido edition

The village by the edge of a stream, and a bridge leading to it, over which people are passing. In background, overlooking the village on a wooded hill, above the mists, stands the temple Yugi-o-ji; in the foreground a torii, and close to it four blind men following each other by the bank of the stream.
This station was crowded with pilgrims visiting the famous temple at this station, and the neighbouring shrine. The imposing buildings of Yugyoji Temple (established in 1325) stand on a hillside in the background. The torii (archway) leads to the Enoshima Benten Shrine which is dedicated to the Goddess of Music

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