20th station : 鞠子, 丸子 Mariko


Mariko-juku (鞠子宿 Mariko-juku) was the twentieth of the fifty-three stations of the Tōkaidō. It is located in what is now part of Suruga Ward in Shizuoka City,. It can also be written as 丸子宿 (Mariko-juku).Mariko-juku was one of the smallest post stations on the Tōkaidō. Old row-houses from the Edo period can be found between Mariko-juku and Okabe-juku, its neighboring post station, in Utsuinotani. This post town also had strong ties to the Minamoto, Imagawa and Tokugawa clans.


Two travellers having refreshment at a wayside teahouse, from which another traveler has just departed, and a woman with a child on her back waiting on them. Beside the teahouse grows a plum tree, just bursting into blossom against the rosy sky; behind rises a grey hill tinted with brown. Here, travelers enjoy grated yam broth, the local speciality, while appreciating the green leaves and plum flowers of the early spring. Basho, the most famous haiku poet in Japan, praised the scenery and the broth in one of his haiku poems.


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