Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Musashi Mausoleum



The Musashi Mausoleum is interesting in that it doesn't seem to have generated all that much interest. That is, it's a very large, open area filled with Zelkova trees, and contains the burial mounds for both the Taisho and Showa emperors and their wives (Empress Teimei and Empress Kojun). Yet, there were very few visitors whenever I swung by, and there's almost no information on it online in English.


(Entrance from parking lot.)

The mausoleum is a little tricky to get to. The best approach is to exit the JR Takao train station and go down the street one short block to the 7-11. There's a map board on the corner showing the directions. It's about 1-2 miles from here. My path was to turn right at this corner and take 20 to the first signal light. Turn left and go down the hill to the river. Follow the river to the right about 1 block, to the entrance of a large local park. Go where the little path sign is pointing over the little bridge and then go straight and up the hill. Stay to the left, going about 2 blocks left then 1 to the right. The entrance to the mausoleum is to the left, near the police box. Car parking is to the side on the left. There's no real place for locking up bikes, but they discourage bringing the bike into the mausoleum grounds proper because it's disrespectful, so I just locked my bike to a tree neat the car lot.



There are a couple of manned security guard houses scattered around the grounds, but it looks to be a lonely job, since there's one person per guard house, and almost no visitors swinging by to ask questions.



While the Tokyo Tourism info site lists four people interred on the grounds, there are 6 burial mounds. Apparently I only took photos of the name markers for the 4 principal people, so I'm going to have to go back later and find out who I missed). Here's the full album.



8 comments:

jaydeejapan said...

Interesting. I've read a little bit about the mausoleum (that is, I've read that it exists in western Tokyo), and thought it's somewhere I'd like to see. It looks interesting now that I've seen your pictures.

TSOTE said...

If you're in the area, it's worth a visit, but I wouldn't recommend making a trip from Yokohama just for this. I just like making the bike ride from Noborito to Takao, and I'm always looking for different places to make side trips to to break up the monotony. Actually, there are a number of things worth doing in Takao that would constitute a full day-trip (visiting the top of Takao itself; seeing the trick art museum; seeing the Hachioji castle ruins; hiking up in the hills behind Takao; going to the mausoleum; seeing the Buddhist burial tower; etc.) I'm told that it's also a good idea to eat soba at one of the little shops in front of the Takao station.

jaydeejapan said...

I've already been to Takao (walked to the top). I haven't seen the trick art museum or Hachioji castle ruins, though. I wouldn't go just to see the mausoleum, I'd also look around to see what else there is. I've only made a trip out to western Tokyo once, but there's a lot there I want to see.

TSOTE said...

I guess it depends on what you call western Tokyo (the area from Shinjuku out to the Tamagawa; or, from the Tamagawa out to the countryside). Both are pretty big swaths of land, and I've only explored small pieces of them. No idea what remains to be visited.

jaydeejapan said...

By western Tokyo, I mean not 23 Wards Tokyo. I've heard there are some really good historic sites.

TSOTE said...

Do you have any spots in mind for possible visits, then?

jaydeejapan said...

Hmm, it's hard to say at the moment. I've been doing a little exploring with Google Maps and there always seems to be something I want to see in every place. Hachioji is one area I want to see more of. I also want to go farther west into the mountains.

TSOTE said...

The only think I've really visited in Hachioji is the Yumebi art museum for the Gundam illustrations exhibit. Did a little exploring in the 1-mile stretch between the station and the museum, but didn't see much else to visit at the time. I've done a little hiking up into Takao, and rode my bike up the hills about 4 miles past Takao. Other than getting a better view of Fuji, I didn't see anything else (although, a separate trip did take me to the dam a bit farther west, and I'd like to go back out for that some time). Takao does have the trick art museum, and the Hachioji castle ruins, which were good for a couple of hours sightseeing each.