Manyo Park was originally listed in “The 100 Best Historical Parks in Japan,” and has
recently been certified as one. Reasons for the certification include its symbolization of Yugawara, which is the only onsen resort mentioned in Manyoshu, and the fact that many writers, artists and others have visited it.
What is “The 100 Best Historical Parks in Japan?”
As a project commemorating the 50th anniversary of the City Park Law Enforcement, the City Park Law’s 50th Anniversary Commemorative executive committee evaluated and certified historical parks. They looked for excellent historical and cultural resources that have contributed to local revitalization. Manyo Park was selected out of 332 applications from across Japan.
|Charges||Free of charge; unrestricted entry|
|Transportation||566 Miyakami, Yugawara-machi Take the bus for Oku yugawara or Fudodaki from Yugawara Station, and get off at “Ochiai bashi” bus stop (about a 12 minute bus ride).|
|Inquries||Yugawara Onsen Tourism Association Phone: 0465-64-1234|
1. Monument Inscribed with a Manyoshu Poem (Nobutsuna Sasaki)
“Ashigari no Toi no Kochi ni izuru yu no yo nimo tayorani koro ga iwanakuni…” (She says, “The relationship between you and me will last just like the hot spring at Toi, Ashigara, but…”)
This poem is about the way onsen water wells out, and is the only waka about an onsen found in this collection of 4,500 poems. It is a poem about Yugawara Onsen known as “The Song of Toi, Ashigari.” The poem on this monument was calligraphied by Seiho Takeuchi, a master painter in Kyoto’s art world. Mr. Takeuchi’s original work is exhibited at Yugawara Art Museum.
2. The Monument of Doppo Kunikida
“Doppo Kunikida,” a great writer in the Meiji era, often visited Yugawara and left works set in this onsen resort. “Yugawara-yuki” (Visiting Yugawara), in which what Yugawara was in those days is portrayed, ends with this sentence: “When I visited the ravine in Yugawara, I felt as if I were pushing my way deep into the clouds.” After his death, the monument was built by people connected with this locality.
3. The Monument of Yojoen (Heihachiro Togo)
When Yugawara was designated as a health resort for sick and wounded people after the Russo-Japanese War, the Okura family’s villa, which was in one corner of the park, was opened for public use as a “Yojoen.” Count Heihachiro Togo, who rested in this “Yojoen,” was very pleased with the nature in this area and wrote about it, expressing his gratitude to the Okura family. In October, 1912, the monument was built by Tetsuya Kawada, the principal of Tokyo Takachiho School, and its instructors.
4. The Monument of Umenokado
“Koe kakete hoshii tsubaki no aotsubomi,” (A green camellia bud is waiting for a man to call to her.) by Umenokado Kanao.
The author of this haiku loved Yugawara Onsen beyond all else, and is said to have visited this town every year for the onsen’s Cammelia Festival. This poem was written during one of those festivals.
5. Taishido Hall (Yuzo Yamamoto)
In 1960, all the members of the building society built this hall in honor of Prince Shotoku’s great achievements. It was built in imitation of the Yumedono (Hall of Dreams) of Horyuji Temple in Nara.
6. Kumano Shrine and Hot Water Sprinkling Festival
The deity of this shrine is said to have been transferred from Kii Province, but it is not known when it was done. Also called “Yu-gongen,” the deity acts as the guardian of onsens and health. On the fourth Saturday and Sunday of May, the “Annual Festival of Kumano Shrine” is held, along with the “Hot Water Sprinkling Festival.”
7. Rihuku Shrine
One of the episodes about the discovery of Yugawara Onsen has it that an injured old raccoon dog was cured completely here. To repay his debt of gratitude, he spoke about Yugawara Onsen to people living in the neighborhood, which helped the place become famous. After the war, soft hearted people deified this place as Rifuku Shrine. (“Ri” means “a raccoon dog,” and “fuku” means “happiness.”)
8. The Firefly Party and the Japanese Iris Exhibition
Every year from early to mid-June, “the Firefly Party,” at which you can see Genji fireflies (Luciola cruciata) flying about, is held in Kabokuen Park, and night stalls are opened in the square in front of the tourist hall (7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.).
During this period, the “Japanese Iris Exhibition” is also held at the multi-purpose plaza on the first floor of the tourist hall.
9. The Morning Market for Tourists
At the Morning Market for Tourists, which is held every Sunday from around 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the square in front of the tourist hall, delicacies from the sea and mountains, unique to Yugawara, are lined up, together with rare souvenirs.
The tea ceremony house was designed by Mr. Sutemi Horiguchi (1895-1984), one of the architects representing Japan.
You can enjoy matcha green tea for 400 JPY per cup (served with sweets).
Hours: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Charge: 400 JPY per cup (served with sweets)
Closed: Mon. & Wed. (When a national holiday falls on Mon. or Wed., Manyotei is open that day, and closed the next day.)
Closed for a few days before and after the New Year Holiday. There are, also, some unscheduled holidays.
11. Footbath Facility "Doppo no Yu"
Energy from the sun can be felt in the park from an image of the Japanese archipelago, created by applying geography and Chinese geomancy. This footbath facility has nine springs, and the bottom of the bathtub is textured to stimulate pressure points on your feet, so you can experience a massage with different effects.
Adults: 300 JPY / Children: 200 JPY