Yoritomo Good-luck Walking Road

"Yoritomo Good-luck Walking Road"

This trail is designed to visit the scenes of medieval history. In A.D.1180, Minamoto (family name)-no-Yoritomo (given name) had lost a battle and hid in this mountainous region. Fortunately the lord of this area was Dohi  (family name) Sanehira (given name), a supporter of Yoritomo. After several days, Yoritomo narrowly escaped by ship.  One month later, he made a counterattack. He finally became the first samurai who organized a government by the shogunate. It was A.D.1192 in Kamakura. 

 One day in May, the weather was fine. So I started a hiking from the tunnel ("start" in the map) at 6 a.m.  

This is the Kabuto rock. Kabuto means a warrior's helmet. According to a  local legend, Yoritomo was tired in the mountain and put his helmet on this rock. To see this rock, I walked up a steep slope 70 yards.

Standing stone


This board tells me that I can see a standing stone if I walk down 90 yards. According to a local legend, Yoritomo threw a stone from here. Before throwing, he said to his supporters that this stone would stand on the ground if he was destined to rule over the whole country.

I hesitated about walking down because I was ascending a hill.

What a huge stone!


This is the "stone" thrown by Yoritomo more than 800 years ago. If he could throw this boulder, he would drive the enemy away by himself.

Top of Mt. Shiro-yama


Shiro means a castle and yama, a mountain. Dohi Sanehira had a castle (manor house) here.

You can see the Manazuru Peninsula. This is a good place for a break. 

 Stone statue of "Kukai"


The left signpost indicates that "Shitodo cave" is 300 meters (330 yards) ahead. The right statue is a famous Buddhist priest "Kukai". You will find dozens of his statues along the route.

Shitodo cave. 


According to a  local legend, Yoritomo and six supporters hid in this cave and Dohi Sanehira' wife brought food for them from their manor house. These stone statures are related to local buddhism (Shugen-do), not to Yoritomo.

Then I walked from Shitodo cave to Maku-yama park. This quiet route was through a forest and this signpost stood at the exit. Maku-yama park (Yugarawa plum woods) is 1100 meters (0.7 mile) ahead.

I found this tree just before the park. Purple  wisteria flowers were beautiful.


Maku means a curtain and  yama, a mountain. I arrived at the foot of this mountain before noon. You will find many plum trees there. In the spring, the park is crowded by tourists.

These statues are Mr. and Mrs. Dohi Sanehira on Yugawara station square. Mr. Dohi clothed himself in armor from head to waist; Mrs. Dohi holds a package. I suppose that Mr. Dohi is going to go to a battlefield. After 1192 A.D., Dohi Sanehira was appreciated by Yoritomo and governed Okayama, one of the most important prefectures in those days.