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Updated on January 18, 2019

A Perfect Day in Tokyo

Tracing the Roots of the Shinsengumi (Hino City)

An exterior photo of Hinoshuku Honjin
Hinoshuku Honjin

A special police force distinguished themselves by fighting bravely during the tumultuous final years of the Edo period. The members of Shinsengumi, literally the “new selected corps,” such as Kondo Isami, Hijikata Toshizo, Okita Soji, and Inoue Genzaburo, had come together in Hino before they were organized to form the troop. The origins of the Shinsengumi can thus be found in Hino.

A 10-minute walk along Koshu-Kaido Avenue from Hino Station will take you to “Hinoshuku Honjin,” an inn that was run by Sato Hikogoro, Hijikata’s brother-in-law, who provided mental and material support for the Shinsengumi. Hinoshuku means a shukuba or post station established in Hino during the Edo period, and honjin is a lodging for daimyo feudal lords and other high-ranking officials. Built in the final days of the Edo Shogunate, the main sections of the honjin remain intact. A guide will share interesting stories about the accommodation, such as introducing a spot where Hijikata allegedly used to take naps and the meanings behind kugi-kakushi, or decorative objects to hide nail heads on the walls. Back in those days, a dojo training hall was also located on the honjin’s premises, allowing Captain Kondo Isami and others to hone their skills in swordsmanship.

 

From Hinoshuku Honjin, walk for 15 minutes to find the “Shinsengumi Furusato History Museum.” There are multiple ways to enjoy the museum, including seeing letters written by the members and valuable local materials on exhibit, and having photos taken while wearing Shinsengumi outfits.

As 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of Vice-Commander Hijikata Toshizo’s death, various events will be held from April through June. Numerous fans also visit museums operated by descendants of the Shinsengumi members, their graves, and more in Hino City. The last group of loyal samurai who died to uphold honor continues to draw people even now.

◎Get off at Hino Station on the JR Chuo Line. Hinoshuku Honjin is a 10-minute walk from the station. To go to the Shinsengumi Furusato History Museum, get on the Keio Bus from the Hino Station bus terminal platform #5, alight at Hino Nana-sho Iriguchi (Hino Municipal Seventh Elementary School entrance), and walk for 5 minutes.

[Hino City Tourism Association]
Phone: 042-586-8808. Located on the premises of Hinoshuku Honjin.

[Hinoshuku Honjin / Shinsengumi Furusato History Museum]
Phone: 042-583-5100. Open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (The last entry for admission is 4:30 p.m.). Closed on Mondays (when Monday falls on a national or public holiday, Tuesday will be closed) and during the year-end and New Year holidays. Combined admission ticket: 300 yen (general admission) (200 yen for one facility only).

An interior photo of the Shinsengumi Furusato History Museum
Shinsengumi Furusato History Museum

 

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