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Itsuki,Gokanosho - A Popular Sightseeing Spot in Kumamoto Prefecture

This video, titled "[Kyushu, Tomorrow's Heritage] Itsuki, Gokanosho, Kumamoto," was released by "Nippon Archives" (ニッポンアーカイブス).

In a village deep in the mountains, the fleeing Heike (Taira) warriors thought of their distant home capital...
Itsuki, Gokanosho in Kumamoto Prefecture is one of the most popular scenic spots in Japan and conveys a sad history.
Itsuki, Gokanosho is an area in Itsuki Village (五木村, Itsuki-Mura) and Gokanosho (五家荘, Gokanosho) in the southern part of Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan's Kyushu region.
The area is a natural park of mountains and beautiful valleys, and is designated as a National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property.
In the video, you can enjoy the rich nature and scenery of Itsuki, Gokanosho.

Kureko Kodai Odori - A Traditional Japanese Culture and the Highlight of the Event

Kureko Kodai Odori (久連子古代踊り), which has been handed down from generation to generation in the Kureko district (久連子地区, Kureko-Chiku) of Gokanosho, known as one of Japan's unexplored regions, is said to have originated from a dance performed by the fleeing Heike warriors who lived in hiding in the Kureko district of Gokanosho, as they thought of the capital.
You can see this dance from 2:18 in the video.
Performers wear a white overcoat and brown Hakama, and a Hanagasa called "Shaguma" with the black tail feathers of a Kureko chicken on their heads.
They dance slowly in a circle while beating small gongs and locally made Shimedaiko drums, in a somewhat melancholy manner, recreating the atmosphere of the Heike warriors as they met a tragic end.

The History of Itsuki, Gokanosho, Kumamoto, a Popular Tourist Destination in Japan

There are many people with the surname "Ogata" in the popular tourist destination Itsuki, Gokanosho in Kumamoto, Japan.
This is because when the Heike warriors fell, they changed their surname to Ogata to hide their identity after they drifted to the distant land of Kyushu.
At Itsuki, Gokanosho Prefectural Natural Park, there is a quaint house called the "Ogata House" (緒方家) that is a reproduction of a house from that time.
You can see it from 1:37 in the video.

There is a room with an Irori fireplace on the first floor and a hidden room on the second floor, showing how the fleeing Heike warriors lived in seclusion.
Take the time to learn about the history of Japan at these cultural and historical sites.

Nature and Famous Sites in Itsuki, Gokanosho, a Popular Tourist Destination in Kumamoto, Japan

The Itsuki, Gokanosho area is located deep in the mountains, where the harsh climate has preserved an abundance of nature, and the Satoyama landscape (an undeveloped woodland area near a village) is still inhabited by wild boars and deer.

Surrounded by tall mountains, Yatsushiro's attractive mountain trails and trekking courses with cherry blossoms in the spring, fresh greenery in the summer, and beautifully colored leaves in the fall provide a variety of activities that we recommend checking out during your visit to Ituski, Gokanosho.
After you've enjoyed these outdoor activities, you can relax in the natural open-air Onsen (hot springs) and enjoy the view of the surrounding scenery while recuperating from the fatigue of your trip.
This is one of the highlights of visiting Itsuki, Gokanosho.

Gourmet Spots Around Itsuki, Gokanosho, a Popular Tourist Destination in Kumamoto, Japan

Image of tofu marinated in miso, a local dish of Kumamoto Prefecture
Photo:Tofu in miso, a local dish of Kumamoto Prefecture

Popular gourmet foods around Itsuki, Gokanosho include local Kureko chicken dishes and miso-marinated tofu, a local specialty!
Itsuki, Gokanosho is a hidden village where the fleeing Heike warriors who were defeated in the battle of Dan no Ura originally settled.
There are not many elegant restaurants and cafes like those around Kumamoto City, but there is an abundance of fresh river fish like salmon, as well as mushrooms and wild vegetables from the mountains.
Enjoy the rustic, Instagram-worthy local cuisine.

Summary of Itsuki, Gokanosho in Kumamoto Prefecture, a Popular Tourist Destination in Japan

There are several areas called "Heike no Ochiudo no Sato" (Villages of the Fallen Heike) in various parts of Japan. Itsuki, Gokanosho in Kumamoto Prefecture is one of them.
What all Heike villages have in common is that they are mountain villages that are not easily seen by people.
The Heike people changed their family names here and lived in secret, hiding from the public eye.
This is the perfect scenic spot to explore beautiful, unexplored scenery.

The best time to visit Itsuki, Gokanosho is in autumn, when the leaves change color.
The Yatsushiro Mountain Trail is now maintained for trekking and authentic mountain climbing as well.

【Official Website】Itsuki・Gokanosho Kumamoto


Written By
Last Updated : Sep. 6, 2021
児玉 勇(Yu Kodama)
A writer who loves Japan and yakitori
Itsuki, Gokanosho - A Legendary Place in Yatsushiro, Kumamoto Where Defeated Taira Clan Warriors Fled To.
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