HIDDEN PATHS - Walking Historical Kyoto started with a question. The question was "Who is that?" and the answer was "Takayama Hikokuro".
A statue of a man on his hands and knees bowing towards the old Imperial Palace in Gosho, Kyoto. The statue is a prominent fixture close to the Kamo River, but it is easily passed by without a glance by almost everybody that goes by it.
The figure on the plynth is Takayama Hikokuro (pictured right). Takayama lived from 1747 to 1793 and although not directly connected, and earlier than the time of the Meiji Restoration, Takayama Hikokuro’s story showed that already there was a movement for overthrowing the governing Shogun. But it was not knowing who this statue was of, or why this person was important, that started the idea of putting together the HIDDEN PATHS - Walking Historical Kyoto guide books. So let's have a brief look at the current six volumes, when they were released and what's inside.
The first HIDDEN PATHS - Walking Historical Kyoto was released in June 2018. It wasn't titled 'Volume 1' because at the time there wasn't a plan to produce more.
The book featured 4 walking routes 'Sanjo Area Meiji Restoration Period', 'The Fujiwara Uji Graves, Kohata', 'Battles, Tombs, & A Castle Around Fushimi', and 'Mountains, Tea, & Temples n Uji'.
Pictured below, one of the locations in HIDDEN PATHS Vol 1- Fushimi Momoyama Castle. The original castle site was where the Meiji Tomb today now sits.
As the first HIDDEN PATHS volume is now over four years old some of the locations have changed so there is a plan to update volume 1 during 2023. Some updates can already be found in the HIDDEN PATHS - Walking Historical Kyoto Omnibus Edition release din April 2020 (we will come to this volume later).
On to Volume 2, which was released in December 2018.
This volume featured three new walking routes plus a short chapter of updates on volume 1. Pictured right, the cover of Volume 2. The three featured walking routes were 'Shimabara - Dance, Debauchery, & Subterfuge', 'Kiyamachi Street Rebel Residents', and 'Yawata - Shinto, Samurai, and Edison'.
Like Volume 1, Volume 2 featured walking routes not just in Kyoto City but also in the suburbs.
Pictured left, the eastern gate of Shimabara which was built in 1867 on the walking route 'Shimabara - Dance, Debauchery, & Subterfuge' featured in HIDDEN PATHS Vol 2.
In the next blog post we will cover volumes 3 and 4 as well as the Omnibus edition which covers volumes 1 - 4. All volumes of HIDDEN PATHS - Walking Historical Kyoto are available from all regions of AMAZON.