Ryoma Sakamoto escapes to fight again. Teradaya Inn – Fushimi – Kyoto.

Teradaya Inn. The simple, old inn with a lot of history. Most people would simple bypass this place without having a second look. But if are a Japanese history nut like me it is an important stop. During the Restoration Period, Ryoma Sakamoto, had an assassination attempt on his life by Tokugawa loyalists inside the inn. Bullet holes and sword marks can still be seen in the wooden beams. Luckily he and his bodyguard escaped out the back door that was not guarded.

I got off the train at Fushimi Momoyama station and walked through the Fushimi market. A lovely old style market that has been around for decades. The weather was a little miserable but I was determined to go see the Teradaya Inn.

I knew I was getting closer when I spotted Ryoma dori (Ryoma Street). I have read so many accounts of this event, in books and academic journals.  Now, I was just meters away from seeing the real thing, it was exciting.

Fushimi is an old town with a lot of old buildings and merchant warehouses, it’s like stepping back in time.

It was about a 10-15 minute walk from the station to reach the Teradaya. The inn sits on the same canal as the Gekkeikan Sake Museum which is only a 5 minute walk away.

Once inside, it’s like stepping back in time to the Edo period.

Downstairs is full of photos and memorabilia of Ryoma. It’s the common room where people would talk, drink and eat. The front entrance is where the loyalists stormed into the inn looking for Ryoma. Fortunately Ryoma was upstairs in his room and was alerted by his girlfriend who was in the bath at the time.

This is the room Ryoma was staying in. As I mentioned above, he and his bodyguard were able to escape from the Inn down the back stairs, Ryoma firing his gun, and slashing his way out of trouble. Those bullet holes and sword slashes in the wooden beams can still be seen today.

Words and photos by Stuart

2 comments

  1. Thanks so much for sharing, I desperately would love to visit Japan, I follow my bushido as close as possible, hopefully my son will get there next year.
    Thank you
    Johno

    Like

    1. Hello, thankyou for your post, much appreciated. Yep, Japan is a cool place to live. Covid is still around a bit but it seems things are getting better recently. Just a little advice about bushido. Be careful from where you learn about bushido. A lot of false and misleading information out there. The bushido code you often see portrayed in popular culture was only invented in the last hundred years or so. The roots of bushido go back to the Kamakura Period but it is not the same as what you see today. Cheers!

      Like

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