Kamasake Pass

Following the Inaba Kaidō eastward, one reaches the Kamasake Pass, which formed the natural boundary between the provinces of Mimasaka and Harima. Musashi is believed to have crossed the pass when, following an altercation with his father at the age of nine, he left his hometown and crossed the pass to reach the village of Hirafuku, where his stepmother, Yoshiko, had been living since her divorce from his father, Muni.

It is not sure whether Musashi ever visited Miyamoto again after he fell out with his father, but the Tōsakushi claims that: 


According to legend Moriiwa Hikobei would accompany Miyamoto Musashi to the Kamazaka hills of Nakamura whenever he went on one of his musha shugyō. At such times he would give his walking cane to Moriiwa and they would say their farewell.

Halfway up the small road towards the pass is a small well that runs continuously, hence its name ikkan shimizu, or continuous clear water well. The well is marked by a small rock with a short inscription that runs: Musashi looks back on his hometown.

At the foot of the unpaved uphill road, a tori-i gate on the left side of the marks the beginning of a path that leads up to the Musashi shrine. Though the shrine was built lang after Musashi had died it celebrates, in good Shintō tradition, his life and spirit and is therefore alone worth a visit, if only because it is a tranquil hike up the densely wooded mountain.

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