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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Joyato Stone Lanterns

常夜灯

Like Kosatsuba noticeboards, Joyato stone lanterns are a feature of Edo period post towns (-juku) on Japan's main highways such as the Nakasendo and Tokaido linking the ancient capital of Kyoto and the shogunal power base at Edo (Tokyo).

Joyato Stone Lantern Nakatsugawa Japan


Joyato lanterns were situated at the entrance to post towns and were lit at nightfall to guide any late-coming travelers safely to the towns to find rest and refreshment at the many inns located there. They burned throughout the night until first light -thus the name Joyato which means "all night light".

Joyato Stone Lantern Nakasendo Japan


Joyato lanterns can be seen on the Nakasendo in Ena, Nakatsugawa and other post-towns along the way. Some are original and some are modern constructions.

Walk Japan runs highly recommended walks along Japan's Nakasendo Way where participants can learn about the fascinating history of the highway in the Edo Period.

Joyato Stone Lantern Nakasendo Highway Japan


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