Hideyoshi Toyotomi, who ruled Nagoya with the ambitions of the soldiers dispatched to Korea, took the younger sister of a Nagoya high-ranking citizen, Hiroko, as his concubine. Hiroko was said to be the most beautiful woman in Matsuura and she was housed in a part of Nagoya Castle called Yamasato-maru. At this time Hiroko was 20 years old and her name was changed to Tsubone Hirosawa. Hideyoshi built Hirosawa Temple in 1597 for this Tsubone Hirosawa, whom he adored. The stone steps leading up to the temple are said to have been designed by Hideyoshi's favorite sword scabbard maker, the revered Shinzaemon Sorori. The huge 400-year old cycad plant in the temple grounds (a natural monument of Japan) is said to have been planted by Hideyoshi himself. The year after Hideyoshi made the temple, Tsubone's older brother and wife passed away suddenly, followed by Hideyoshi himself on August 15th of the same year. Overwhelmed with sorrow, Tsubone entered the Buddhist priesthood, becoming a female priest until she passed away at age 64, praying for her master, Hideyoshi, her older brother and wife, and the fallen soldiers who participated in the invasions on Korea. Tsubone Hirosawa's grave sits quietly in a corner of the temple.
From train station: Get off a train at Karatsu Station on the JR Karatsu Line and Chikuhi Line, get on a bus bound for Hado Misaki at Oteguchi Bus Center, get off at “Nagoya-jo Hakubutsukan Iriguchi” stop, and walk for 15 minutes
Car: 60-minute drive from Nagasaki Expressway Taku IC
● Parking Lot:
Accommodates 60 cars in the Ruins of Nagoya Castle (Otemon) parking (free of charge)
90 cars in multi-purpose square under the tearoom “Kaigetsu” (free of charge)
50 cars in Momoyama-Tenkaichi roadside station (free of charge)
● Contact: Chinzei Branch Office, Karatsu City Government, Tel: +81-955-53-7155