Just as Tokyo was known by a different name and was not always the capital of Japan, Nagano ken, or prefecture, was also known by another name and the kencho, or government office, was in another town. There was a time during the Edo period when Nagano ken was “Ina-ken” and the kencho was Iijima Jinya in the town of Iijima. The highest ranking official at the Jinya was a daikan, or substitute of the daimyo who controlled and ruled the area. Today, even Nagano-ken residents may not know about Iijima, but, way back then, the Iijima Jinya government office was front and center. The end of the Tokugawa Shogunate saw the closing of Iijima Jinya and the end of Ina-ken. After some reorganizing, the prefecture became known as Nagano-ken.
16 years ago, the town of Iijima decided that Iijima Jinya deserved to be recreated and earn its rightful place in the history of our town. After a lot of research and excavations, Iijima Jinya was re-built in the original location and opened to the public as a museum, Iijima Jinya Kinenkan.
A few days ago Harold Critney and I visited the museum. Many of the artifacts on exhibit can be picked up and examined and you are welcome to take pictures inside. Harold had a little fun being the o-daikan sama.
On a quiet day, you may even be treated to a cup of tea at the irori seen here.
The museum is open from 9 to 5. It is closed on Mondays, the day after national holidays, and from 12/15 to 3/14. It is about a 7 minute walk from Iijima train station on the Iida-sen. By car it is about 15 minutes from the Komagane or Matsukawa IC on Chuo Expressway.