Suwa settlement was located in the far east end of the Koshu Region on the border with the Sagami Region (present-day Kanagawa Prefecture). There was a guard station in Suwa that served as a checkpoint for travelers entering the Koshu Region. Signs now mark the site.
The guard station is thought to have been in use in the early Sengoku Period (end of the 15th century – end of the 16th century) when the Takeda and Hojo Clans were in active conflict. For this reason, it is thought that the guard station also functioned as a defensive structure during battle.
In 1707, the Suwa Guard Station was moved from its location in front of Suwa-jinja Shrine to Otomezaka (to the east). It was also called Sakaigawa Guard Station because the Sakai River runs near the site. During the Edo Period (1602-1868), women required a pass to move beyond Suga Guard Station when traveling to Edo (present-day Tokyo). This guard station helped enforce strict controls in place to prevent the wives and children of samurai dispatched to the local city from returning to Edo. The building was purchased by Eiichi Shibusawa in 1885, and relocated to serve as a house in a second garden next to the main residence in Asukayama, Tokyo.


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