Go-kaido Roads (Five Main Routes) (五街道)

Go-kaido Roads were five land traffic routes of the Edo period starting from Edo.
In 1601 Ieyasu TOKUGAWA began to maintain 5 routes (described as follows) connecting Edo to various places to rule all over Japan, and in the time of the 4th Shogun, Ietsuna TOKUGAWA these routes were defined as main routes.

Go-kaido Roads

In 1604 Nihonbashi (Chuo Ward, Tokyo Prefecture) was defined as the starting point of Go-kaido Roads.
Ichirizuka (a milestone) were put up every approx. 3.927km as the road infrastructure and inns were at regular intervals.
They came under the jurisdiction of newly-created Dochu-bugyo (magistrate of major roads) after 1659. Go-kaido were given formal names in 1716.

Tokai-do Road (including Kyo-kaido Road [Osaka-kaido Road] occasionally)
It was completed in 1624.
Nakasen-do Road (中山道 or occasionally written as 中仙道)
It was completed in 1694.
Koshu-kaido Road (Koshu Dochu)
It was completed in 1772.
Oshu-kaido Road (Oshu Dochu)
It was completed in 1646.
Nikko-kaido Road (Nikko Dochu)
It was completed in around 1636.

Main routes other than Gokai-do Roads

Branch roads of Go-kaido Roads and Wakiokan (main roads other than Go-kaido) as old routes were built and came under the jurisdiction of kanjo bugyo (commissioner of finance).

Nakahara-kaido Road: A Wakiokan which connected Edo to Hiratsuka almost straight and was used as the shortest route for travelers and transportation of farm products from roadside area. It was traveled by ordinary people who avoided Tokai-do Road where they felt the vexatiousness when daimyo-gyoretsu (feudal lord's procession) went by.

Kawagoe-kaido Road: A Waki-kaido Road (other main road) of Nakasen-do Road. It runs from Itabashi-shuku station, through Nerima, Shirako and Hizaori to Kawagoe-jo Castle.

Kawagoe-Kodama Okan (Highway): It stretches farther toward Joshu Fujioka City than Kawagoe-kaido Road.

Kamakura-kaido Road: It was constructed as a military road for the purpose of going directly to Kamakura.
There were Kamitsu-michi Road, Natatsu-michi Road and Shimotsu-michi Road in the Kamakura-kaido Road.

Oyama-kaido Road: It was built for the purpose of visiting Oyama, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Hokuriku-do Road: It stretched from Hokkoku-kaido Road, through Kanagawa City in Kaga Province and Kinomoto-cho in Omi Province to Nakasen-do Road.

Hokkoku-kaido Road: It branched off at Oiwake-shuku on Nakasen-do Road and ran through Zenko-ji Temple to Takada city in Echigo Province.

Mikuni-kaido Road: It branched off at Takasaki-shuku on Nakasen-do Road and ran to Teradomari-cho in Echigo Province or farther to Sado Province across the sea. Now Route 17 runs on it.

Kyo-kaido Road: The road starting from Kyo (Sanjo-ohashi Bridge), the last stop of Tokai-do Road, to Osaka.

Yamato no kodo: The path built in the Asuka and the Nara period which ran through Yamato Province

Koya-Kaido Road: A pilgrimage route running from Kyo and Osaka to Mt. Koya.

Saigoku-kaido Road: The route from Kyo to Shimonoseki bypassing Osaka.
It was the appellation of Sanyo-do Road during the Edo period.

Waki-kaido Roads of Mito-kaido Road, Rikuzenhama-kaido Road, Nikko-kaido Road and Oshu-kaido Road.
The roads which ran from Edo to Sendai along the Pacific coast were called 'Rikuzenhama-kaido Road,' and among them the one which ran to Mito City, where one of three privileged branches of Tokugawa family was located, was occasionally called 'Mito-kaido Road.'
The name of Mito-kaido Road is now also used to refer to the part from Sumida Ward in Tokyo Prefecture to Mito on Route 6.

Tosa-kaido Road: Almost the same route as present Route 33.

Ushu-kaido Road: It started at Naka-kori-shuku and ran over Kosaka Pass and Kanayama Pass to Yamagata, Akita and Aomori.

Sendai-do Road, Matsumae-do Road: Waki-kaido Roads of Oushu-kaido Road
These were the road that ran from Shirakawa City in Mutsu Province to Sendai City and the one that ran from Sendai through Matsumae-cho (Hokkaido) to Hakodate City, and the most part of Route 4 covers the route of them. These roads were sometimes called 'Oshu-kaido Road' for descriptive purposes because they were on the extended route of Oshu-kaido Road.

Nikko Waki-okan: It was a waki-okan road of Nikko-kaido Road starting from Hachioji City on Koshu-kaido Road to Nikko City.

Nikko Reiheishi-kaido Road: It ran from Kuragano-shuku on Nakasen-do Road to Nikko.

Nikko-onari-kaido Road: The road Tokugawa shoguns used to visit Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine. It branched off Nakasen-do Road at Hongo-oiwake, ran via Iwabuchi-shuku and Iwatsuki Ward and joined Nikko-kaido Road at Satte City.
It was also called 'Iwatsuki-kaido Road.'

Chichibu Okan (Highway): It was the road starting from Kumagaya-shuku on Nakasen-do Road, via Chichibu City to Kofu City in Kofu Province.

Nagasaki-kaido Road: It was the road starting from Kokurakita Ward, which connected Sanyodo Road, to Nagasaki City.

Yonezawa-kaido Road
Mino-ji: It was the road starting from Miya-juku on Tokaido Road (Atsuta) to Tarui-juku on Nakasen-do Road. The travelers of this road could bypass such chokepoints as Suzuka Pass and Shichiri no Watashi on Tokai-do Road and Ota no Watashi on Nakasen-do Road.

Togane-onari-kaido Road: The road was developed by Toshikatsu DOI in order for shoguns to enjoy falconry. It ran from Funabashi City to Togane City, Kazusa Province. Shoguns of the Edo period, from the first shogun Ieyasu TOKUGAWA to the third Iemitsu TOKUGAWA, left the capital and traveled on this road.

The Salt Road: The name of the roads which were used for transportation of marine products from the coasts to the mountains.
Among them the Salt Road in Chubu region was famous.

[Original Japanese]