The original Nakasendo, after leaving the post-town of Takamiya, continued past the south-eastern boundary of Hikone without actually entering the town. Today the modern city has outgrown its old town limits and this area is now industrial suburb. As the Omi plain narrows here, the Shinkansen and the Meishin Expressway converge on the old Nakasendo from either side so that, for a while, the three routes run together. Three and a half miles after leaving Takamiya the modern routes branch away slightly to pass, one on each side, the next post-town of Toriimoto.
Travelers passing through Hikone, on the other hand, including those on the old ‘Korean’s Highway’ (which branched from the Nakasendo at Moriyama post-town), would have followed the road over the pass on Mount Sawayama to rejoin the Nakasendo at Toriimoto. Mount Sawayama is the former site of the castle of Ishida Mitsunari, who was Tokugawa Ieyasu’s opponent at the Battle of Sekigahara. After Ishida’s defeat the castle was attacked by Tokugawa’s forces and quickly overrun, with Ishida’s family and other defenders all committing suicide. The castle was then given to Ii Naomasa who, rather than have it repaired, decided to rebuild it at nearby Hikone.