Tengachaya (roughly meaning "below-heaven tea house
"), in the Nishinari ward
, was a frequent rest stop
for Toyotomi Hideyoshi
during his trips from Osaka Castle
to the port of Sakai
. Sen Rikyu
, the main architect of the modern tea ceremony
, lived in a shrine
across the street before Toyotomi forced him to commit seppuku
The name was a slight play on words. Back then, the emperor ruled the spiritual world, while Toyotomi, the kampaku, ruled the temporal world. So the name of the teahouse actually honored Toyotomi, who was the leader of the world "below heaven."
The tea house itself was destroyed in 1945, during the long round of World War II bombing raids that eventually forced Japan to surrender. It stood in ruins until 1987, when the city of Osaka completed a restoration project.
Today, most Osakans know Tengachaya as a railway station. The Nankai Railway and the Osaka City Subway's Sakaisuji Line both serve Tengachaya Station: Hankyu trains also use the Sakaisuji line, making Tengachaya an important connection point for north-south commuters. Toyotomi was definitely not the last person to stop there on his way to Sakai.