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The Magical Kingdom (33)
* Cool Map Feature...
* Visit to Odawara Castle
* Some pictures
* They let women DRIVE here!
* Cool things here in Japan
* Adventures in Sushi
* Adjusting to Life in Japan
* What an exciting year...
* TIBETAN CHEST: DETAIL
* NEW FURNITURE!
* Feb Brunch at Shonan Village
* KH hongkong
* HONG KONG: FEB 05
* Eat a camel?
* This Just In...US to Cease Existence in 2007!
* This Just In...
* This Just In...Easter Bunny Gets Pummeled by Boy at Mall
* This Just In....When Old Ladies Attack
May 14, 2005
Visit to Odawara Castle
Last Thursday, we had a field trip as part of our "Headstart" class. Headstart is a week long Japanese Language and Culture class that is designed to get one familiar to some of the peculiarities of living in Japan. It was a lot of fun, informative, and as part of it, we took a trip to the Odawara Castle, about an hour from our camp.
Odawara Castle dates back to about 1500 AD, and was the last castle conquered in the unification of Japan in 1868. In 1870, it was ordered destroyed as a final slap to the feudal system that had been overthrown to unify the country. Around 1960, however, it was rebuilt as a monument to history and a tourist attraction.
My first impression seeing pictures of it (and other castles like it) was that it didn't seem too sturdy. Upon seeing it first hand, I changed my mind...it is in a defendable location, had multiple levels and approaches, sturdy walls and gates, and is perched on top of a pretty steep hill. You'd really have to work pretty hard to take it.
Still, I think that most of them (especially those painted white) look like wedding cakes...
Another good thing about the trip was the small zoo that they have at the base of the castle.
For some good info about this and other castles in Japan, please see the following links...
View from across the moat to the first walls
Corgi Dog on the bridge across the moat
Second layer of walls and gate
How the exterior walls were made. Basically it was a bamboo latticework covered by successive layers of mud and straw, finally coated with whitewash.
Map of the castle area
Snow Monkeys (Japanese Macaques)
Kindergarteners (we weren't the only ones on a field trip)
Posted by djf on May 14, 2005 11:53 AM
Category: Dave in Japan
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