Sand and Tsunamis
Travels between Saudi Arabia and Japan
About Us (3)
Dave in Japan (22)
Futureland (Japan) (9)
News and Other Scary Stuff (19)
Other Travels... (18)
Picture Postings (21)
Rants and Ramblings (15)
The Magical Kingdom (35)
* Home again, home again...
* Strange things as seen through the eye of my phone's camera
* It's Super Fast! Shinkansen!!
* a QUIET house
* My personal ramblings on this new generation of sailors
* Update and Pictures
* Surf's up...but I'm not.
* After School Sumo
* Bon Odori Festival
* It Came, It Blew, It Went Away...All Clear, All is Shipshape
* She's BAAACK!!
* Welcome Thomas Mitchell
* Tourism Visas to be Issued in Saudi Arabia
* Whole Lot of Shakin' Goin' On!
* This Just In...
* This Just In...Women Cause 50% of Traffic Accidents in KSA
* High and Dry
October 10, 2005
Home again, home again...
I've already elaborated a little on the Morioka trip, along with some pictures of Iwate-san (Mt. Iwate). It was really interesting to be so close to an old, dormant volcano. At only just over 2000 meters tall, it's no Fujisan, but compared to everything else around it, it was imposing and beautiful.
Below are a few of the pictures that I took over the past week...mostly, they're of the Kumamoto Castle and Suizenji Gardens.
The next stop (last week) was in Kumamoto on the island of Kyushu. About an hour and a half flight from Tokyo, it was a nice change in pace. We got there Friday morning, and pretty much had the afternoon to kill before starting our conference on Saturday. I took that opportunity to wander down to the main attraction in town, Kumamoto-ju (Kumamoto Castle). There's a trolley line that runs downtown, and I hopped aboard. Before long, I was there.
I wandered down the street a short way until I found the entrance, paid my Y500, and started the short trek up to the castle. My first glimpse of it was through a gap in the construction of the walls. Much like the castle in Odawara that I saw back in May, it looked like a huge wedding cake.
Despite its crenellated and rather elegant, almost delicate appearance, it was a pretty strong structure. Over 500,000 stones lined the bermed embankments and walls, the largest of which was over 8 tons. All in all, it was a pretty imposing fort, with turrets (unfortunately few survive today) that dominated all possible avenues of approach to the main building.
The main castle building as seen from a turret (one of the few left) nearby.
Goro's Yoke...Apparently, this really strong kid picked this up. He also tried to assassinate one of the shoguns, but was discovered before he could finish the job. So, he jumped in a well. When the workers started throwing rocks down on him, he just threw them back up. Finally, he said, "if you want to kill me, use gravel." They did, and it worked...not sure I'd have given them the clue, though.
Names of benefactors
Inside the turret building
We also went by Suizenji Gardens, which are the most beautiful gardens I've ever seen. Fashioned after the waystations along the road to Edo (old Tokyo), it has a number of bridges, and even a replica Mt. Fuji. It was fascinating. The picture at the top of this entry shows the big picture of part of the gardens...
Holy water station...wash up!
Of course, it wasn't all fun and sightseeing...we also had to work, and build our relationships with our counterparts. All in all, a productive trip, both work wise and otherwise.
Posted by djf on October 10, 2005 06:51 PM
Category: Dave in Japan
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