Day1: Jan 17, 2019 Departure from Honolulu We checked in at the Philippine Airlines counter, which had a dedicated line for our group. The airline provided us with a “gold line” at TSA, which made our inspection so much faster. The flight (PR#101) was 10hr45min nonstop to Manila. We were served with two hot main meals and a snack with a choice of pork barbecue or kung pao chicken and pancit & pork or beef lasagna. We enjoyed our...Read More
Must see Castles
‘Matsue Castle’, designated as an important cultural asset, is one of the largest and oldest castles among the existing castles in Japan.
In the last days of the Edo period, at the beginning of the 19th century, the number of castles with a full-scale donjon what is called ‘tenshukaku’ was about 70 across Japan. Unfortunately, many of them were intentionally destroyed when Japan’s modernization was ongoing, and were reduced to ashes during the second World War. Only 12 original tenshukakus have survived this tragic drama. Matsue Castle in the picture,...Read More
The main gate of a castle in Japan is called ‘otemon’, which is elaborately designed in order to protect the castle against the frontal attack from enemies.
Japan’s castles, surrounded with double or triple moats in most cases, are rather big. Therefore many bridges spanning the moats lead into the castle gates with a variety of designs and structures. The largest and most important gate among them is ‘otemon’ main gate. As this gate had the widest openings, the prospective enemies were supposed to attack here, the weak point of the castle from the perspective of...Read More
Many people want to see castles when they come to Japan. However, as most people end up visiting Tokyo, there aren’t many castles near by. For those look for an easy day trip from Tokyo in order to see castles, I highly recommend a visit to Chiba Castle. This site can actually be visited as only a half-day trip and it’s easily reached by train. Chiba Castle, or Inohana Castle, is located inside Inohana Park in Chiba City....Read More
Located in Yamatokoriyama City, Nara Prefecture is Koriyama Castle (郡山城). The origins of this castle date back to 1162! in 1580 Tsutsui Junkei and Oda Nobunaga built what became Koriyama Castle by strengthening a smaller fort. Toyotomi Hidenaga later became the lord of Koriyama Castle and added several new structures to the castle. At the time, there weren’t enough stones to build the castle wall, so Hidenaga used stones from...Read More
Toyama Castle (富山城), also known as Azumi Castle, is a flatland castle located in Toyama city. While most people might not travel out of their way to visit this castle, it is located just a few minutes walk from Toyama Station. Jinbo Nagamoto originally constructed Toyama Castle in 1543 as the residence of Maeda clan, who were the lords of the Toyama feudal domain. A few decades later in 1585, it was attacked and destroyed by Hideyoshi...Read More