Sunday, December 21, 2008

Matsumoto Castle

We visited beautiful Matsumoto Castle in Nagano Prefecture yesterday.  It is one of Japan's national treasures.

This angle is from inside the courtyard.  That is not a Christmas tree, it is what they do to protect the trees from the heavy snowfall.
This is a view from the second or third floor of the castle looking out towards the mountains.  The red bridge is another entrance, but it is under construction until March, so you can't even get near the bridge.  
This is the view from a window in the front of the castle.  It looks very much like Ogden, Utah to me.
The stairs throughout the castle are extremely steep, but they were not built for tourists.  If you go, you remove your shoes at the entrance and put on slippers they have for public use.
This is what Matsumoto looked like way back when.  When, I don't know, but our tour guide said the castle is 416 years old.
The picture is a little dark, but the room above is the Moon Viewing room in Matsumoto Castle.  One of the tour guides told me that from this room you can see the moon three times.  Once in the sky, secondly in reflection in the moat, and the third in the reflection of your sake.

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