Saturday, June 8, 2013

Day 8: Matsumoto or Third Try's the Charm

Today I'm off to Matsumoto; another former castle town this time placed inland on an open plain nestled between the Japanese Northern Alps and Northern Mountain Ranges so pretty much anyway you look you're surrounded by mountains. We're here primarily to take another shot at seeing a castle keep proper but, being 3 hours out from Tokyo by train I'm going to kick off with lunch:
before moving onwards towards the castle.

En-route I stop by the Timepiece Museum where there are some absolutely beautiful grandfather clocks on display amongst other things:
After wandering through the collection, I proceed on to Matsumoto Castle: which was built towards the end of the wars of unification and just as the Matchlock Rifle began to make it's presence known. Constructed with a 50 meter wide moat to place attackers on land just outside the effective range at the time and with rifle slits and sliding slot windows for shooting from, it was amongst the first castles to take the Rifle into consideration just in time for the wars to end. As such, it would never see battle and is one of the last original (although repaired and maintained), undamaged examples of wood and clay wall construction left in the country.

Also, the first castle where I'm able to see the inner keep largely as it was and it's a wonderful piece of interior woodcraft.

I spend a couple hours there chatting with a friendly tour guide before proceeding to the Kaichi School Museum:
The first attempt at creating a "western style" school after the end of Shogunate rule and the removal of the class system that went with it, it's an odd mix of Western and Japanese design yet entirely functional. It's also cool inside despite a total lack of air conditioning and this is likely because of the reflective quality of the plaster white walls. Well worth the visit.

It's another 3 hour trip to get home, so dinner tonight is pork ramen and, because it must be tried, what passes for poutine.
Ramen: good. Poutine: bad.

Tomorrow's forecast: sunny, chance of fish and wandering.

PS: best distracted driving poster ever.

No comments:

Post a Comment