2015年02月23日

'Ritsurin Koen' Japanese Garden in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture, which was built by the successive feudal lords of Takamatsu domain taking some 100 years, is one of the representative 'daimyo gardens' in Japan. *daimyo means feudal lord.

IMG_0060.JPG

IMG_0024.JPG

Speaking of 'daimyo garden', the three greatest daimyo gardens, 'Kenrokuen', 'Kairakuen' and 'Korakuen', are well known. But, 'Ritsurin Koen' is not inferior to these three gardens, and is highly recommended I personallty think. In fact, this garden is granted the highest rank of three stars in the Michelin Green Books. Once you enter this garden, you will be moved by many pine trees, ponds, rocks, bridges and old houses which have long been elaborately maintained by the specialists from many fields.
The landscape design, being enhanced by its backdrop 'Shiunzan' hill as shown in the first picture, is marvelous. Like an old tea house named 'Higurashi-tei' with thatched roofs in the second picture, which was built late in the 19th century, there stand many beautiful old houses. 'Matcha' green tea with a Japanese sweet is served in the two tea houses in this garden, Higurashi-tei and 'Kikugetsu-tei' on a pond as shown in the distance in the second picture.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner

posted by masahisa at 10:31 | Shikoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2015年02月11日

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.

IMG_0074 (2).JPG

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 defence. The architects of the day studied how to prevent the enemy corps from rushing into the castle grounds by way of this gate.
One of the ideal gate designs for this purpose was 'masugata mon' as shown in the picture from Marugame Castle, Ehime Prefecture. Two openings with doors were intentionaly arranged at right angles along high square stone walls. The inside opening has a scaffold on top, which was used to keep weapons and the soldiers shot the enemy from here in case of emergency. In addition, the frontage of the doors of the inside opening is wider than the outside, in that the number of the soldiers from the castle grounds always exceeded the enemy from outside in this square space.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久

HP-banner

posted by masahisa at 11:15 | Shikoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする