2017年09月09日

The donjon of Inuyama Castle in Inuyama City, Aichi Prefecture, is one of the 12 original castle towers in Japan.

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Inuyama Castle stands on the hilltop commanding the Kiso, the largest river flowing across the Nobi plane which embraces Nagoya City, the third largest urban area of Japan. Inuyama area on the boundary between Aichi Prefecture and Gifu Prefecture had been a battlefield where many powerful feudal lords had fought against each other for more territory since the 15th century. Inuyama Castle was built in 1537 as a strong fortress. In this area of rival warlords, this castle had been owned by many different warlords one after another. However since the possession of the Naruse clan, the chief retainer of the Owari Tokugawa House, in 1617, this had been continuingly owned by the same family till 2004. Japan's castles are state-owned in general after the Meiji Restoration in 1889 though, this castle was the one and only private property in modern times. Inuyama Castle is designated as a national treasure together with Matsumoto Castle, Hikone Castle, Himeji Castle and Matsue Castle.

License tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 08:32 | Nagoya and the central districts | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年07月23日

'Omuroyama' hill and 'Ippekiko' lake in the Izu Peninsula, Shizuoka Prefecture, are the traces of old volcanic activities.

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In the eastern part of the Izu Peninsula, many traces of old volcanic activities are found not only on the ground but also on the bottom of the sea. Several beautiful cascades like 'Joren-no-taki', 'Eboshiyama' hill, 'Dogashima' island and 'Jogasaki' irregular coastline were all formed by volcanic activities. Among these unique sceneries, Omuroyama hill and Ippekiko lake are the best examples. Omuroyama is a single-volcano, 580 meters high above sea level, which was formed by a single eruption about 4,000 years ago. The hill itself with an almost conical shape is 300 meters high, and the diameter of the bottom is 1,000 meters. An old crater, the diameter of 250 meters and 40 meters in depth, is found on the top of the hill, as shown in the first picture. The second picture shows Ippekiko lake commanded from the summit of Omuroyama hill. This round lake, which was formed by repeated eruption about 100,000 years ago, is a Marl Lake.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 12:38 | Nagoya and the central districts | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2016年06月23日

'Matsumoto Castle', standing in the heart of Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, features Japan's oldest full-scale 'tenshukaku' castle tower.

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Around 10 years before the completion of Edo Castle in Tokyo, which is regarded as the symbol of the unification of feudal Japan, the present tenshukaku castle tower of Matsumoto Castle was built. As those years were in the midst of wartime, the castles had to be well defended. Accordingly most castles in this period stand on a hill, this kind of castle is called 'yamashiro' hilltop castle. However, Matsumoto Castle is a typical 'hirashiro' flatland castle, equipped with tall stone walls, double moats, gun and arrow loops (As shown in the second picture), as fortifications. The two storied building in the left of the tallest building in the first picture was built in the 17th century, when Japan was already pacified, therefore any kinds of defensive devices can't be found inside. Castle tower of Matsumoto Castle is designated as a national treasure together with four other castles, Himeji Castle, Inuyama Castle, Hikone Castle and Matsue Castle. In this connection, Matsumoto City is carrying out the project to restore the outer moat of this castle by 2020.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久。

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posted by masahisa at 16:40 | Nagoya and the central districts | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする