Monday, September 5, 2011

Iwakuni Castle

We also visited Iwakuni Castle while in the Kintai area.

Way up there...
At the bottom there is an iris garden. It wasn't the right season for them so we saw greenery, but I imagine this whole area looks amazing in the spring. Nestled in the gardens is a statue of a famous samurai here in Japan. We couldn't read any of the engravings, but our tour guide on the first day said he was very famous to the Japanese. We'll take her word on it.

Not sure who this guy is either as most the plaques are only in Japanese. We really liked the detail bronzing of his glasses.

Atthe base of the mountain was a parked Jeep. You can take a ride in it for a small fee. It is powered by charcoal that is burned to produce a gas. We discovered these types of vehicles were really big in China where petroleum products are more difficult to find. Also, they were popular in WWII in France.

I've already mentioned how great the vending machines are here in Japan. While we have tried some interesting foods nothing beats Lemon-Honey Fanta. It is sunshine in a can.

Best. Drink. Ever.

There are many hiking trails up Mt Shiro, but after walking many miles to get to the Kintai area we opted to take the cable car. They move pretty quick and can hold 30 people. We were packed in with a large group. The Japanese had no problem being close to each other, but they gave us a wide bubble of space.

The view from the top is phenomenal. The whole city of Iwakuni is down below. As far as military fortress goes, the feudal lords picked a good spot. We asked a Japanese man who was taking pictures to take one of us. We're getting good at communicating with gestures.

If you click on the photo below you should be able to make it a little bit bigger. The base is on the water and the little tower can be seen. Yeah, I'll be glad to have my bike!

We've seen these walls a couple places. They don't use any cement or mortar. Instead blocks are stacked together just so to create a retaining wall.

After another short hike we made it to Iwakuni Castle!

We paid ¥260 to go inside. The entire castle has been turned into a museum with samurai swords, single-shot guns, documents, and pottery. It was worth the money. There was a full samurai suit!

Cormorant Clock
It was a very fun day, but we knew we had a long walk back. there is so much to do in the Kintai area.. I know we will be back! 

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