Saturday, April 17, 2010

Kumamoto


The next day, after resting well at the Hostel, we took an early train out for Kumamoto. About 2 hours south of Hakata, half-way to Kagoshima. Kumamoto was the reason for our trip in Kyushu. Like most places we visited on our many stay to Japan, we came about that place while watching Japanese TV. This castle was featured in 47 live the documentary. Ever since we had thought about going there. But being so far off the way, it had never been an option until today.

Kumamoto is one of the biggest castle in Japan. Unfortunalty, it was almost completly destroyed by an angry samourai who set it on fire in the late 1800s. In the 1960s, it was reconstructed according to the few pictures pre-fire state.

The castle itself is beautiful and I have to say, it was well worth the trip. Of all the castle in Japan, this one offers the most building to visit and possibly the biggest ground space. The inside of the main tower is a museum about the history of the castle but also about all the other castles in Japan.
As you first enter, you also see walls covered with name plates. Those name plates are the one of the people who donated money for the reconstruction of the different building of the castle.

It took Marie and I about 3 hours to visit the castle and its surrounding. Of which, 1 hour was spent trying to locate on the name plates, Murayama Ryuhei and Murakami Shingo. We did find Maruyama's plate but had to give up on finding Hina's. But as we recall, even in the documentary they had trouble locating Hina's plate.
Overall, we had a great day in Kumamoto. It's too bad the weather was rainy and gray, it prevented me from taking beautiful pictures.
(On the picture, my finger is pointing at Maruyama's plate but you can hardly see it since it was so high over head.)

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