Gifu castle became Nobunaga’s primary base, an essential chess piece for the famous battle of Sekigahara and the rise of the last shogunate to control Japan.
Kumamoto jo is the most impressive castle I’ve ever seen. I know its one of the top three in Japan, but for me, this dark enclosed gigantic castle is even more impressive than the delicate white high Himeji Jo. I dare say that if Himeji is the beautiful shinny lady on top of the world kind of castle. Kumamoto is the somber, sturdy, boy version. Such a powerfull energy.
A few minutes away, in the northern part of Nagasaki you can find the area of Urakami. At the end of World War II this area became the ground zero of one of the atomic bombs that exploded in Japan.
I love Nagasaki, feels modern and traditional. Covered with cherry trees feels even more welcoming.
Before leaving Japan I thought about buying a cast iron tea pot to bring home as souvenir. I ended up bringing more that that from my short trip to Morioka
On the first dawn of 2015 we went to Matsushima to see the Sun rising in the horizon. The white snow made it even more perfect.
For our last day of 2014 we wanted to visit somewhere we had never seen before, so we took a train to Niigata city to view the Japan Sea.
Kakunodate is a small town in Akita prefecture established in the sixteen hundreds as a castle town. Although there is no longer a castle on the top of the hill, the town is still visited for its samurai district.
One last day in Kyoto, and it was time for some lesser known beautiful places in Kyoto. The Ginkaku ji and the Nanzen ji are two beautiful examples of pavilions converted into Zen temples. Also, hidding behind the Nanzen ji we found an impressive Meiji period aqueduct. Something I never expected to find in Kyoto.
In my second time visiting Kyoto from Sendai we were booked a visit of the Imperial and Sento Palaces by a friend. Beautiful constructions with charming decoration details.