Hikone City: Hikone-jo (Castle) & Genkyu-en (Garden) Photos

 

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The outer moat of the castle grounds. (Please ignore the strange bluish colour... I accidentally forgot to change the camera into outdoor features for this picture. Makes it look like early evening when it was about 10 in the morning.)

View of Iroha matsu (Pine Tree Entrance) from the Ninomaru Sawaguchitamon-yagura Turret. Something insteresting - these pine trees were originally all Tosa species brought from Kochi-ken. However, overtime a few were replaced with other species.

Ninomaru Sawaguchitamon-yagura Turret (Important National Cultral Property) built in the Edo period.

Umaya-stable entrance (Important National Cultral Property) which is a long rectangular building located between the inner and outer moats of the castle grounds. The tourist guide notes that this is the only stable remaining in Japan that still exists within a castles grounds.

Umaya-stable view from just outside the entrance along the length of the building.

Bridge over the inner moat.

Throughout the castle grounds were many multi-lingual information spots like this one. This one included general castle information along with details on the construction of the stone walls to prevent stone landslides when troops were moving throughout the grounds.

Path up to the castle.... a little steep.

Tenbin-yagura - turret (Important National Cultural Asset) is named after a balanced scale (tenbin) which has a similar shape and was originally brought from Nagahama castle. The bridge to the entrance could be demolished to prevent easy access for attacking enemies.

On the bridge to Tenbin-yagura.

Tenbin-yagura information and Sakura tree. Something interesting to note, the stones at the base of the turret used two different building styles.

This is the site of the first bell however it was later moved to a new location.

Sakura buds at the old bell location.

Jiho-sho (Time-keeping bell) and location of one of Japan's national soundscapes. These are key locations throughout Japan where the naturally occurring sounds (in this case the bell and Cicada in the summer) are considered important cultural locations. The bell continues to be rung 5 times throughout the day.

A small tea house next to Jiho-sho.

Stairs on the way up to Taiko-mon-yagura.

 

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