Japan, Matsumoto – Crow Castle
For the third time, we go visit Japan and one of its largest castles. In Matsumoto, Nagano prefecture, the castle which is called Crow Castle is located. Unusually though, it doesn’t stand on a hill, isn’t surrounded with rivers, instead it is on a flat land. It was built in the middle of the 16th century, the era when Osaka catle was built. Hideoshi Toyotomi also played an important role in its history.
Prior to our visit to the castle, lets take a look at a city which emerged around it.
Matsumoto has 250 thousand inhabitants. Except castle, you can enjoy there beautiful nature. The city is surrounded with mountains, as you can see on the photos. The view is magnificent. You can easily get to the most attractive places of the city by public transportation.
If you happen to be in the city, don’t forget to taste local soba, buckwheat noodles, a popular snack at train stations. Matsumoto’s soba is known for its smooth and delicious taste.
Many of you certainly like to add wasabi to food. This green paste is made of Japanese horseradish, a plant that can grow only in very clean water. North of Matsumoto is one of the largest farms in the world. It was established in 1915, and also it appeared in Akiro Kurosawa’sDreams .
Moreover, in Matsumoto, is one of the first Japanese schools , that displays contemporary furniture. It was established in the 1870s, and first it was in a temporary building from which it moved to new, western-like building with Japanese elements in 1876.
And now to the castle. Hideoshi placed there Ishikawa Norimasa. He and his son built there 30-meters high central keep, and two smaller towers, two gates, moat, and three lines of fortification.
In the Meiji period, in the mid 1870s Crow Castle, as well as many others, was put into auction and was about to be demolished. However, locals stood up against this intention and actively sought its reconstruction. There were three of them. First in the beginning of the 20th century, second in the 1950s and the third in the 1990s.
Today, there are many interesting events throughout the year. In winter, you can see ice sculpting. Or in other seasons you can see exhibition of traditional guns, or walk under blossoming cherries, or visit various festivals.
The most interesting part of the castle is the main keep. Inside are preserved wooden interiors, and it has also preserved stone exterior. The second floor hosts the weapons museum. Except guns, and other weapons you can see contemporary armors.
Text: Maxim Kucer
Photo: Wikipedia.org: 663highland, Japanexperterna, Mnd, Ultrasleeper2, Fg2
We stay on the other side of our planet this week. We will see another monumental Japanese castle.
Long time ago, we published an article about one of Japan’s largest cities, Osaka. At the end of it, we mentioned its castle that is only slightly smaller than Prague Castle.
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