Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Inuyama Part II

So the journey continued:
With - MORE GATES!!! These ones larger, but still quite unprotected. Truth be told, I was kind of looking forward to seeing Ian fight past the Samurais....

Once through, this guy tried to thwart us, but I think he was only angry because we interupted his meal. I like his bib though...
(it really is unfortunate that we cannot read Japanese, otherwise we might be able to give you some "factual information" as opposed to our um...storyline

My bib is soooo wet...I've been drooling for 800 years!!!

Anyways, continuing through, we came across these interesting looking stone pillars. Again I have no idea what they are, but they were quite beautiful and impressive in person.

You've got mail, you've got mail, you've got mail, you've got.....

I was just happy to see some actual vegetation in Japan! It really was a gorgeous place, and only made me more disapointed that we were stuck in Nagoya!!

There are also hardly any insects in Nagoya. This isn't so bad... but a bit disturbing that humans are the only lifeform for miles. How do you say "Concrete Jungle" in Japanese?

These red pillars were even more impressive however. I am pretty sure that all the wooden plaques hanging from the walls are prayers that people have made through the years. They do a similar thing with paper. They create these massive banners out of prayers that people have written and then tied to string. Its all very interesting, and you can tell that these mean more to people than we will ever know. The entire area is filled with a hushed reverence.

The walkways were all very beautiful and made of stone. The castle was impressive yes, but I would have payed just to wander the grounds. You have no choice but to feel at peace in a place like this.
Really, I tried so hard to be angry, but it was impossible. Fighting ...peacefulness...can't resist... super anger diminishing....increasing desire to embrace all humankind...blast!

Before we entered the castle we had to take off our shoes and put on slippers. There was a sign in english saying that stepping on a drain with your shoes is forbidden. It didn't explain, but I am curious to know why. Anyways, we removed our shoes, donned our slippers (some better fitting than others...), and into the castle we ventured.
Inside it was quite like a museum, with ancient artifacts and information on what the rooms were each used for. Inside one room, was this very impressive wooden replica of the castle itself.

No no, my friend, thanks for the slippers, but you're mistaken. You said "one size fits all" when what you meant to say was "one size fits most of us, but not you, Godzilla."

This room was originally the armour room, where the samurais kept their gear, ready to leap into action. That is actually only half the room...I couldn't get the whole thing on my camera. Now it holds pictures and information on all the castles across Japan.

I was disappointed that the armoury was not fully stocked. What would have happened if we were under attack??? I was fully prepared to defend the castle.

The view from the top was quite amazing. After ascending 5 flights, you reach a room in the top that is lined with red velvet, and photos of some of the most important people in Japanese history. We caught an english tour guide explaining some interesting info about this castle. Apparently it was the last privately owned castle; all others had been bought or given to the municipality or region. It was just in the last 2 years that the owner donated the castle to the region. The tour guide described that man as Japan's last lord.
I fully intend to buy back the castle and build a samurai army. Long live the new lord of Japan! Long live Sandalstoonarrow-San!!!

The top floor has doors on 2 ends opening up out onto a balcony that wraps around the entire top of the castle. Walking out into it we saw an amazing mix of mountains, rivers, and lush vegitation...it was brilliant. Much better than our view of the train tracks...haha.

"Yes...this river will protect us against invasion from the North. Now to position my archers at the south gate."

It was very windy up top....

Not really. Tara just likes to eat hair.

Ok, more pictures of the castle and its view will come in Part III, and we may even have to extend this to a 4 parter...

Sheesh- by the time we get this post up it will be our weekend again and we will have even more for you!!!


Mom d said...

Looks like a beautiful spot. Great pictures, we like pictures!! Keep them coming!

Anita said...

So, like, now that Ian is a full-fledged Samurai will he be able to like save the world and stuff?

Or at least protect my family and I from the crazed squirrels in our backyard? 'cause that would seriously rock.

Oh...and I don't want to be that girl that posts a comment and complains, but I was wondering...could you guys maybe not post in red??? You see, my eyes are not as good as they were when I was "younger", and I think a nice blue would be more soothing.

See you Pikachu!

Anita said...


Derrick M said...

Ian, you were really close to losing your super anger power! If they had slippers that fit you, I'm sure you would of stayed at peace.

Also, owning a castle would be amazing! I'd definately have my castle fully functional and garrisoned.

Alexandra said...

that's an awesome... castle? YEAH, I THINK IT'S A CASTLE! Have u done, or are u doin' karate? I don't want to now that I've seen what it's about... It made me nervous...


your friends in Japan said...

Debbie - it was quite a gorgeous view from up on my castle balcony. More pictures and video to come soon.

Anita - You lead a life full of very bizarre concerns.
Is the red really that hard on your eyes? Maybe adjust the brightness on your computer, it's fine for me. Of course, I'm partly colour blind, so I'm not really sure I can see red to begin with.

Derrick - come join me!!! We'll reclaim the castle, and build a mighty Matheson clan again!

Alexandra - Yup! It's a castle alright. Inuyama Castle - the oldest castle still standing in Japan. In Japanese it's called Inuyama-Jo... so I guess "jo" means castle.
Unfortunately I haven't found a karate club to join yet. I was really nervous about it at first too, but it's a LOT of fun once you start. I still think you should try it, or maybe taikwon-do; that's what Tara used to do. I wish I had started karate when I was your age, then I would have black belt by now!
Miss you too!!!


jake said...

Dear Tara & Ian,
I miss you SOOO much!!!! I really love you and I wish you were still here!

Alexandra says: Jake told me to tell you he's crying...


your friends in Japan said...

Jake - We miss you too!!! I really wish that we could be with you guys for thanksgiving! Its going to be lonely here!
I have been checking out the toys here, trying to decide what you would like best...there are some pretty neat ones!!

Love you and Miss you LOTS!!

Meaghan said...

hmm. I left a comment before everyone else, but apparently it didn't go through. That's pretty lame... I go to see if you responded to me, and it appears that I didn't say anything at all. booo.
Oh well.. The view from the castle looks amazing. I would love to spend a day wandering around there. Is it really the oldest castle? that's so awesome! how old are we talking here?
anyways I can't wait to see more pictures of it :).
Next time I'll make sure my comment actually shows up :P
love you guys both and miss you TONS
<3 Meaghan

your friends in Japan said...


Hi Meaghan!

Yes, Inuyama castle is in fact the oldest surviving Japanese castle. It was constructed in 1537. It really was a beautiful place to spend an afternoon.

I miss Meaghan too, you!