Ooooooh, more shots from up on the balcony of Inuyama Jo.
Alright, I guess it was windy up there. It made me a little nervous, because the guard rails only came up to my knees.
There's a cute little mountain over my shoulder, on the other side of the Kiso River. Here I'm kneeling down to hold onto the guard rail.
Later you'll see a very interesting demonstration on this same river!
Aww...CUTE, non? We're the poster-couple for the castle real-estate market.
Tired of houses in convenient locations? Do you have billions of yen lying around that you don't know what to do with? Thinking of upgrading into a stylish and priceless world heritage site protected by UNESCO? We may have the ancient Japanese Castle for you!
COOL! Samurai armour!!! I used to have ninja turtle toys with these same outfits.
Unfortunately, ancient Japanese people were even smaller than their modern day descendants, so I don't think any of the armour would have fit me.
Later that night, down by the river....
This was an awesome experience that you just have to watch:
It's called "ukai" in Japanese. It's a traditional form of fishing using cormorants. The birds swim out in front of the boat and swallow whole the sweetfish that are drawn to the burning pine in the hanging metal basket in front of the boat. The fishing master reels the cormorants in by the ties around their necks, tugging just hard enough that the birds can't swallow, but not so hard that he chokes them.
He then has the birds regurgitate the fish into the boat. It was an incredibly unique experience, and a first hand look at a very old Japanese tradition (the practice is around 300 years old). The hanging bonfire reflecting against the water made for a mesmerizing site, and the stream of sparks flowing out behind the boat made it look like a magic ship.