December 7th, 2013

drinking bird

Nagoya, Inuyama castle

I stayed briefly in Nagoya, and took advantage of it to go visit Inuyama Castle. It is about 30 minutes from the city by train, then there is a 15-20 minutes walk through the town of the same name. The terrain is flat, and the walk was easy. However, I was told it would be interesting because of the old buildings and their shops, and I was disappointed. There are indeed older houses, but hardly any shops were open, it was a pretty dull walk. I did see a lovely camellia shrub along the way, though:

camellia along the way
After going through the town, I arrived at the base of the castle. Because of the presence there of a small Inari shrine, there is a red torii at the beginning of the walk up:

the start of the road
The road is not too steep, but it is paved with river stones that are very hard on the feet.

the road behind me
The road behind, and the rest ahead:
the end in sight
Finally, the castle:

the castle

Unfortunately, it is undergoing repairs. So part of it is hidden, and there is scaffolding around the donjon. This castle is one of the oldest in Japan, however, the donjon was not completed till the early 1600s. It is built in a rather old style, I am told. I found the stairs hard to use, because very steep. In fact they are practically ladders. If you are bothered by heights, as I am, they are not enjoyable! The interior is unfortunately poorly lit, so one has trouble seeing things on the lower levels. I am afraid I didn't enjoy it as much as some other small castles like Uwajima. Here is a model which gives a fair idea of its aspect:


After you come down, you have the option of getting souvenirs or your fortune at the Imari shrine:

with its inevitable red toriis:

red toriis

The next day, I returned to Tokyo and its Christmas illuminations!