It was an exciting day, not only finally getting to see Matsumoto castle but experience driving there myself, a daunting prospect but it shouldn’t be too bad only 2 major road changes and it is sign posted most of the way.
The trusty Rav4 with it's permanent 4 wheel drive awaits the experience of my moutain driving, will it get back in one piece?
We printed out a Google map of the route and off we went.
On the road to Matsumoto
After leaving the minor roads, we came to the first major road sign posted to Matsumoto, the Google map said take route 152 then route 254 simple! But when we got to the cross roads it said Matsumoto Route 167! What do I do? We thought the 152 must be further along the road we were on so we went passed that turn off, several KM later it was obvious we weren’t on a main road to anywhere. So we went back to the cross roads and took te 167 anyway as that was the last mention of Matsumoto. Annoyingly when we got back to Internet access I found that it depends how much you zoom in to the map – cheers Google. Disappointingly confusing.
Beautiful views, keep eyes on the road...
narrow roads not much margin for error.
Just before going into the tunnels through the mountains, one was several kms long.
We have arrived
first impressions - nice!
lovely moat, shame theres some building work going on
The red bridge is being repaired so we had to go the long way round to the main entry
A cute logo for the castle
walking around the castle
Would you consider attacking this castle?
What a beautiful castle
Halfway round, it's a big castle...
It is a very cold day
The easiest way to get a stranger to offer to take your photo - try an awkward self portrait.
It worked! Some friendly Belgian tourists took pity on our plight and offered to take a photo
Almost there, the water is frozen over on this side.
These trees require more discipline, you'll stay in there until you straighten up!
Granda decides to not to come into the castle a decision we thought was wrong at the time. But once we saw the stairs… That WAS a good idea.
south side of the moat a lot warmer, all the fish and the swans know where to find comfort.
At the ticket office more good news today there is a discount for foreigners 🙂 nice.
Grown from seeds that have been in space! Looks like the ancient wig of Kajagoogoo (actually its be plant underneath the wig)
The inside gardens of the castle grounds
View from inside the gardens
We're listening to an announcement about the history of the castle, it's 400 years old!
Keeping Austin off the gardens was a challenge
The fish on the roof are often seen on castles in Japan.
See all the holes? rifles and canons would be on us by now.
5 floors, maybe Granda was right!
We're not sure we want to go in
Yeah, come on, it looks like fun (in a museumy kind of way)
Here are some of the original roof parts
Inside 1st floor
Very steep scary stairs
The building is original but they have had to do repairs over the years with at least 2 major restorations.
Not big on furniture those Samurai
The original lucky fish from the roof
It's a smart looking fish, I'm sure Osaka castle had a similar design
Well kept Garden, it must look stunning in Summer
Cool samurai armour!
Some more rifles, theres a pattern here
Rocket bombs! whoa!
Wonder what the range was?
Small cannon, looks charming, wonder how many people it's killed.
The battles are documented by a mural
It's a camera stand-off! Rie won...
Phased-plasma rifle in the forty watt range? Just what you see pal!
Nicely lined up... you guessed it - Rifles
The rilfles you can take today, but you'll have to wait 14 days for the hand guns.
Many different styles of pistol, but where can you get bullets from?
You make them yourself!
Finally at the top!
Inside the roof
Granda looked after the pushchair and bags. As always click for bigger pic.
He must be freezing there.
Lets try that trick again!
Bingo! A free family photo courtesy of a nice Australian tourist. works everytime.
Lovely phone boxes
So the tour ends, back to the car.
The castle was this big.
Just time to check out Matsumoto Shrine
And so we bid farewell to Matsumoto, we managed to find our way back in the dark. Ready for the next adventure.