2016 Japan fall trip (day 3)

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November 29

5:50 am – Work ended
It took a lot longer than I expected.

6:12 am – Went to bed

10:47 am – Got up
Around 5 hours of sleep was enough. If I was back home I would’ve slept until late in the afternoon.

12:09 pm – Off we go
I was still tired but it was a beautiful morning.

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おはよう, Matsumoto

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Beautiful flowers on the way to the castle

12:19 pm – Matsumoto castle

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Hello again!

How I got there: I just walked for a few minutes since the guesthouse was very near. It’s also just less than a 20-minute walk from Matsumoto station.

Admission: The park grounds are free to roam but the inner area where the castle stands costs 610JPY to enter.

They are open from 8:30 in the morning until 5:00 in the afternoon. You can still get in until 4:30.

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Looks different in daylight

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Some of the leaf-less trees in the castle grounds

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Lovely park

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View from near the pond

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The red bridge was off limits though

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View from near the entrance

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A little bit of history for you

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Entrance to the inner grounds

I roamed the east area before going to see the castle’s inside.

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Taiko-mon gate

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Taiko-mon gate’s history. Is it readable?

There was an open area on the east side with few small inscriptions scattered around. I didn’t go further because the place might have been off limits…

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Probably off limits

…besides, there was also this.

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Definitely off limits

Moving on to the inner grounds.

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There used to be buildings on these open spaces

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Good to know

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Pebbled path towards the castle entrance

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Pictorial with the samurai

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Look up

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Welcome to Matsumoto castle

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Taking photos inside is allowed

As usual, shoes weren’t allowed to be worn inside. Visitors were to put shoes in plastic bags while inside. It’s a little bit different from other places where shoes were left on shelves near the entrance.

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Shiny floors

Everything inside was made of wood. And a little bit slippery for sock-wearing visitors.

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Stairs to the second floor

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The second floor

There was a ‘hidden’ floor inside where supplies were stored back in the day.

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Supplies go here

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Steeper stairs to the next floor

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There were some displays on the next floor

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He’s guarding the castle

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Just follow the path…

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Narrow 2-way stairs to the next floor

The next four images were taken from the castle’s top floor. It’s just that I forgot to note which one is from which direction. I probably started on the East going clockwise.

What’s ironic is that there was an image of what can be seen from which direction right above each of the four windows.

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East view (probably)

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View from the south (maybe)

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West view (I think)

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A bit dark on the north (not sure ’bout that) side

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There’s a small shrine above the castle’s top floor

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Some more of the displays inside

The castle has a moon viewing wing. Cool.

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I could stay here all day

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View from the moon viewing wing

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The moon viewing wing from the outside

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There’s a ninja guarding the entrance

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‘Welcome!’ says the ninja

2:10 pm – Off to Nakamachi

I passed by the Timepiece museum on the way to Nakamachi.

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Tick tock

I was also looking for a coin laundry place. Wasn’t able to find any though. It was either I wasn’t paying much attention or was too busy admiring something else.

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Hello, Nakamachi

Just head south from Matsumoto castle. It’s the street on the left just a few meters after crossing the bridge. You can’t miss it.

The whole street is full of shops.

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Shops…

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…shops…

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…and more shops

I kept walking until I reached the intersection at 1 Chome-5-6 Agata and turned right.

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Turned right at the intersection just ahead

After a few more meters, I turned right again towards Matsumoto station.

I passed by Matsumoto City Museum of Art on the way to Matsumoto station.

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Didn’t get in though

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Interesting pieces outside the museum

Here’s the whole walking trip I did.

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Walking exercise

When I got to the station, a couple of missionaries approached me and chatted me up a bit. You know, the ones I sometimes see down here dressed impeccably with name tags and they always go in pairs.

No, it wasn’t about religion or anything. It was just basically a hi-hello-how are you?-do you live here? type of chat. It was kinda fun actually. They even asked around for a coin laundry place.

4:29 pm – Matsumoto castle
I looked up the sunset time for that day, it was at 4:34 pm (it gets dark up there really early).

I should have waited a bit longer but I was still nowhere near getting used to the cold. It gets especially colder when I stay still.

5:02 pm – At guesthouse

7:02 pm – Another lap around Matsumoto castle
After resting for a bit, I decided to visit the castle once again.

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It still looks better at night

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Sooo pretty

7:41 pm – At guesthouse

9:10 pm – Sleep
In case anyone was wondering, the original plan was to visit the wasabi farm in Azumino in the morning before the castle. But since I was up the previous night, I did not push through with the farm visit. I still want to go though. Maybe some other time.


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