Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hirosaki Castle

We made it! Last weekend we ended up having to stay on base and take care of some car business (a story for another time), besides it was a little soggy last week. This weekend was beautiful; the sun was shining; it was the perfect temperature, so off we went. The drive took us almost exactly two hours.
Hirosaki Castle was hosting it's annual Chrysanthemum Festival, so there was amazing color from the flowers and the changing leaf color. The symbol in the middle of the flowers is called manji, it looks like a swastika but does not have the negative connotation in Japan as it does in the west. It is used frequently as a positive symbol in the Buddhist religion.

First, some ice cream.
Next, a ride on the mini bullet train.

A zen garden. The grounds are huge; there is sooo much to see.

Rayce won a couple toys by shooting them off a shelf with a cork gun, he was in heaven.

Amazing fall color.

There are five of these castle gates on the property thought to date back to the Edo Period (around the 17th century). They are massive.

The castle tower. The original castle tower was struck by lightening and burnt down in 1627, it was re-built in 1811. It is the only castle tower built in the Edo period in northeastern Japan that remains.

From the top of the tower. I don't know what happened but I started feeling woozy when I stepped in. Maybe it's because the building slants to one side, understandable given the age...but still I walked through there as fast as I could. Then my family made fun of me.

Mt. Iwaki

The park is home to the 120-year-oldest Somei Yoshino Cherry Blossom Tree in Japan...can't remember if this picture is it or not but there are several throughout the park that are roped off.

I am smitten by the beauty of Japan.


Cass said...

Gorgeous! Love the mini bullet train. Love seeing your adventures!

Linsey said...

Thanks Cass, love seeing pictures of your sweet family :)

Dustin said...

I love love love what Avie is wearing!! So excited that you guys are having such a fun adventure! We miss you guys!!