Wednesday, August 06, 2008

On Monday, I went to Matsumoto Castle which is one of the few castles to remain from the fuedal era in its original form. Matsumoto is located in the Nagano prefecture, which is about two and a half hours away from Tokyo on the Azusa limited express service from Shinjuku, so it's quite easy to get to.

The castle is also known as Karasu-jo, or Crow Castle because of its black appearance and shape. It originates from Fukashi Castle, which was built in 1504 by the Ogasawara clan and was remodelled in 1593 by Lord Ishikawa.

Matsumoto Castle is one of the most beautiful of Japan's castles and is the oldest five tiered donjon or central fortress in the country. It is also different to many other castles as it is an example of a 'hirajiro', which is a castle built on a plain rather than on a hill or mountain.

You can see the photos here.