Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Touring Hiroshima Castle

After walking through the Peace Park all morning (the rest of that adventure can be found Here: Hiroshima) we decided it was time for lunch.  We were lucky enough to find... CoCo's!  After filling our bellies with curly we made our way toward Hiroshima Castle and saw a few interesting things on the way.   A pretty Christmas Tree with a beautiful waterfall in front.

"Sisters are forever"

I was pretty excited to add another castle to our growing list!  However, once inside I was a bit disappointed.  It's my fault for not realizing how close to ground zero for the A-bomb this was.  After the bomb, it was nothing but a concrete slab.  So, the whole thing is only 58 years old.  So, the inside is very new-looking.  It is pretty from the outside, and the gate leading into the property was nice to walk around in, although it was totally in Japanese, we could still look at the structures and how they progressed through time.  Any we go...

Hiroshima Castle

This is the restored Main Gate

Just inside the Main Gate we found Turrets.  The three kids and I took our shoes off and walked through this building.  The two littles weren't very interested in the process of rebuilding the castle after the bomb, so they breezed through then put their shoes back on to find Daddy.   

A shot from one end of the hall to the other.  The wood floors were beautiful.   In Edo times drums like this were used to signal the time of day, signal the opening and closing of the gates, and to let samurai know when to report for their duties.  The sign by the drum says that sometimes the castle would get complaints from the public if the drum was too loud or if the time was off.

Morgan and I continued to explore the hall and found an awesome picture taking thingie at the back!  Took me a few minutes to figure it out, but I did.  And, it was pure giggles!  Smiling Samurai Morgan is boot-shaking terrifying!!!

After we finished fooling around with that picture app, we made our way towards the rest of our gang, patiently waiting on us to stop being goofy.  :) 

A tree that survived the A-Bomb

 A look toward the main part of the castle grounds.  the Castle is off toward the right, just out of the frame.  

These are the remains of an underground communications bunker.  It is 700 meters from the bomb's hypocenter.  When the bomb exploded it destroyed everything in the vicinity, however in this underground bunker a few people survived.  This is thought to be the place where the first transmission of Hiroshima's attack was sent out.  We walked around the bunker a bit, and the kids even wandered into the narrow halls that surround it.  I'm not sure if we were allowed to or not, it didn't seem like it was meant for anyone to enter, with rocks and branches all over the place, but there also wasn't a sign that told us to keep out.  

Back across the grounds and up a few stairs, we made it to the castle keep.  It is a beautiful castle from the outside.  It's five stories high and was originally founded in 1589.  This castle is nicknamed the "Carp Castle" because where the castle was built used to be called Koi-no-ura ~ Koi Sea Shore, and koi means carp in Japanese.   

Beautiful red trees standing tall on the streets below.

These are the original foundation stones from the original castle

The inside of the castle was a bit of a history lesson for us.  We were able to see into mock-ups of typical Japanese life from many years ago.  It wasn't very exciting for the kids.  They were more interested in seeing how many stairs it took us to get to the top.  At one point they were allowed to pick up an actual samurai sword.  --no pictures were allowed inside, so I didn't get any shots of the things we were allowed to touch or pick up--  We also saw dishes and weaponry.  

Once we were out of the castle, we made our way back down the steps and then over behind the castle.  The kids wanted to see where the path led, so we followed.  We were trying to move them along at this point because we still had one more thing on the agenda for the day.

We tried to get a good shot of all of us in front of the castle.  There weren't many people around to ask for help with the pictures, so we figured we'd do it ourselves.  Well, if any of you know know he doesn't always cooperate when it comes to pictures...

There were three more.  I'll spare you that fiasco.  Finally, a nice Aussie gentleman offered to take our picture for us.

On our way home we had a misty view of our destination for the next day!  


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