As you may be able to tell from my
photo albums, amongst other things, I am a fan of visiting Japanese Castles. I've visited almost 20 of them so far, mostly while I was living in Japan. Since I've moved to HK, I make sure to plan a visit or two during every trip back to Japan I take (every few months or so).
And coincidently, I happened to have gone back to Japan last weekend (and fallen behind on my blogging!)
Here's the first castle I visited during that trip, in the city of Fukuyama (福山市 -
google map) on the Southern coast of the main Japanese island of Honshu, about half way between Hiroshima and Okayama.
Unfortunately like most of the Japanese castles, Fukuyama Castle (福山城) was lost in WWII to fire. Like most of the restored ones around now, it was rebuilt in the 60s out of concrete and steel instead of the original wood.
Its a relatively tall one too:
Seven stories (although deceptively designed to look like it was only 5 stories from the outside).
Inside it has the typical museum stuff, old samurai swords, suits of armor, scroll paintings, etc. Not anything particularly sexy, so I'll skip to the top:
A bunch of oji-sans and oba-sans with their ubiquitous hats (hogging up all the good bench space!!!)
The balcony did provide a good view of the town:
On the castle grounds there were several buildings that were original (escaping the fire that destroyed the tower), in the back you can see Fukuyama station, which is RIGHT next to the castle walls
An interesting church building over there, and several museums in the foreground (Prefectural history museum and Art Museum). But I didn't have time to visit, I had a boat to catch, so it was back down and out to the front.
As you can see the station is literally across the street from the castle park. I'm guessing it used to be far enough, but with expansion of the station and the addition of the Shinkansen train tracks, slowly creeped closer and closer. :-P
It sucks though, cause you can't get a decent view of the castle from the front. This is one of the original turret buildings on the outer wall side.
Next stop, the Fukuyama port, I had a date with this beautiful lady:
More on that tomorrow...
There actually was one thing I found cool inside the castle's museum:
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