|Panoramic view of an internal wall and moat, Edo Castle.|
|Himeji and Tokyo|
Himeji castle was never attacked, and is Japan's finest castle. It is said to resemble a white heron taking flight. The wooden superstructure is not original- it has been pulled down and rebuilt a few times.
|Main keep from an outer gate|
At the railway station there is a nice model of the castle, showing the main keep and the western bailey. There was a smaller scale model inside the keep which was difficult to photograph, but showed the surrounding countryside and the extended defensive works.
|From the south: keep at the right, western bailey to the left.|
|Castle from the east, showing key terrain nearby.|
|Approaching the keep from the south|
|Note the different shape of the firing apertures|
|Windows, with small square ports for firing arquebuses, and a vent for dropping stones.|
|View from the main keep over the western bailey|
|A lovely garden just outside the castle grounds|
I didn't take any inside pictures of the keep, but it is surprisingly roomy and light compared to European stone castles I have visited.
Edo Castle, Tokyo
You can't get around all of the Edo castle grounds in Tokyo as it comprises the current Imperial Palace. A portion has been set aside for the public, and has a charming garden. There is none of the original castle remaining except for the stonework, and it is hard to visualise what the castle may have looked like.
|Outer wall, moat, and corner tower.|
|Diagram of wall construction- these walls are huge!|
|Forty Seven Ronin began here|
|Pond, garden, lantern.|
Elsewhere in Tokyo is the National Museum. It has a good selection of artefacts- I've photographed much of the armour they had on display. I was never really sure what it was made of- my research confirms metal, laced together. A painter's nightmare.
|Domaru style armour, 15th century|
|Saigabachi style helmet, 17th century|
|Helmet with hair, 17th century|
|Domaru style armour, 14-15th century|
|Gusoku style armour, 17th century|
|Gusoku style armour, 16-17th century|
|Quiver, bow, and arrows|
|Demons killing humans|
Next time- Hiroshima.