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10 Castle Visits  
  1. Bitchu Matsuyama Castle
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    This is the castle I simply fell in love with at first site. Great placement, good job done on the reconstruction department, and not so crowded with visitors, which makes a plus when you go there on some hot August day like me. Maybe, not so grand-looking like some of the bigger castles, but thanks to the height of the mountain, it gives a feeling of transferring to the old times and some kind of isolation from the outer world. Which is a good thing for an modern urban dweller, I think. Also, on my way back I took the footpath that meanders through the mountain forest instead of a taxi ride, and I think it adds immensly to the whole experience. So if you have time, I would recommend to take it as a must-do :) You'll be literally one with nature, just watch your steps!
  2. Edo Castle
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  3. Hikone Castle
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  4. Hirosaki Castle
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  5. Inuyama Castle
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  6. Nijo Castle
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  7. Okayama Castle
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  8. Osaka Castle
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    Went there on my last day in Osaka, and I felt somewhat disappointed. Yes, it looks great on the outside, and it has really impressive castle park, walls and moats, but the donjon's interior... Would they restore it in wood one day, I wonder? Although the museum was great, all those elevators and concrete killed my inner castle enthusiast a little bit more with every level :/ Though, the view from the observation deck is beautiful, and if I lived in Osaka, it would be great walk through the castle park everyday while going to work and back, as many students and salarimen there seem to do :)
  9. Sendai Castle
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    The view from the castle grounds is simply magnificent! I wish the castle could be reconstructed as it was originally built one day, though it would be a really tough task to do. But I'm glad they didn't carry out their initial plan of "reconstructing" the yagura that has never been there in the first place. Kudos to all the people who struggled against that plan and to the people who did the fine job on excavations and restoration of the castle walls.
  10. Shiroishi Castle
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    Went there on the same day as local students went for some kind of archery contest, so at first I thought they were shooting a movie. But as I got to know, there are many similar events held here, and the castle seems to be the center of the city life until now. Also, I don't know how about the castles that I haven't been to yet, but in Shiroishi visitors can experience what it was like to wear samurai armor, because they offer armors to try on.