Thursday, August 30, 2012

Haneda Airport

There are 2 major airports in Tokyo, Narita and Haneda (Haneda 1 & 2). Haneda is nicer than Narita. My first visit to Japan in 1995, I landed in Narita. It was not so bad back then as it was relatively new. Today, not so much so. Lawson's is always a welcome site for the weary traveler. This store is near the bus pick up area.

Chocolate Covered Potato Chips (not exactly a huge hit in Japan)

Haneda Airport

Friday, August 24, 2012

Castle Mascot

The castle mascot is named “kun Yoshiaki” after Yoshiaki Kato, lord of Matsuyama. His costumed mascot is part of local celebrities represented at public functions.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

View from Castle Tower

The summit of Katsuyama hill is 132m above sea level. The castle adds another 30m to the height. On clear days the castle can be seen from Honshu Island.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Portrait of a Samurai

During restoration that occurred between 2004 and 2006, this portrait of a Samurai was discovered on the back surface of plank siding. It is believed to have been drawn between the years of 1848 and 1854 when reconstruction occurred due to fire.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Round Heaven and Princess Pine

“Round Heaven” and “Princess Pine” are the names of the fish that decorate the crests of the castle. In June of 2006 the Mayor of Matsuyama decreed that they are “residents of the castle.” In keeping with the theme of guardians of sacred places in Japan, “Round Heaven” has his mouth open (ah or alpha) and “Princess Pine” has her mouth closed (um or omega). The fish were replaced after 81 years of exposure to the elements. Replica’s of the fish that decorate the castle roof are on display in the lower entrance to the rope way at the bottom of Katsuyama hill. They are the same size as the fish that decorate the Castle Roof.

Hollyhock Circle - Emblem of Matsuyama Castle

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Castle Family Crests

The family crests are (left to right) Kato, Gamoh, Matsudaira and Hissamatsu