After leaving my family and Hita, I went straight to Kumamoto, another town with a famous castle. When it was built at the end of the 16th century, it made use of many innovative defensive designs and was considered impregnable. However, the written explanations were a little too hard to understand so unfortunately, I could not understand what those innovations were.
This time I stayed at a minshuku, a kind of familial pension. From my little experience, it seems that it's like a ryokan, although bit less traditional. I don't know the difference yet, but I'm going to investigate to find out the whole truth...
Here are some shots of the castle:
I also visited Lafcadio Hearn's former house. This Greek writer, a true Japan lover, spent most of his life on the archipelago and wrote a lot of essays about it. He greatly contributed to spreading information about Japan and its culture in Europe. He even obtained the Japanese citizenship, a remarkable feat especially in those days!
There's a really nice garden downtown called 水前寺公園 (Suizen-ji-koen):
With beautiful golden carps:
Here are a couple other pictures taken throughout my stroll:
I'm not talking much about the town and indeed, even though it was rather nice, with a lively center, I don't know...there was something about it I didn't really like.
Kumamoto castle and Suizenji park were used as filming locations for the movie "The last samurai". Kumamoto castle was also used in "Ran", a great Japanese movie, although hardly known in Europe.