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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.

Categories: Travel - Kyushu

1 comment(s)

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By Musashi on 01/10/2007 at 13:57:52

Pas si inconnu que cela RAN, je l'ai vu .
Je me demande si ce chateau n'a pas aussi été utilisé dans un film de Kurosawa, je vais vérifier cela.

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