We spent our last day of vacation in the sleepy town of Inuyama, to visit Japan’s oldest surviving castle. Inuyama castle was built in 1537 by Shogun Nobuyasu, and actually served as a military headquarters, rather than a home. The more I learn about Japanese history and their natural disaster’s, wars and fires, I am even more amazed this place is still standing!
Peach and turtle statues were all over the place, this one was WAY out on the edge of the roof. The significance? Turtles were thought to live 10,000 years and the peach family of fruit, was known for its medicinal properties. So, they believed these were symbols of a long, prosperous life.
Pictures of the past Shoguns lined the wall. This was an inherited position that has been done away with today. You can see how the dress changed with the growing western influence. The most recent shogun (far left) really wanted this picture of himself used, with a drink in hand. Haha!
After the tour, we wandered the town to two other small museums. Along the way we passed a samurai armor shop. The man was so kind and enjoyed seeing the girls. He quickly grabbed helmets for them to try on.
We saw some very ornate Japanese puppets and the girls enjoyed operating them. This is the ancient art form known as, bunraku, which is a very elaborate puppet show. (As for me, I couldn’t help singing “The Lonely Goatherd”!)
The last museum had a replica of a fishing boat that was used for cormorant fishing. Our guide explained this method as follows; the cormorant caught the fish, then choked, and then vomited it into the basket. And voila, dinner! (This method is still used for river fishing, in some parts of Japan.) I had no idea….
A great end to a lovely vacation.