Monday, November 29, 2010

Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture...(Pic heavy)

Last week my wife and I took a day trip to the next island over, Shikoku, and visited the main city in Ehime prefecture, Matsuyama. It was LOVELY.

We hopped the ferry out of Yanai, Yamaguchi-ken, and man was I excited. The weather was perfect, the ocean smooth and the ride so much fun.

I'm on a boat, M**********R, don't you ever forget!

The Seto Inland sea...

When we arrived in Matsuyama, we had a fantastic lunch at the ANA hotel then went up to Bansuiso, a preserved villa that was built in the 1920's by Hisamatsu Sadakoto, the former lord of Matsuyama castle, after he spent time in France. There is a museum dedicated to his life at the foot of the hill.

The Museum peeks through the bamboo, like a cheeky little monkey.
That's a haiku, man.

Walking up to the villa is a lovely experience.

Most impressive...

His head was held on with duct tape...poor guy. The funny thing is, my wife did the same pose but refuses to let me post her picture...

After the villa, we went up to the castle. The caste was up at the top of a mountain, as they tend to be in Japan, and so you can either walk, take the packed cable-car, or take the lift.

We took the lift. That's my wife in the middle there, in the beige jacket. it was a lovely, peaceful, incredibly dangerous ride. Not the complete lack of any safety equipment (seatbelts, etc.). When you get on or off, you kind of just jump on, they don't even stop it...

The castle was pretty cool. Nice and big and imposing, as it should be.

Inside the castle were the requisite samurai gear--swords, armor, and the like. My inner 12-year-old was squealing with glee.

That's a whole lot of sharp there...

The first Japanese chain mail shirt I've seen...

This was my favorite exhibit.

A murder hole. Know what it was for? Yeah...murdering people.

After the castle, we went to a department store to while away the remaining hour until hour ship home, and I met a lovely young carpenter named Shuugei Iyo, who tolerated my passion for sharp shiny things and stones, and told me about some local blacksmiths and a city that used to be a hone mining town, but in later years turned to ceramics.

He's a gifted woodworker, check out his site (Japanese only) if you like that sort of thing.

And that was our trip...a heck of a day, and well worth it.

He's a t

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