Matsumoto-Jo Nagano’s Unmovable BattleCruiser

May 31st, 2010 by
Category: Culture Art, Experience, Sightseeing

As part of my job as foreign liaison in Snow Monkey Village-Yudanaka I often have to show people around and soften some of the cultural challenges…

usually I have at least a little background knowledge and am reasonably well prepared,…but not today….

ah ow, I was about to crash into Matsumoto-Castle, almost literally^-^…Not even knowing where the entrance was, was going to be a challenge for me.

It’s strange how every day brings new & different drama.

Luckily I had met one of the other Go-Nagano Bloggers the week before and had a phone number…

Around 8:30am Tom Jones answered his phone, and we agreed to meet (together with my slightly unusual guests) at 10:40am by the Family Mart near the Castle.

I was so thankful to have someone who had a few clues about the place…

10:30 Coming off the highway from Yudanaka my phone starts to shake & ring,

pulling off the road it’s Tadachi-san from the local government government…

…”I’ll be your guide today….” – super, another guide can’t hurt^-^.

Mike & Jacky our English Montaineering guests were very impressed they now had 3 guides!

But wait there’s more^-^

Some god must have been watching my looks of agony as I tried to sleep the night before dreading the unknown castle,

when we reached Family Mart carpark, and Tadachi-san showed me the City Council parking he said “let me introduce you to my guide for the day”

It was like Mike & Jacky (who are actually guides themselves) had started an atomic chain reaction…first me, then Tom, within minutes Tadachi-san, and then in the final moments before entering…the best guide inthe universe ‘Aoki-sensei’.

I hope the students that Mike & Jacky bring, enjoy Nagano’s people as much as I did today.

Matsumoto-Jo was a very impressive military creation, but more impressive was Aoki-sensei’s,  Tadachi-san’s, and my new friend Tom Jones’, explanation.

Tom Jones having a PHD in Forests & Wood, Tadachi-san’s care & courtesy and Aoki’s detail + quite ripe jokes made this an absolutely unforgettable experience…

if I can work out how to put some pictures up here…please enjoy…also see Katsuo Marushige’s 100year old Bonsai trees below too^-^warming-up-before-castle

We joke how each part of the armor is used...

We joke how each part of the armor is used...

We are all blury eyed with imagination, making the stairs more exciting

We are all blury eyed with imagination, making the stairs more exciting

4 Samurai of Matsumoto-Jo ?

4 Samurai of Matsumoto-Jo ?

3 generations of Bonsai-ists...the Castle was good, but living Bonsai are...

3 generations of Bonsai-ists...the Castle was good, but living Bonsai are...

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About Craig Shaw

Living in Snow Monkey Village - Yudanaka, working as Foreign Liaison trying to keep myself & guests from abroad out of trouble, sometime heard fumbling with an amateur radio set or trying to record something which sounds like music (usually not).

2 Responses to “Matsumoto-Jo Nagano’s Unmovable BattleCruiser

  1. Cheers Tom, I’ll bring some coffee & biscuits next time…twisting arm things^-^
    Thanks for all help.

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