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Japan Trip 2012 – Matsumoto Castle, Mount Takao

So right after finishing university, my friends and I decided to go to Japan for our graduation trip (May-June 2012). Japan was a high in our choice of destination for a vacation. For my friends, it was of cultural interest and a new place to see. For me, it was the Holy Land of anime, and also the place where my figure collecting hobby would emerge. But the loots and food blog entries will come at the end.
The following series of “Japan Trip 2012” blog posts will simply be pictorial guides of my adventure through Japan. I’ll try to caption most of the pictures and include as many anime-related pictures as possible. Sets of photos are roughly in chronological order, though some places (aka Akihabara) will have multiple sets since we went back there multiple times. There’s 30 or so albums of photos from my Japan trip, and each blog post will contain 2-4 albums worth, so prepare your mouse for a lot of scrolling. So without further ado, enjoy the tour!

Matsumoto Castle

Map to Matsumoto Castle

There’s a moat surrounding the castle

From the outside

Info flyer and entrance ticket

Nice garden inside

Nice boat, I mean swans

Inside the castle. The castle apparently was a strategic stronghold, and the windows are made for snipers.

Inside was pretty much a museum

View from higher up

Some nice photos from outside and around the castle

The koi there are used to being fed by tourists

Frog deity statue in a marketplace nearby

Random bridge in town that we played around under

Because every Keripo blog post requires pictures of Japanese train station signs

Mount Takao

You can take a cable car up. We said NOPE, WE’LL WALK!

Rub the nose for good luck. I passed.

There are multiple walking routes up, each with a different balance of scenery and steepness. We chose the purple one I think.

Lazy people, waiting for the cable car

And so we started our (tiring) hike

There’s signs along the way telling hikers to try to spot various things. We saw nothing ; <

There’s break stations along the way, some of which are good viewing points

Interesting water fountain

There’s a golden monkey place along the way. It was starting to rain at that point so we didn’t want to stop and risk getting stuck on the mountain during the rain.

There’s a few shrines/statues/etc. along the way

A few more scenery shots

Tourist shops

We continue the hike

The top is surprisingly… boring… There’s a shop up top, but that’s it.

Scenery at the top isn’t all that good either, too many close trees blocking the view

On the way back down, there’s apparently this famous waterfall area here. We didn’t see anything impressive ; /

Random pretty flower

Secret cave beside the river

Devices like these feed hydro power into the local energy grid, mainly for street lights/etc. Pretty cool.

End of hike. We finally saw a passing by cable car. Despite the tiring walk, I think it was worth it.

Museum of optical illusions (or something like that). Didn’t have the time to enter it though, just took a few pictures of the outside.

Random torii at the train station

MyFigureCollection: http://myfigurecollection.net/blog/6238
Flickr Matsumotou Castle: https://www.flickr.com/photos/keripo/sets/72157641662787413/
Flickr Mount Takao: https://www.flickr.com/photos/keripo/albums/72157641682746963/

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