Hikone Castle is located in Shiga Prefecture, which is right next to Kyoto Prefecture. Hikone is one of only 12 castles in Japan that has the original keep. The keep at Hikone was built in 1575.
The mascot of Hikone is “Hiko-nyan”, a samurai cat. You can see him everywhere.
There was even a statue of him at the gravestone and statue place on the way to the castle.
The moat and wall at Hikone Castle.
There was a pair of swans outside of the castle walls.
There were also cranes near the moat.
First, we saw Hikone Castle Museum.
We saw samurai armor in the museum.
There were many model rooms in the museum, too.
The museum had its own garden. I liked how there were little yellow flowers growing out of the bamboo fountain.
This string instrument is called a koto. It is about 6 feet long. I liked the detail on the end.
Very nice gold leaf screens.
These screens were very long.
After the museum, we went to see the castle keep.
A shot of the castle keep. We had to wait for about 1 hour to go inside.
The ceiling beams inside of the castle keep.
Windows inside of the castle keep.
Wooden artifacts inside of the castle.
Another angle of the castle keep.
After seeing the castle, we went to see the castle garden, Genkyuen.
More swans on the way to the garden.
The castle keep as seen from Genkyuen.
Another shot of Genkyuen.
There is a large lake in Genkyuen.
There is also a teahouse in Genkyuen. We got maccha (powdered Japanese green tea) and wagashi (Japanese sweets) for 500 yen.
A Japanese style umbrella near the teahouse.
After Genkyuen, we stopped at a bakery nearby and had some bakery pizza. It was really good. It was just going to be our snack, but it ended up being our lunch because we got stuck on the train for 40 extra minutes between Yamashina and Kyoto Station because of some type of mechanical error or accident. 😦
The next post will be about our Sunday adventures.