4 based on 69 reviews
Nationally recognized traditional scenic spot, Obasute's terraced rice fields ('tanada') supposedly reflect the moon in the individual rice paddies. Easy access from Obasute Station on the JR Shinonoi Line between Matsumoto and Nagano cities. The platform serves as an observation deck, but it's a short walk down and through the fields. Historical Chorakuji Temple is half way down on the north side. Worth checking out for the recently redone thatched roofs, as well as the massive Uba-iwa boulder towering over it. Many haiku poets (Matsuo Bassho, Issa, etc.) and ukiyo-e artists (Hiroshige) came to see the moon reflecting in the fields. Nearby Obasute Mountain is named after the legend of the elderly being thrown away on the mountaintop. The fields are 10 minutes by car from Togura-Kamiyamada Onsen.
4 based on 34 reviews
Japanese Castles fascinate me. Especially original Castles. Arato is not a original castle. The reason why it was on my itinery because it is different from the normal Japanese castle.
Firstly, it is a located up in the mountain and secondly it does not have the usual body structure.
It is more like a watch-out post, built high up in the mountain to look out for signs of approaching enemies from afar.
I stayed at Togura Onsen the night before, the start of the climb was near a car park which is about 10 mins away from my ryokan. It was the uphill walk that was painful and torturous. It took me about 1 hour to reach the top. Out of breath, out of words.
Admission at 9:00am, when I reached, it was about 7:45am. Nothing else to do except to sit on the slope and wait out. Luckily for me, the friendly gate keeper arrived at about 8:15 and let me in promptly. "Ticket?" "Later." He replied and moved up ahead of me to open up the gates.
Nice quiet place with a nice quiet view of the Chikuma River and the Togura Onsen Town beneath. As it rained heavily the whole of yesterday and yesternight, at first the whole place was shrouded in mist. Visibility of the Mountains across was zero. I decided to wait it out. True enough, the sun's heat soon dissipated most of the mist. With only a trace of the mist hanging over the mountain ridges, the view was beautiful albeit with a hint of melanchony.
Old Castles ruins always bring a sense of loss and regret to me. History of the glory it used to enjoy, and the eventual decline which led to the inevitable fate of destruction.
Admission fee for the ruin is 300¥.
Worth coming for the view, and experience a totally different type of Japanese Castle.
4 based on 21 reviews
4 based on 21 reviews
Not sure where that 'ultrasound' came from. The name in Japanese is 'cho-onpa' which means 'supersonic'. Anyways, genuine bathhouse with extra-hot water. Great footbath out front, too. (Also hot water.)
4 based on 10 reviews
4 based on 79 reviews
Matsushiro was possibly more popular than it usually is when we visited it, thanks to the NHK drama 'Sanada Maru', currently airing on TV. The exhibition at the museum was in relation to the drama. The museum had some great artefacts on display, especially the three armour sets we got to see. Sadly, only the labels and the introductory panel were translated into English, so you were stuck understanding what the artefacts were in relation to if you knew nothing of the history. It was only that we'd previously read up on the history of Yukimura Sanada that we had some idea, my average Japanese skills were failing me when I was trying to read the interpretation panels.
You can buy a discount pass that includes entry to Sanada House and the Literary School which makes it a worthwhile couple of hours of sightseeing.
3.5 based on 7 reviews
4.5 based on 67 reviews
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