Japan has four nationally treasured castles and Hikone Castle is one of them. The others are Inuyama (!) castle, Himeji castle and Matsumoto castle, and now the wooden castle in Matsumoto is the only left on the list that I still have to visit, maybe someday I will. After a very garlicky lunch (they fried the cloves of garlic whole and they were huge and super-tasty) at Big Boy we started on our hike up the mountain which houses Hikone Castle.
Hikone Castle is tiny and rather authentic (except for the renovated steps), just like Inuyama castle. It was a nice castle, but nothing really new by now, except for the plum blossoms we found on the castle grounds. Seems I need to give up hope for snow this winter, as spring seems to be just around the corner…
After our castle adventure Yasu entertained himself by feeding grass to two black swans, and his fascination with animals’ behavior (especially when he’s discovered he can control it) is entertaining to me. After we got back to Osaka, we had dinner at an okonomiyaki restaurant, which is pretty special because I’ve always disliked the Osakan food, but after my recent takoyaki adventure I wanted to give it another try. And it was pretty good!
It was a wonderful and enjoyable weekend. I’m going to share it with my students and hopefully inspire them to do something more enjoyable than work, study or clean.