AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Nagoya to Kanazawa

Nagoya to Kanazawa

Posted on Jul 15, 2014

After visiting the Toyota factory the day before I decided that our hire car should be a Toyota Prius. I’ve never driven a hybrid car before and everything I’ve read about them has convinced me that while they are a good idea in practice they are not much more efficient than a new diesel engine car. Time to see if I was right… Picking up the car was easy but driving away wasn’t so easy. The woman showed a few buttons and pedals, assumed I knew what they meant and left me to drive off. I’ve only driven an automatic once before and never one with a park button or the handbrake as a pedal near the clutch rest. The gear stick selects which mode to go into then pops back into the middle and the park button is used to stick it into park once stopped. Figuring that out in the city centre at traffic lights was fun! Also it won’t go into drive unless the brake pedal is pressed, I found that out when revving the car to pull away from the lights and going nowhere… Our first destination was Inuyama Castle. This is on the outskirts of Nagoya and is one of the four castles that are classed as a national treasure. We parked in the castle car park and walked up the very slippery slope to the castle. We were offered an English speaking guide to show us around the castle, for free, obviously we said yes. Our guide offered to take a photo in what is supposed to be the best photo spot, but the trees covered most of this tiny castle. Inside, the bottom floor, which was used for storage, was tiny. Along its ceiling is a huge wooden beam supporting most of the next floor. It’s original and over 400 years old. Up the steep stairs was the first floor. This had the usual windows to fire arrows out of. There were also boards at the edge of the room to allow rocks to be thrown down onto enemies climbing the walls. We went up another floor and saw where the lord of the castle would sit, on a raised section in the middle of the room. Surrounding him would be his warriors. On display were a number of samurai suits of armour. They were brightly coloured and very decorated making suits of armour in Europe look very plain and boring. On the helmet of each warrior was the family crest. This could be a flower, or horns, etc. Our guide told us about the family crests and how everyone in Japan...

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