Sunday 27th of February 2017
Today, we went on an exciting outing. (Courtesy of Dai, Satomi and Lisa) Can you guess where? Yes, that’s right. We’re going to Kochi Castle. Now if you don’t know what or where Kochi is, well don’t worry. I can help! Kochi is a prefecture, in Shikoku on the other side of the island.
We all got in the car and drove to Kochi. As Kochi City is more than an hour away, we made sure we had things to do on the car ride. I brought some books. When we arrived in Kochi, we were all quite hungry, so we went to a restaurant for lunch.
It was a Japanese set meal restaurant, where you could choose between different set meals.
I choose one with eel. Yeah, you can squirm and groan in disgust all you like, but it’s delicious. Then again, I guess it’s an acquired taste.
It had broiled eel on rice, some sashimi, a lot of pickles, savoury egg custard and some miso soup. After lunch, we went down to the famous beach in Kochi, Katsurahama. The strange thing was no-one was in the water.
I asked why and turns out you weren’t allowed to, anyway. The waves were too big for people to handle.
Surprisingly, today was very calm. We went to the lookout, it was a fantastic view. After that, we went and played in the sand. I made some rock towers with the beautiful rocks there.
It’s one of the best photos I’ve taken on this trip. I like doing that at beaches. After a while, we got back into the car and went to Kochi Castle.
Well, Kochi Castle was terrific!! It is one of the only 12 castles in Japan to have it’s original gate still intact. The inside of the castle was amazing, the buildings surrounding the main castle were the Lord’s living quarters and a unique 14 roomed building for the lord to receive visitors.
The cool thing was that there was a main room where he received his visitors, was very special. If the visitors started attacking the lord, an armed samurai would jump out of a secret panel and protect the Lord!
The view from the top of the castle was great, as it was built on a mountain and was 6 stories high.
An excellent strategic point, you could see the enemy coming from all directions if they came.
Kochi used to be called Tosa, but the name was changed some years ago. There was a museum in the place, and it was fascinating to read all the information. The first lord of the castle had a brilliant wife, whose name was Ch?yin.
It was because of her that he became a lord. Why? Well, he was going to fight in a battle, but she sent a message suggesting him to change sides. He did and the team he changed to won, and as a reward, he was given the land of Tosa (Kochi).
When he died, she followed the samurai tradition of chopping off her hair and being a Buddhist Nun for the rest of her life.
Imagine that: My sincerest condolences, sorry your husband’s died. But OFF WITH YOUR HAIR AND STRAIGHT TO THE NUNNERY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Poor woman.
Hopefully, she didn’t mind too much.
Ancient traditions are some of the strangest things.