castle hirosaki, part one

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The cherry blossoms were late this year thanks to a cold snap. And being overly eager American expats in our first cherry blossom season, we attended the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival on the first day only to miss the actual blooms! But this gives me an opportunity to share the architecture of Castle Hirosaki with you. Let's start at one of the five surviving gates

Another lookout tower

The grounds

A good view of the yagura.

 You can see the ornamentation of the roofline. (And the cherry blossoms just peeking out)

A traditional part of hanami, a celebratory picnic under the (not quite blooming) cherry blossoms

And of course, a less traditional part. I couldn't get a picture fast enough but I also spotted characters dressed as cartoon onions, sweet potatoes and a mushroom.

I actually remember studying this castle in a Japanese art history class in college. Had I know I would actually grow up to live in Japan, I might have just studied Japanese... At any rate a castle has existed on this site since 1603 when construction began and after many setbacks, completed in 1611. Oddly enough lightning would strike the castle burning it to the ground. Reconstruction did not begin again until 1810 which is what you can see today.

photos by me, please credit if you borrow, thanks!
ArchitectDesign™ said...

thats so crazy beautiful! You'll have to go back to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom.

Parnassus said...

Hello Ann, Japanese buildings have such beautiful proportions and such carefully considered relationships with the landscape--lessons that would be valuable for all architectural styles.
--Road to Parnassus