Published: November 28th 2007November 21st 2007
The Autumn colours
Bitchu Matsuyama Mountain Castle
“Where have you been today then?” I asked him.
“We took the 4th and 5th years to the Asahi Beer factory for a school trip”, he replied. “How delightful!” I replied.
So, another week. They fly by as the seasons tick by and the cool air begin to change the leaves a beautiful shade of red and orange and amber once again.
I never really had any opinion on autumn in England, or as I now like to call it Britain, (wild!) except that it was sandwiched in between summer and the cold and it spelled the beginning of the inevitable winter.
The fact that it used to be the beginning of another school year and that the clocks would suddenly reverse, probably made me not like it very much either, however, Japan has made me grow fond of Autumn and look at it in a very different way.
The Japanese claim Autumn as they favorite season. After experiencing the full onslaught of the Ehime summer I can finally begin to agree that I can see the benefits of things cooling down a bit, and also the beautiful transformation that take place.
It is also a fantastic
Castle from the side.
I just tell it how it is baby!
thing that each season is celebrated in its own way.
The Japanese claim the weather is at is best in autumn and I’d be inclined to agree, and they also say the food is the best, and when you live in the country you also get to see and taste this fact first hand.
I decided to climb up to the castle as it was the highest in Japan, and that was only about 500m so I thought as long as I only tell people the former, it would be a great feat.
And indeed it was.
I am a big fan of travelling on a weekday. Two of the best times I have had and will remember in my life have been when I travelled to Tomonoura and Bitchui Matsuyama castle both on weekdays when there was literally no one there.
It is not quite like catching the Sistine chapel on world cup final day, but it really is nice.
I climbed, or rather walked up the hour long path (road) to the castle where surprisingly found a man s sitting to take my 300 yen entry money, however, the castle itself was not
From the clouds.
Well, about 500m or so, but still very beautiful, and it meant he leaves were changing colours up there.
so much the beauty of it but the grounds around.
If you could call it a castle I don’t know but he miniature huts that I found atop this small mountain, were in the own Japanese perfect.
The autumn color had arrived and it was all pretty beautiful.
At times like this, stood atop a mountain, all alone, surrounded by truly beautiful, and peaceful natural and man made perfection, one can have the tendency to become lonely.
To wish that someone, anyone else was there top share it with you. However, I know that the felling would also be very different and these opportunities do not arise often, unless you take of your own sometimes.
I in fact stayed up there a long time by myself and no-one came.
An hour, then another past and the forest with its deep reds, yellow, and the castles stark whites and blues, remained silent and not event eh wind blew.
I had that strong felling that I should stay until the sunset. The feeling that one gets when he knows he is never coming back.
But as it got darker, the autumn mist
began to descend into a the familiar deep dark of the country and I thought I should head back down the route.
On the way down I passed no-one and even in the town I saw few.
In fact of the altogether 6 hour round trip, all I managed to do it see the castle and one temple.
I think it was worth it.
During the week been duly surprised to welcome back my primary school student forma school trip top the local Asahi beer factory. Unfortunately the teachers couldn’t take samples but the kids drank there fill.
Only joking but I have to say I’m not sure where I stand on that one. One part goes for the western stance of how inappropriate, the other half says well, so what.
It was followed but lesson on the danger of alcohol and would it half been anymore detrimental to their health to have seen the working of a McDonalds, or an abattoir.
We were also paid another visit by the army in my school, which as last year surprised me just a little, as suddenly looking
A decidedly small castle, but I kind of like that compared to the massiveness of say Osaka castle.
I could happily live in this castle, and defend it with blowpipe.
up to have what as first look like US army generals standing in the teachers room also sends up a lot of confusing messages to may brain.
But just another part of living out in the sticks I guess.
Anyway there you go, castles, beer and army types .
Oh I forgot, Japan doesn’t have an army…
There are more photos below