Purpose one: writing a travelogue to describe my various trips.
Purpose two: muse.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
One of the advantages to traveling without a set itinerary is that you discover neat things that don't get much attention in the guidebook. By chance, I got to Matsumoto later in the day than I had planned and chose to spend the night there. By chance, in the hotel I stayed at, I saw something about a historical castle in town. I took a few hours the next day to go and check it out.
It happened to be one of the oldest, perhaps the oldest, original castles in Japan. It was certainly older than anything I saw in Kyoto. It was also a more fulfilling experience, because you got full access to the inside -- all the historical buildings in Kyoto were restricted.
The castle doubled as a history museum, with an old gun collection, historical samurai armor, pottery, art and other artifacts. It was more tourist friendly, with descriptive texts in English. Overall, I had a better view into history here than my entire time in Kyoto.