After catching a super express to Matsumoto, we arrived in 37°c heat and set about trying to find a locker for our luggage. I discovered with a bit of planning my main bag fits in the most common, smallest size 300Yen locker, with space for laptop and wash bag. Joel’s larger bag requires a 400Yen locker, which are much harder to find, and were nearly all full. We spent around 15min hanging around for one to become free before discovering another area that had one. We also think that a 500Yen should hold both our bags, but we will discover in the future if we ever arrive somewhere which has one free.
After a slightly roundabout walk we arrived at the castle. It was amazing to see, and looked incredible. The grounds originally consisted of 3 concentric moats, only 2 of which remain. Most parts of the castle were salvaged for scrap metal in the 1850s, but luckily some locals bought the main tower for preservation.
We were able to go inside the tower after taking off our shoes and carrying them around in a plastic bag. The tower was 6 levels, each level had great views through the firing slits and some history displays about the castle. The stairs to the 5th and 6th floor were very steep and required careful navigation.
While inside we also experienced our first rain storm, with heavy rain falling and us hoping it would finish before we left. Luckily it had cleared up by the time we left the castle.
After a quick and direct route back to the station we caught our two trains to Shin-Osaka where we are spending the next 4 nights. Our room is basically 2 very small rooms (just barely fit the bed) and the bathroom between them. It looks designed for 2 business men on a trip who don’t know each other.
I’m now off to shower as I am still getting black feet from residue Fuji dust in my shoes.