Travel Reports by Csabba view profile of Csabba

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October 26, 2015 - Hikone Castle and Genkyuen Garden with unexpected film shooting

We arrived to Hikone by train on a Monday morning to see the famous Hikone Castle and Genkyuen Garden. Just at the exit of the railway station a statue of Ii Naomasa wearing his special war helmet welcomes the visitors.

The castle entrance is only about 10 minutes walk away from the station. On our way we visited Shigaken Gokoku Shrine, that since the end of the Boshin War commemorates fallen soldiers related to Shiga Prefecture .

We entered Hikone Castle through the Sawaguchi entrance on the South-East side of the moat.

Since we planned to spend the whole day in Hikone we purchased combined tickets at the castle's cashier. This ticket allowed us to enter the Castle itself, the Castle Museum, the Genkyuen Garden and Umoreginoya. We decided to explore the Castle first. As we were approaching the Roka-Bashi bridge we noticed that there was a film crew shooting a historical drama or a film on the bridge. It was exciting to see all those actors dressed up as elegant ladies and samurai.

By the way, if You have any idea of what is the title of the film or drama that they were working on (on 2015.10.26 - at Hikone) I would really appreciate if You could send it to me in a mail.
Thanks in advance! :-)

Fortunately the castle was not fully closed due to the shooting so we could cross the bridge during the breaks of the shooting. We arrived to the Main Castle Tower just in time to see a short performance by Hikonyan, the one of the most famous mascots in Japan.

Our next stop was the Castle Museum. Its building is a replica of the castle's original main palace and it exhibits the Ii family's treasures.

It took us about an hour to explore the whole museum with all its treasures, paintings, clothes, gardens and even a noh stage. The next sight on our combined ticket was Genkyuen Garden. The entrance of the garden is just a 5 minute walk from the castle entrance. At Genkyuen Garden we met the film crew again who were recording some additional scenes.

Hikone has a lot of interesting things to see and explore, but these sights can be found in a relatively small area around the Castle. Thanks to this at the end of the day we had plenty of time to buy souvenirs on Yume-Kyobashi Castle Road and enjoy a delicious udon meal. After all this we still had time until our planned departure, so we walked to Lake Biwa to see the sundown from the shore.

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List of Posts:
2015/10/28 - Meoto Iwa and Ise Jingu
2015/10/26 - Hikone Castle and Genkyuen Garden with unexpected film shooting
2015/10/25 - Inuyama
2015/10/24 - Matsumoto Castle and Daio Wasabi Farm
2015/10/23 - Himeji Castle, the first autumn since reopening
2015/10/22 - Exploring Nagoya Castle and surroundings
2014/10/05 - Rainy days in Itoigawa
2014/10/03 - Two days in Takayama
2014/10/01 - A day in Kyoto about Shinto
2014/09/30 - Tea and Zen at Uji
2014/09/29 - Ninnaji and Takao
2014/09/28 - Exploring Kyoto's southern temples
2014/09/27 - Iwakuni and Hiroshima
2014/09/26 - One day at Miyajima