Bitchu-Matsuyama Castle Visit

Old Apr 27th, 2016, 03:28 AM
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Bitchu-Matsuyama Castle Visit

I told someotherguy I would report back after I visited the castle and compare the access walk/hike to Yamadera Temple.

I took the shared taxi that I had reserved the day before (I was the only passenger) for 500 yen. It goes to the upper parking lot. I knew I was in trouble when I saw the box of walking sticks at the path entrance. Japan-guide says it's 600 meters from the lot to the castle but it's 700 and I have the directional sign photos to prove it.

I found the walk extremely challenging and I'm in pretty good shape for a youthful senior citizen. As someotherguy said in his post of 3/15 it's steps, steps and steps with stretches of path in between.....and all slanting uphill. As I walked I was thinking if my trip insurance would air evac me down...lol....I was really out of breath from time to time and stopped to rest. It took me about half an hour. Inside the castle on the top floor was a small shrine where you could leave an offering and pray. I prayed for a successful downward trip....

It was definitely worth the hike as this was my 11th of 12 original castles. I had done 9 and 10, Maruoka and Inuyama, two weeks earlier. I thought Maruoka was a bit difficult as the inner stairs were so steep that there were ropes to haul yourself up with, but easy compared to this imo.

So to make a long story short, someotherguy, compared to the castle I think Yamadera is a piece of cake. The steps are concrete and not terribly steep and there is railing most of the time (which there wasn't most of the castle hike). I think you should do it easily if you were able to do the castle.
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Old Apr 27th, 2016, 04:15 AM
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Hi Mara-Thanks for your post concerning the hike up to the castle. We will be in Japan in Nov. and are considering spending a couple of hours in the town of Bitchu Takahashi. We will not have the time to hike up to the castle.

Did you spend anytime in the town, and if so, what did you think? We have to chose between visiting Bitchu Takahashi or Onomichi for a half a day.
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Old Apr 27th, 2016, 05:03 AM
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Hi shelleyk, after the castle, I visited Raikyuji, the two samurai residences and the Folk Museum as described here:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5778.html

They all are pretty close together and not too far from the train station so would be doable in a couple of hours.

When I went to Onomichi, I did Senkoji Park, a museum there, the temple walk and the movie museum and spent most of the day. So I'm not sure exactly what to do in a couple of hours although I'm sure you could figure something out.
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Old Apr 27th, 2016, 05:50 PM
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BYH, Mara -- better you than me, is all I can say! ;-) Thanks for the report.
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Old Apr 28th, 2016, 07:04 PM
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Thanks for your report Myra. I'm intrigued that you found Yamadera to be easier, so I'll put that back on my list. Which is your remaining castle?
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Old Apr 28th, 2016, 07:06 PM
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Mara, I apologize for misspelling your name.
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Old Apr 29th, 2016, 12:58 AM
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someotherguy, I just looked at my photo album from my trip last year when I went to Yamadera and it shows evenly spaced concrete steps with railings....imo, much easier than Bitchu-Matsuyama which I found to be very scary.....

Since I don't have my actual photo files with me I can't look at the times from the photos to judge how long it took me to get to the top of Yamadera...

I unfortunately did not visit Uwajima when I was in Shikoku in 2013 and doubt that I will go back....it is really out of the way and I was close but didn't have the original castle theme in my mind at that point....
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Old May 15th, 2016, 07:34 AM
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Hey Mara!
I’m going to Takahashi soon and would like to walk to the castle from the train station.
I read the other day that there’s a trail to walk up to the castle, if I were to take the road it would be twice as longer walk and also not very scenic, but I haven’t found any other information about this walking trail. I’ll be there at 7am before the information desk opens, so I can’t really ask them for directions, as I was planning to make the most of my spare time to do the walk. Do you know of this trail and can tell me where it starts?
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