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You can walk further to go behind Nishinomaru Sanju-yagura turret and this is what you will see.
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Behind Nishinomaru Sanju-yagura turret.
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Rear view of Nishinomaru Sanju-yagura turret.
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Nishinomaru Sanju-yagura turret.
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Nishinomaru Sanju-yagura turret.
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Moat of Nishinomaru Sanju-yagura turret.
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Nishinomaru Sanju-yagura turret.
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Scale model of original Nishinomaru Sanju-yagura turret.
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Site of Kannon-dai temple that was here before the castle was built. Near Nishinomaru.
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About Kannon-dai temple
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Lake Biwa as seen from Nishinomaru.
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Mt. Sawayama as seen from Nishinomaru.
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After visiting the Hikone Castle Tower. There are a few ways to exit. One way is going through this Otemon Gate to Kyobashi Bridge.
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Kyobashi Bridge 京橋
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Hikone Castle moat in autumn from Kyobashi Bridge.
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Kyobashi Bridge goes to Yume-Castle Road which is a street of local shops and restaurants. In the moat, you might see a few black swans which were gifts from Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture.
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Another exit is this Kuromon Gate. This might be a better exit if you also want to visit Genkyuen Garden (recommended). 黒門
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Moat as seen from Kuromon Gate.
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Moat near Genkyuen Garden.
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Moat and cherry trees next to Genkyuen Garden.
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The moat boat cruises in the Inner Moat (内堀) around the Honmaru. The 45-min. tour has a Japanese guide narrating the sights.
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The quiet-motor boat is a replica of the daimyo's boat.
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Moat boat departure times and fares as of May 2013. Board the boat near the Genkyuen Garden entrance.
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Koedo Hikone NPO started operating "yakata-bune" Japanese-style boats in the moats of Hikone Castle as a tourist attraction for the castle's 400th anniversary in 2007. They operate 6 rides per day around the castle, taking 50 min.Boat landing for the Hikone-jo Ohori Meguri boat ride. Near the entrance to Genkyu-en Garden. They operate "yakata-bune" Japanese-style boats as a tourist attraction.
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Hikone Castle Moat Boat Ride Poster
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Inside Japanese-style yakata-bune boat. Seats 11 people on tatami mats. The roof is very low. 彦根城お堀めぐり
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It certainly gives you a different perspective of the castle as you see the moat, castle tower, and bridges from the water. The ride costs 1,200 yen.
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Heading toward Otemon Gate/Bridge
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Otemon Bridge
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Going under Otemon Bridge. Wooden boards protect the bridge posts from the boat.
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The boat is powered by very silent, battery-powered outboard motors.
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Otemon Bridge
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Also see my YouTube video here.
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A few of the stones in the wall are black. Some say those stones might have come from Azuchi Castle after it was burned to the ground.
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The next Otemon Bridge
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Castle tower as seen from the moat
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Castle tower
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The boat includes a narrator who explains about the castle and moat and swans.
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End of the moat. The moat once was connected to Lake Biwa, but not anymore since the lake's water level does not match the moat's water level.
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End of the moat. Lake Biwa is right beyond. This is where we make a U-turn.
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Black swan in Hikone Castle's moat, a gift from Mito in Ibraraki Prefecture.
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Ready to pass under Otemon Bridge again.
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Boat landing is near the entrance to Genkyu-en Garden.
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The second yakata-bune boat. They referred to old drawings, etc., and carefully built the boat to resemble Edo-Era yakata-bune.
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End of the 50-min. ride. It was pleasant, and highly recommended. Boat landing for the Hikone-jo Ohori Meguri boat ride is near the entrance to Genkyu-en Garden.
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Nigiwai-ichi local goods shop set up in spring.
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Tent selling local goods during spring.
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Statue of Ii Naosuke near the Hikone Castle moat. Lord of the castle and also an important historical figure. 井伊 直弼Ii Naosuke was the Tokugawa shogunate's Chief Minister (Tairo) who favored and concluded commercial treaties with the Western powers and thus broke Japan's isolation from the world. Foreigners were then allowed to trade with Japan and take up residence in cities like Yokohama and Hakodate. Ii was later assassinated in 1860 by samurai radicals from Mito (Ibaraki) who sought to oust the foreign "barbarians."
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Postcard of Commodore Perry and Ii Naosuke to mark the 50th anniversary of Yokohama Port's opening in 1909.Also see Gotokuji temple in Setgaya, Tokyo where Naosuke is buried. http://photoguide.jp/pix/thumbnails.php?album=646
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Map of Hikone Castle as it is today.
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Hikone Castle as seen from Genkyu-en Garden. Genkyu-en is a Japanese garden next to the castle.
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See more pictures of Genkyuen at my Genkyu-en photo album.
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Hikone Castle as seen from Genkyuen Garden during autumn at night.
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Hikone Castle tower lit up at night.
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Hikone Castle tower lit up at night.
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Hikone Castle as seen from Matsubara Beach.
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Hikone City Hall with a sign urging Hikone Castle to become a World Heritage Site.
   
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