JAPAN PICS
Matsumoto City, Nagano
’·–쌧¼–{Žs
Table of Contents

  JR Matsumoto Station (JR¼–{‰w)
  Matsumoto Castle (¼–{é)
JAPAN PICS GENERAL INDEX
Hokkaido District
  
Do-o (Hokkaido Central)
  
   Naganuma Town (The Tsuchinotomi Society Tour)
2006
   Otaru City (The Tsuchinotomi Society Tour)
2006
   Sapporo City (The Tsuchinotomi Society Tour)
2006
   Sapporo City ("Nihon-no-Matsuri" 2006)
2006
Iwate of the Tohoku District
  
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2004-2011
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2006
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2005-2007
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2003-2007
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2004-2010
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2005
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2005
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2009-2011
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2004-2012
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2004-2012
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2007
   Rikuzentakata City
2008-2011
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2007
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2003
Other Tohoku Regions
  
Aomori
  
   Hachinohe City (The Tsuchinotomi Society Tour)
2006
Miyagi
  
   Matsushima Town
2006
   Tome City
2005
Yamagata
  
   Yamadera, Yamagata City
2005
Kanto District
  
Ibaraki
  
   Joso City
2007
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2006
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2008
   Shimotsuma City
2007
Kanagawa
  
   Kamakura City
2005-2007
Tochigi
  
   Nikko City
2002-2007
   Utsunomiya City
2007
Tokyo
  
   Tokyo Central
2002-2012
Yamanashi
  
   Kofu City
2007
Chubu District
  
Aichi
  
   Nagoya City
2008
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2009
Fukui
  
   Eiheiji Town
2009
   Fukui City
2009-2011
   Obama City
2009
   Tsuruga City
2009-2011
Gifu
  
   Gujo-Hachiman
2009
   Sekigahara Town
2008
Ishikawa
  
   Kanazawa City
2008
Nagano
  
   Nagano City
2007
   Matsumoto City
2007
Shizuoka
  
   Fuji City
2009-2010
Kansai (Kinki) District
  
Hyogo
  
   Ako City
2008
   Himeji City
2008
   Kobe City
2008-2012
   Nishinomiya City
2012
   Tamba City
2010
Kyoto
  
   Kyoto City Central
2005-2012
   Kyoto City East
2005-2012
   Kyoto City North
2005-2011
   Kyoto City South
2006-2012
   Kyoto City West
2005-2012
   Ayabe City
2010
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2010
   Miyazu City
2012
   Uji City
2006
   Yahata City
2006
Mie
  
   Iga City
2011
   Ise City
2009
Nara
  
   Asuka Area
2006
   Ikaruga Town
2005
   Nara City Central
2006-2010
   Nishinokyo, Nara City
2005-2010
   Sakurai City
2011
   Tenri City
2011-2012
   Yoshino Town
2010
Osaka
  
   Hirakata City
2005-2012
   Osaka City Central
2007-2011
   Sakai City
2010
Shiga
  
   Azuchi-cho, Omihachiman City
2008-2010
   Hikone City
2008
   Koka City
2011
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2008-2011
   Otsu City
2006-2009
Wakayama
  
   Koya Town
2009
   Wakayama City
2011
Chugoku District
  
Hiroshima
  
   Hiroshima City
2002-2012
   Miyajima, Hatsukaichi City
2002-2012
   Onomichi City
2002
Okayama
  
   Kurashiki City
2008
   Okayama City
2008
Shimane
  
   Izumo City
2011
   Oda City
2012
   Tsuwano Town
2012
Yamaguchi
  
   Hagi City
2012
   Iwakuni City
2012
   Shimonoseki City
2010-2012
   Yamaguchi City
2010-2012
Shikoku District
  
Ehime
  
   Matsuyama City
2011
Kagawa
  
   Kotohira Town
2011
   Takamatsu City
2011
Kochi
  
   Kochi City
2011
Kyushu District
  
Fukuoka
  
   Dazaifu City
2010
   Fukuoka City
2010
   Kitakyushu City
2010-2012
Kagoshima
  
   Hioki City
2010
   Kagoshima City
2010
Nagasaki
  
   Nagasaki City
2010
Oita
  
   Oita City
2010

Matsumoto City, Nagano
18 November 2007

  Matsumoto City is located in the west of Nagano Prefecture and 240 km west of central Tokyo (75 km southwest of Nagano City.  Before the Meiji Restoration (–¾Ž¡ˆÛV) in 1867, it was a castle town nestled between the Japanese Alps (“ú–{ƒAƒ‹ƒvƒX) and Utsukushigahara Heights (”üƒ–Œ´; meaning "beautiful plateau").  The altitude of the city center is 610 m ( lat. 36.15 N and long. 137.58 E) and it belongs to the inland climate area (hot-and-dry summer and cold-and-dry winter).
  The origin of the name "Matsumoto" is ambiguous.  However, it is said to be Sadayoshi Ogasawara (¬Š}Œ´ ’åŒc, 1546-1595)'s saying in 1583: "Matsukoto Hisashikushite Honkai wo Togu" (u‘Ò‚Â [¼]Ž–‹v‚µ‚­‚µ‚Ä–{‰ù‚𐋂®v: "We have obtained our cherish desire after waiting so long").  Sadayoshi was the third son of Nagatoki Ogasawara (¬Š}Œ´’·Žž, 1514-1583), the former lord of Shinano Area including the present Matsumoto City before Shingen Takeda (•“c MŒº, 1521-1573)'s invasion in 1548 (17th year of Tembun [“V•¶17”N].  They were defeated by the Takeda troops at the Battle of Shiojiri-toge (‰–K“»‚̐킢) in July 19, 1548: They lost 1,000 soldiers' lives out of 5,000 during the battle and were routed for fear.  Since then, the Ogasawara clan had been waiting for repossessing their father land since the Kamakura Period (Š™‘qŽž‘ã).  It was Ieyasu Tokugawa (“¿ì ‰ÆN, 1542-1616) who gave Matsumoto Castle to Sadayoshi in 1583.
  After the Ogasawara clan's moving to Sanuki-no-kuni (Ž]Šò‘; now Kagawa) in 1590, Kazumasa Ishikawa (Îìk”³, 1533-1593) and his son Yasugnaga (ÎìN’·, 1554-1643) constructed the present Matsumoto Castle in 1593-1594.  After the Ishikawa clan's moving, many lords in turn owned the castle and ruled this area .  Matsumoto developed as the largest castle town of the Shinshu area (Nagano Prefecture) with twenty thousand people (12,000 town people and over 7,000 samurai) during the Edo Period (]ŒËŽž‘ã).
  Fortunately Matsumoto City was not targeted by the U.S. air raid during World War II, so it still maintains numerous historical buildings like Matsumoto Castle (¼–{é), and "Kyu-kaichi-gakko" (‹ŒŠJ’qŠwZ; the Fomer Kaichi Elementary School, est. 1873) which was one of the oldest Japanese elementary school buildings.  Matsumoto City is the second largest city of Nagano Prefecture next to Nagano City and it is considered to be the vice prefectural seat with FM Nagano (FM’·–ì) radio station, the Matsumoto branch of the Bank of Japan (“ú‹â¼–{Žx“X), Matsumoto Airport (¼–{‹ó`), the main campus of Shinshu University (MB‘åŠw) and the Matsumoto Fort of the Self-Defense Forces (Ž©‰q‘à¼–{’““ÔŠî’n).  It merged with Azusagawa Village (ˆ²ì‘º), Shiga Village (Žl‰ê‘º), Nagawa Village (“ސ쑺) and Azumi Village (ˆÀ“Ü‘º) on April 1, 2005.  The current Matsumoto City has an area of 919.35 sq. km (its forest area occupied c. 81% [74,000 ha]) and the population is 227,394 (October 1, 2007).  Since the birth of the present Nagano Prefecture in 1876, People in Matsumoto City has been long conscious of Nagano City, the prefetural seat with the population of 378,035 (October 1, 2007).
  

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JR Matsumoto Station
     JR Matsumoto Station is located in the city center at 1 Fukashi, Matsumoto City (¼–{Žs[Žu1’š–Ú).  The name "Fukashi" ([Žu) originally derived from "Fukase-go" ([£‹½) which was the former name of central Matsumoto.  The altitude is 586 m.  Matsumoto Station is the central station of Chushin Area (’†M’n•û).  Chuo-honsen Line (’†‰›–{ü) directly brings passengers to JR Shinjyuku Station (JRVh‰w) in the east (2h 36m-53m), Tokyo and JR Nagoya Station (JR–¼ŒÃ‰®‰w) in the west (1h 59m), although trains on the Chuo-honsen Line are frequently delayed for some reason.
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(Sunday 18 November) JR Matsumoto Station, 1 Fukashi, Matsumoto City
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(Sunday 18 November) Statue of Banryu-shonin (”d—²ãl, 1786-1840, b. now Toyama City) in front of JR Matsumoto Station, 1 Fukashi, Matsumoto City.  Banryu-shonin was a Buddhist monk of the Jodo-shu sect (ò“y@) credited with the first ascent of Yari-ga-take (‘„ƒ–Šx, or Mt. Yari, 1878 high), the most famous peak in the Japan Alps or the "Japanese Matterhorn."  He first climbed the peak in 1828, fifty years before British mining engineer Professor William Gowland (1842-1922) climbed and named the Hida Mountains (”ò‘ËŽR–¬; the North Japan Alps) as the Japan Alps in 1878.
  Banryu scaled Yari-ga-take and other major peaks as part of his religious devotion.  This statue designed by Shunsuke Kamijo (ãžŠ r‰î) and built by Matsumoto Lions Club in August 1986 to commemorate Banryu's achievement in the early modern mountain climbing in Japan.  Banryu-shonin also established the climbing route to the peak of Kasa-ga-take (Š}ƒ–Šx, 2898 m high) in 1823.  For further story about Banrty-shonin, read Jiro Nitta (V“c ŽŸ˜Y)'s novel Yari-ga-take Kaisan (w‘„ƒ–ŠxŠJŽRx; The Pioneer of Yari-ga-take, 1974).
  
     
Matsumoto Castle
     Matsumoto Castle (¼–{é), 4-1 Marunouchi, Matsumoto City.  The origin of Matsumoto Castle goes back to Fukashi Castle ([Žué), which was built at the beginning of the Eisho Era (‰i³”NŠÔ, 1504-1521) in the Civil War Period (í‘Žž‘ã, c.1493-1573).  During those troubled times, Lord Ogasawara (¬Š}Œ´Ž) of Shinano (M”Z; now Nagano Prefecture), moved his manor house from Igawa (ˆäì) to the Hayashi Area (—Ñ’n‹æ) at the eastern foot of the mountain.  At that time, the center of Matsumoto Basin (¼–{–~’n) was called Shinano Fuchu (M”Z•{’†).  Lord Ogasawara's retainers protected themselves by building their houses around Hayashi Castle (—яé), the new manor house of their lord.  Fukashi Castle ([Žué) was built in front of Hayashi Castle (—яé) around the same time to protect the front of the manor house.  After that, Shingen Takeda (•“c MŒº, 1521-1573) of Kai (b”ã) chased away Lord Ogasawara to create a strongpoint for the conquest of Shinano.  Then, in the 10th year of Tensho (“V³10”N; AD 1582), Sadayoshi Ogasawara (¬Š}Œ´ ’åŒc, 1546-1595) recaptured Fukashi Castle ([Žué) by taking advantage of the protectors letting down their guard during the Hon-no-ji Incident (–{”\Ž›‚Ì•Ï) in 1582.  Then he changed the name to Matsumoto Castle (¼–{é).
  After Hideyoshi Toyotomi (–Lb G‹g, 1536/1537-1598) dominated the whole region by defeating Ujinao Hojo (–kð Ž’¼, 1562-1591) at Odawara Castle (¬“cŒ´é) in the 18th year of Tensho (“V³18”N; AD 1590), he allocated the Kanto District (ŠÖ“Œ’n•û) to Ieyasu Tokugawa (“¿ì ‰ÆN, 1543-1616).  Hidemasa Ogasawara (¬Š}Œ´ G­, 1569-1615), the lord of Matsumoto Castle (¼–{é) at that time, also moved to Shimousa (‰º‘) in Kanto following Ieyasu.  Hideyoshi appointed Kazumasa Ishikawa (Îì”³, 1533-1593) as the new lord of Matsumoto Castle (¼–{é).  Kazumasa and Yasunaga (Îì N’·, 1554-1643), the father and the son, maintained the castle and the town.  Yasunaga built not only the three towers, including the tenshu-kaku (“VŽçŠt; the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high), inui-kotenshu (Š£¬“VŽç; drum gate), and watari-yagura (“n˜E; connecting scaffold), but also the goten (Œä“a; residence), taiko-mon (‘¾ŒÛ–å; drum gate), kuro-mon (•–å; Black Gate), yagura (˜E; scaffold) and hori (–x; trench).  He secured hon-maru (–{ŠÛ; the main wing) and ni-no-maru (“ñ‚ÌŠÛ; the second wing), gathered warriors in san-no-maru (ŽO‚ÌŠÛ; the third wing), built up the infrastructure in the town, and created the sub-floors in Matsumoto Castle, much as they are today.  It is estimated that the towers were built during the 2nd and the 3rd of Bunroku (•¶˜\2”N-3”N; AD 1593-1594) in Yasunaga's time.
  The succession of the six families (23 lords in total) owing the castle is as follows: the Ishikawa family (ÎìŽ) from 1590 to 1613, the Ogasawara family (¬Š}Œ´Ž) from 1613 to 1617, the Toda senior family (æŒË“cŽ) from 1617 to 1633, the Matsudaira family (¼•½Ž) from 1633 to 1638, the Hotta family (–x“cŽ) from 1638 to 1642, the Mizuno family (…–쎁) from 1642 to 1725, and the Toda Junior family (ŒãŒË“cŽ) from 1726 to 1869.
          (Quoted from the Official Pamphlet with additional information and some corrections)
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(Sunday 18 November) Signpost of Matsumoto Castle in front of the kuro-mon (•–å; the Black Gate).
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(Sunday 18 November) Panoramic Map of Matsumoto Castle in the Edo Period
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(Sunday 18 November) Information board of two notable benefactors who preserved the tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high), Ryuzo Ichikawa (Žsì—Ê‘¢, 1844-1908) and Unari Kobayashi (¬—Ñ —L–ç, 1855-1914) near the Kuro-mon Gate, Matsumoto Castle.
  The tehshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high) of Matsumoto Castle faced demolition following the belief in the Meiji Era that relics of the past should be destroyed.  The efforts of Ryozo Ishikawa and others who were concerned about losing the donjon tower, bought it and preserved it, overcoming many difficulties.  However, they could not stop the ruin of the castle.
  Unari Kobayashi, the principal of Matsumoto Middle High School (‹Œ§¼–{’†Šw), and others who alsoo worried about this situation, established an organization to preserve the donjon tower in the 34th year of Meiji (AD 1901).  They completed the major work after 12 years' struggles, and saved the donjon tower from ruin.
          (Quoted from the Official Pamphlet with additional information and some corrections)
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(Sunday 18 November) Monument of two notable benefactors who preserved the tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high), Ryuzo Ichikawa (Žsì—Ê‘¢, 1844-1908) and Unari Kobayashi (¬—Ñ —L–ç, 1855-1914) near the Kuro-mon Gate, Matsumoto Castle.
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(Sunday 18 November) The tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high) of Matsumoto Castle with the inner moat, viewed near the Kuro-mon Gate (•–å; Black Gate)
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(Sunday 18 November) The tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high) of Matsumoto Castle with the inner moat, viewed near the Kuro-mon Gate (•–å; Black Gate)
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(Sunday 18 November) The tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high) of Matsumoto Castle with the inner moat, viewed near the Kuro-mon Gate (•–å; Black Gate)
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(Sunday 18 November) The tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high) of Matsumoto Castle with the inner moat, viewed near the Kuro-mon Gate (•–å; Black Gate)
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(Sunday 18 November) The Kuro-mon Gate (•–å; the Black Gate or the main gate), Matsumoto Castle.  The Kuro-mon Gate actually consisted of two gates to the hon-maru (–{ŠÛ;the main wing).  This is the first gate called "Yagura-mon" (˜E–å; scaffold gate) which was rebuilt in the 35th year of Showa.
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(Sunday 18 November) The Kuro-mon Gate (•–å; the Black Gate or the main gate), Matsumoto Castle.  The Kuro-mon Gate actually consisted of two gates to the hon-maru (–{ŠÛ;the main wing).  This is the first gate called "Yagura-mon" (˜E–å; scaffold gate) which was rebuilt in the 35th year of Showa (AD 1960).
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(Sunday 18 November) The Kuro-mon Gate (•–å; the Black Gate or the main gate), Matsumoto Castle.  The Kuro-mon Gate actually consisted of two gates to the hon-maru (–{ŠÛ; the main wing).  This part is the second gate called "Masugata-mon" (–‘Œ`–å; square-shaped gate) and "Sode-bori" (‘³–x; side wall) both of which were reconstructed in the 2nd year of Heisei (AD 1990).
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(Sunday 18 November) A stone lantern with The tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high) of Matsumoto Castle in the background, inside of the Kuro-mon Gate.
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(Sunday 18 November) The tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high) of Matsumoto Castle, viewed from the inside of the Kuro-mon Gate
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(Sunday 18 November) The tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high) of Matsumoto Castle, viewed from the inside of the Kuro-mon Gate
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(Sunday 18 November) The tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high) of Matsumoto Castle, viewed from the inside of the Kuro-mon Gate
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(Sunday 18 November) Inside of the 3rd floor of the tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high), Matsumoto Castle.  Interestingly, the tower seems to have only five stories from outside, but it has actually six stories: It was a secret to the castle's enemies.  Therefore, warriors stayed here in wartime.  This floor is dark with very little sunlight coming in through the south kizure-goshi (–ؘAŠiŽq).
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(Sunday 18 November) Inside of the 3rd floor of the tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high), Matsumoto Castle.  Interestingly, the tower seems to have only five stories from outside, but it has actually six stories: It was a secret to the castle's enemies.  Therefore, warriors stayed here in wartime.  This floor is dark with very little sunlight coming in through the south kizure-goshi (–ؘAŠiŽq).
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(Sunday 18 November) A loophole (e‹·ŠÔ) in the tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high), Matsumoto Castle
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(Sunday 18 November) A machicolation (Î—Ž‚Æ‚µ) in the tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high), Matsumoto Castle
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(Sunday 18 November) The roof of the tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high) of Matsumoto Castle
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(Sunday 18 November) The inner moat (“à–x), viewed from the tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high) of Matsumoto Castle
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(Sunday 18 November) "Uzumi-no-hashi" (–„‚Ì‹´; Uzumi Bridge), viewed from the tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high) of Matsumoto Castle.  The bridge was constructed during the major restoration between 1950 and 1955.
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(Sunday 18 November) The top (6th) floor of the tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high) of Matsumoto Castle.  Interestingly, the tower seems to have only five stories from outside, but it has actually six stories: It was a secret to the castle's enemies.  The top floor was used as a bourou (–]˜O), a watchtower for enemies during wartime.
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(Sunday 18 November) The ceiling of the top (6th) floor of the tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high), Matsumoto Castle.  The ceiling was built using the igeta-bari (ˆäŒ…—À; curved beam) technique.  A god named "Nijuroku-ya-shin" (“ñ\˜Z–é_; God of 26 Nights), who protects the whole Matsumoto Castle, has a dedication in the center of the ceiling.
          (Quoted from the Official Pamphlet with additional information and some corrections)
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(Sunday 18 November) Matsumoto City, viewed from the top (6th) floor of the tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high), Matsumoto Castle
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(Sunday 18 November) Matsumoto City, viewed from the top (6th) floor of the tenshu-kaku (the 6-storied donjon tower, 29.4 m high), Matsumoto Castle



        


Copyright (c) 2007 Eishiro Ito.  All rights reserved.