Hanami
I just couldn’t help myself from taking a million photos of the glorious sakura trees in the local area.

Hanami

I just couldn’t help myself from taking a million photos of the glorious sakura trees in the local area.

Toba Castle - Mie Prefecture
Located within walking distance of the ferry. This castle was also known as the floating castle, in which its main gate faced the ocean. 

Toba Castle - Mie Prefecture

Located within walking distance of the ferry. This castle was also known as the floating castle, in which its main gate faced the ocean. 

Ise Bay

Some of the glorious Islands scattered across the picturesque Ise Bay.

Cape Irago - Ise wan Ferry
Leaving Tahara and the Atsumi peninsula in Aichi, taking in a relaxing 60 minute cruise across the Ise Bay bound for Toba in Mie and the Ise Shima peninsula. 

Cape Irago - Ise wan Ferry

Leaving Tahara and the Atsumi peninsula in Aichi, taking in a relaxing 60 minute cruise across the Ise Bay bound for Toba in Mie and the Ise Shima peninsula. 

Minka - Japanese Farmhouses

I have been a little distracted of late with a new side project, the restoration and renovation of an old farmhouse or minka we recently purchased. I fell in love with these buildings years ago and always hunt them out when ever we go castle exploring. I cannot believe we actually own one with two naya (barns) and a kura ( store house). It is hard each weekend to leave the minka and return home to Tokyo. I am totally hooked.

Yoshida Castle - Aichi Toyohashi

The original castle was built in 1505 by Makino Kohaku and changed hands many times. The original palace collapsed following an earthquake in 1707 and in 1873 most of the remaining buildings were destroyed by fires. In 1954 the three story Kurogane Turret was reconstructed proudly overlooking the Toyo river.

Yoshida Castle - Aichi Toyohashi

Yoshida Castle - Aichi Toyohashi

While little remains of the original castle, considerable stonework surrounding the honmaru have been well persevered.

Yoshida Castle - Aichi Toyohashi

Ise-shima Peninsula - Castle Hunt

Earlier this year we took four days off and explored the Atsumi and the Ise peninsulas. We took the ferry from Cape Irago to Toba passing by Toshi Island. We drove south along the peninsula as far as the Daiozaki lighthouse in Shima, staying over night in magnificent Ago bay. We then spent a couple of days exploring the castles and shrines along the coastline between Toba and Tsu, taking in the Grand Ise shrine and the Ise shima skyline, before heading back to Tokyo via the ferry.

Castles visited included Yoshida, Toba, Tamaru, Matsusaka and Tsu.

This is a great way to see this part of the country, the ferry ride across the Ise bay took in some magnificent and rugged scenery. There is so much to see and do from the cultural and historical sites to the magnificent scenery of the Ago bay. We could have easily used a few more days and it is certainly a place I will come back to and highly recommend visiting.