I told my mom I wasn’t sure I wanted to go with her to see Hikone castle, but it was such a nice day I decided to go. It was a nice family outing with my mom, sister, and aunt. I’m not sure what made my mom decide to go to Hikone, but it could have been a death march. It was a beautiful 70°F, but in the summertime it would have been awful. I think we had to climb at least 20 stories to get from the base of the castle to the uppermost room.
Keep in mind that the picture is of the main castle building, and that was only about 1/3 of the climb. We also had to cross a moat and climb up very uneven and large stairs to make it to this point. Castles weren’t easy to access because easy access would reduce their security.
The interior of the castle wasn’t very easy to access either. The stairs were more like ladders and I was surprised to see all the elderly people successfully going up and down them.
Finally, the castle town is as bizarre as most tourist spots here, and a cartoon mascot is plastered all over the signs and museums. We saw chrysanthemum shows, creepy dolls in beautiful kimonos, maneki neko collections, and in every one of those exhibit halls was the mascot. We even saw the mascot in a stonemason’s store where it was in amongst the gravestones.
We got back in time to start some shopping. It’s the first day I’ve actually paid for anything besides a hotel room. I bought a lot of kitchen timers for gifts and I bought my mom a DS Lite to replace her stolen GameBoy. I had no idea the screen would be so small but I’m sure my mom will figure it out. I bought myself some t-shirts with odd writing, and my sister told me specifically not to buy some clothes that looked, well, incredibly gay. And by gay I kind of mean stylish and overpriced but I really mean that I would have to start dating dudes with shirts like that.
Actually, some of the shirts were kind of inexpensive and I thought of buying something just to piss off my friend Megan. I think I need to stick to buying more geek gear, like the stuff at Thanko. My sister and I are planning on going there on our last day in Japan.