This week all of us had the opportunity to visit the historical castle of Kumamoto. This was an amazing experience because it showed all of us just how simple, yet beautiful Japanese architecture is. Even though the castle was over 400 years old, it is still in good shape and just as beautiful. When we went through the entrance of the castle, the walls were really tall and made of big black rocks that would be impossible for any person to climb (I think that the purpose). Even the watchtower was over 50 m tall and when walking through the low doors, passing through the small rooms and going up the really narrow and yet tough steps, you could really feel those 50 m. But it was all worth it, when we got to the top of the tower the view was the beautiful city and mountains of Kumamoto. Afterwards, we went to the restoration of another part of the castle. Even though the restoration was new, it had been restored so carefully, that you could almost feel the spirits of the samurais and how they’ve been walking though the underground part of the castle.
When we finished the tour of the castle, we went outside where we met a Japanese guy dressed as a red samurai looking prepared to win a battle (we thought it was hot outside but after seeing this guy dressed in a full samurai uniform weighing around 70 Kilograms we now thought we were the lucky ones) also he was very polite in front of the girls, he even took the ladies hands and got on his knees as a polite gesture.
After all this experience was so indescribably beautiful, that the pictures just doesn’t reach the same level of beauty. It’s just one of those special places where you just have to see it through your own eyes. I did, and I would properly never discover this castle without WCJ. And for that I’m truly grateful.
(Nina Møller from Denmark)