Out and about in Nagoya

I spent an enjoyable morning wandering about Nagoya, so I thought I’d post a few pictures before settling down to do some work (which is, after all, what I’m here for…)

First off, here’s the place I am officially visiting. This is the central building of the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, the top two floors of which comprise the Kobayashi-Maskawa Institute, which covers particle physics and astrophysics.

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I’ll be giving a talk there next week, in fact. I’m staying on the campus about 5 minutes’ walk away from this building in a pleasant guest room in the Green Salon Higashiyama which is not green and is not a hairdresser’s shop.

The nearest Metro station is a very short walk from the Department building and the first thing I discovered when I entered was surprising evidence that the Japanese have an interest in cricket:

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Given that I posted a picture of the place before embarking on my travels I decided to visit Nagoya Castle. This enormous complex of buildings and fortifications was constructed in the early 17th Century, but a visit by American B29 bombers on 18th May 1945 dropping thousands of incendiary bombs destroyed everything except the massive stone walls; the other buildings were made of wood and would have burned easily in such an attack. At the time the Castle was being used as an army base, so it was inevitable that it would be a target.

The perimeter of the Castle is defined by massive stone walls surround by a wide moat. Similar stone fortifications surround the central buildings and the only approach to the centre of the Castle by water is surrounded on both sides by similarly formidable structures from which missiles would no doubt rain down on unwelcome visitors. The central buildings are also ringed by a deep ditch which was clearly designed to be flooded when necessary; today there are deer grazing at the bottom of it.

The two main keeps or donjons of the castle have been reconstructed and now house very interesting museums containing not only military artefacts but also lovely screen prints and pieces of furniture from the Edo period, during which the castle was constructed.

Here are a few pictures just to prove that I was there!

One of the smaller buildings inside the perimeter of the Castle:

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Approaching the main keep:

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Entrance to the main keep:

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Main keep, with walls and ditch..

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This is the view from the gallery at the top…
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