While Tara and gang were painstakingly wending their way through Taiwan’s transportation system, I was adventuring in Nagoya.
Still hot, still miserably humid, but I soldiered on, for there was a castle! Nagoya castle is HUGE. It was built rather late, more for status than anything.
Sadly it was completely destroyed in WW2 and the reconstruction is all concrete, elevators, and modern museum exhibits on the inside. Looks rather impressive from afar still:
Usually when we travel, the chatty locals and talkative travelers approach Tara for conversation. Left to my own devices, I often get left alone, but this time a friendly fellow who wanted to practice his English walked me around the castle. Worked out rather well in the end because he took me right into a giant construction tent that I would have just wandered around.
If the castle was a little disappointing, the construction was fantastic. Nagoya city is rebuilding the palace, the traditional way. They started in 2009 and should have the first 1/3 done by next spring. They may try to do the castle next, but that’ll be years and years.
After the castle, I stumbled past several free-ranging sumo wrestlers in their bright summer yukata garb and wooden sandles. (They have to wear traditional garb). They were already mobbed by tourists just trying to get on the subway, so I left them alone and didn’t grab any pics, but went straight to the stadium to check on tickets. Every other odd-numbered month they’re in Tokyo, and the prices are much more reasonable, so I declined to pay $35 to stand in the back for a few hours this time. September’s the target, when they’re back in our neck of the woods.
Afternoon newly freed up, I wandered through a couple of the other Nagoya highlights. Tokugawa garden was a ways from the center of the city, but a nice break from the crowds.
Then I followed a series of recommendations to fantastically spicy Taiwan-style ramen. The helpful staff offered me the “American spice” which is apparently 1/2 the peppers, but I went for the full set and it was well worth it!