I Also Went to Iwakuni - 岩国も旅行してた!

Hello again, everyone! This will be final part of a three stop journey I made in September of 2009. As you recall, I went to Hiroshima first, and then to Itsukushima/Miyajima. The final leg of the trip, I traveled to nearby Yamaguchi Prefecture to the town of Iwakuni.


Iwakuni is home to an American Marine base, but you wouldn't really notice it much if you visited there. I don't think I saw one U.S. Marine while I spent the day.

Much like Hiroshima, the people of Iwakuni were very friendly and welcoming. I stepped off of the train and looking at a map, decided to head for the castle by foot. That was a mistake and I walked and walked and seemed to just get lost. I finally backtracked and took a bus. The first sight I came to was the bridge above, called the Kintai Bridge.

Iwakuni was ruled by the Kikkawa clan for nearly 300 years. The Kintai Bridge was the bridge leading to their estate, which is still owned and operated by the family. I was able to visit houses and buildings from the time of their rule. It's also home to a white snake museum, which wasn't all that impressive. Still, the area was beautiful, and in Kikko park and the Kikkawa estate, there was much to explore and see.

A couple of my favorite spots were just near the bridge, where I snapped this photo of an old boat floating in the water.


Further on near the castle, I was able to wander around the estate's cemetery. It was one of the largest I had seen in Japan and was quite impressive. But what was a real treat was the hidden graves up in a forested area above the cemetery. There I was able to find the graves of a famous princess and other nobles. These aren't necessarily hidden, as there is a trail leading to them, but they are off of the beaten path.

As I traveled around, I noticed many stray cats in the area, and signs warning not to dump abandoned dogs or cats there. The cats were friendly, as I assume they were used to seeing many people.

As I walked up the large hill to the castle, I decided to take several small paths through the forests. I ended up finding some somewhat hidden shrines that did not look as if they'd been bothered or touched in years. One of the best things about Japan for me is finding little hidden areas that you'd definitely miss if you weren't paying attention.




From the castle, you could see all of Iwakuni. It was quite a scenic view. Once I was finished, I headed back down to visit the rest of the estate and head back to Hiroshima for one more day of the trip. Iwakuni was a great place to visit, and I have some friends who had also spent time there. It is a place that is on my list to visit again in Japan.

Here are the rest of the photos from the trip:



Shea
I Also Went to Iwakuni - 岩国も旅行してた! I Also Went to Iwakuni - 岩国も旅行してた! Reviewed by Shea Roberts on 9:41 PM Rating: 5
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