ODA NOBUNAGA TOUR/ Ise Azuchi-Momoyama Bunkamura (Azuchi Castle)

This is an extra chapter, still related to my Nobunaga Tour, but focusing on one of the attractions related to him, rather than an exquisitely historical stage.

I'm here to tell you about the reconstruction of the Azuchi Castle, Nobunaga greatest architectural and artistic project, a real manifestation of his power and wealth.
The attraction can be found in the theme park of Ise Azuchi-Momoyama Bunkamura, set in a typical Sengoku town, with its commercial streets, restaurants, ninja village and the like.
There's a more popular "Eastern verion" of the same theme park located in Nikko but dedicated to the Edo period, the Nikko Edo Wonderland. The attractions and looks of the parks are pretty much the same.

It's located in Ise city, less than a kilometer from the train station of FUTAMINOURA, reachable through the Rapid Train "Mie" from Nagoya.
once you get off the train and start heading towards the mountains, you can already spot the main turret of Azuchi Castle >o< !!

I would like to give you a proper review of the park, but as it was a glorious rainy day, the place was pretty much deserted, so it didn't give me a great impression... Plus, I just bought a basic ticket (2500 yen) and didn't see any of the attractions, as it was pretty much a copy of the Edomura above mentioned that I visited two years ago, and I was there exclusively for the Azuchi Castle...
..So I'll just focus on the castle and its contents :D

The whole park is resting on a mountain, and I must confess that I didn't really like the idea of climbing the whole thing under the rain.
For my absolute joy, though, I noticed the bus making back and forth through the whole park, and I jumped on it INSTANTLY:

The ride was pretty wild o_o !!
The "palanquin bus" makes three stops: by the exit to the park, over the ninja village and on top of Azuchi castle... It brings you right in front of its entrance :D !!

To access the castle you have to buy an extra ticket (500 yen) from a vending machine before you pass the main gate:

I can say that when I saw the castle I was about to pass out for the emotion ;o; !!
So bad for the rain!! The colours are much more vivid in person!!

Here are some pictures of the garden surrounding the castle... I would have taken more if it wasn't POURING XD

Then, some details of the castle:

Aaah, it was breathtaking T_T !!

So, I entered the castle and realized that it was arranged as an "historical walk" along Nobunaga's descent to power through a multimedial course.
The whole thing was in Japanese but I could still enjoy the scenes.

At the entrance of the exhibition I was greated by these wary Imagawa soldiers XD

Of course, we start with the Battle of Okehazama!

On the second floor was the the clash against the Saito:

Third floor, the battle against Asakura/Azai:

--I'm really sorry for the quality of some pictures, but the damn light effects allowed to my camera very little time to focus ._.

On the fourth floor was a depiction of the Incident of Honnoji.
There was also a showcase featuring a model of the "iron armoured ships" developed in 1576:

Finally, on the fifth floor a depiction of a happy Nobunaga as he would have appeared during his stay in Azuchi, with his retainers, his Portuguese friends and his Western curiousities:

Finally, it was possible to head to the sixth floor to see the panoramic view :D

From this picture, despite the shitty weather, it's easy to imagine the real view from Mount Azuchi, with its lovely view on lake Biwa :D

Up we go, to Nobunaga's "golden room"!

Even the windows and the ceiling were covered in gold ^_^; !!

Sure it has nothing to do with the magnificence and accuracy of the Nobunaga-kan in actual Azuchi, but sure it left its mark on the viewer.

What can I say, the general impression of the park was that it was quite run-down, and sure it's quite expensive if you just want to visit the castle and take a stroll around.
If you happen around there, maybe to visit the close by Ise Jingu, you could consider to take a walk around here, but if that's not the case, just go to Azuchi to see how the real thing would have looked, at least in its superior floors.
Yet, I don't regret my visit, as I still managed to enjoy my walk around the park despite the rain (FUCK YEAH THE NINJA MUSEUM!!) and the general look of the castle was stunning, despite its flaws...

To end my report, a picture of another view that left me breathless:
Finally the rain presented me a nice scenery to look at!


Entrance fee: 2500 yen (+ 500 yen for the visit to Azuchi Castle), Passport: 3900 yen (all attractions included)
Reservation: Not required
Operating Hours: 0900-1700 (March 17 to November 15), 0930-1630 (November 16 to March 16)
Website: http://www.ise-bunkamura.co.jp/english.html

And that's all, I hope that you found this article exhaustive! If you have other questions about it, feel free to drop me a line here, I'll reply promptly ^_^