Shikoku: Marugame Castle

 My last day on Shikoku island was improvised due to weather issues. And the weather continued to affect my itinerary later in the day. But my first stop went over good enough.
 Marugame is the town in Shikoku closest to Okayama, and sits at a narrow portion of the Inland Sea which gave it quite a military advantage. So it should be no surprise that there's a castle situated on the hill overlooking the port. A park in front of the castle has some large modern art.
 The weather wasn't exactly nice here, being overcast and later turning to rain. But at least the showers held off until I was on my way back to the station. It's a bit of a hike uphill to reach the castle.
 The location really is perfect for keeping an eye on the entire surrounding area. The ports and even Honshu (the main island) are visible to the north on clear days, while the valley surrounding the castle affords views for miles in the other directions.
The stone walls remain from the original construction, as well as the inner moat.
 The castle keep isn't very large, but it is original.
 Inside are a few exhibits and you can explore around.
 It's a cozy castle keep, and there isn't much to see, but I'd be happy to call this home.
 On the western side of the castle park is a museum building with artifacts inside and out. Photography isn't allowed inside, but there were some nice large art - old maps and scrolls and such.
 In addition to the large farming equipment under the museum building overhang, the outside displays include some cases with things from the Showa era. I love the old advertising signs!

Kameyama Park is the official name of the park with Marugame Castle, and it's located about 15 minutes on foot from Marugame Station. You can catch a bus for 200 yen that will get you there in 5 minutes. The grounds and museum are free, but entrance to the keep will cost 200 yen - not a bad price to pay for an original castle. The keep is open 9:00-16:30, closed the last week of the year.

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