Our old house is facing a road leading to the hill where an old castle use to be. The castle has had a name of Manki Castle. It was built in around 14-15th century by a samurai clan called Toki. The rule of Toki clan in the region was overthrown in the 16th century and the castle was eventually demolished. During the rein of Toki clan, our small village, Rakumachi, with around 100 houses, is said to have served as an entertainment district where joyful shops, bars and restaurants were lining up in order for those living in the castle to enjoy.
The road first leads us to the Isumi river.
Then, the hill shows up. It was where Manki castle used to be. Today, we only have a viewing platform replicating the castle on top of the hill.
The road to the castle is narrow and steep.
We found many Azalea trees, that the branches are woven into a tunnel, just wide enough for a person to walk through. Weird beauty, isn’t it?
Azalea tunnel leads us to the viewing platform, from which we have magnificent view of Rakumachi village and other villages in the midst of rice field. We can also see the Pacific Ocean some 10 km ahead.
This is Rakumachi village. Our old house should show a wide red roof, but it is hidden by trees just behind the red bridge on the Isumi river (at the left-centre of the picture.