Rokkaen is a garden located in Kuwana-shi, Mie Prefecture, which contains a mansion that splendidly harmonizes Japanese and Western building styles. It was built in 1913 as the residence of the second generation Moroto Seiroku.
Josiah Conder, who became famous for designing Rokumeikan (the Deer Cry Pavilion), was responsible for planning Rokkaen as well. The layout of the house consists of a two-story European-style building with four small rooms inside a tower, a natural slate roof, a Japanese-style building and a shed, as well as a garden around a pond.
Currently the house is open to the public, and tourists may come here to relax, or chat with other visitors. In 1997, Rokkaen was designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan. In 2001, the garden, excluding one section, was nominated as a scenic spot of Japan.
The Rokkaen is a precious cultural heritage which represents the fusion of Japanese and Western architectural styles popular in the late Meiji and Taisho periods. It is a classic example of period architecture encapsulating Taisho romance and passion.
The remains of Fukuoka Castle are located in Chuo-ku, Fukuoka. The castle was originally constructed in 1601 by the founder of the Fukuoka clan, Nagamasa Kuroda. It took seven years to complete and also goes by the name of Maizuru-jo, or Dancing-Crane Castle.
It is a castle positioned on the flat top of a hill, and once had at least 47 different watchtowers and turrets of different sizes. Because it did not have a significant tower keep, it was never looked upon as a threat by the central government, which explains why it stood without damage through the Meiji period.
The castle features several three-storied turrets known as yagura: Tabun Yagura (an Important Cultural Treasure), Shiomi Yagura and Kinen Yagura, as well as the Moritaheitei Nagayamon Gate and the Najima Mon Gate. The Dai Tenshudai has become an observation deck. In the area surrounded by the castle moat, can be found Cyperus Ohwii trees, designated by the prefecture as a protected species. There is also a monument commemorating the 'Manyoushu' poetry classic.
At present, the surroundings of the castle have become Maizuru Park, and there are also several sports facilities, such as the Heiwadai Track and Field Stadium. The castle is also a famous cherry-blossom viewing spot. In Showa 32, the castle was designated as a national historic site.
As part of the restoration of the once grand and prestigious Kanazawa Castle, the Gojikken Armory was reconstructed in July 2001.
The Gojikken Armory connects the Hashizume Gate Suzuki Turret to the Hishi Turret, and is two storeys high. These structures were originally built for defending the Ninomaru (Second Building) during wars, which is why they are lined with 'sea cucumber' tiles and white-washed plaster, which help in defence. Additionally, the barred windows had openings for muskets to be fired from, and there were trapdoors in the floor for dropping boulders onto the enemy below.
The Gojikken Armory was used for storing weapons at that time. The building covers a total area of 1894.25m2 and is the largest wooden castle structure in Japan to be built after the Meiji period. Including the time used for research, the whole reconstruction took no less than 3 years and 4 months to complete.
The Hishi Turret was built to guard the front and back gates of Kanazawa Castle. 'Yagura', the word here for turret, can also mean 'arrow storage', like an armory, although the turret was used more as a guard tower.
Rising from a 11.7m-high stone wall, the Hishi Turret itself is close to 17m high, giving the whole structure an intimidating total height of 30m.
The name Hishi (Diamond) Turret, is derived from the diamond shape of the horizontal plane surface of the turret. The inner angles of the diamond's four corners are 80 degrees and 100 degrees respectively. The 100 or so wooden internal beams and pillars are likewise all diamond-shaped, hinting at the advanced skill required to construct the building. The structure connecting the Hishi Turret and the Hashizume Turret is the Gojikken Armory.