Japan/Honshu: Hirosaki Castle
Quick Shinkansen bullet train ride and you are on Honshu Island. Hirosaki is a small town in the north but it has one of the most beautiful castles in all of Japan – Hirosaki Castle. It was built in 1601 and the entire donjon fortress grounds are well-preserved – gate towers, moats, bridges, canals and lakes, gardens, earthen walls and so on. It’s like a labyrinth that you navigate to get to the center wheee a spectacular 3-tiered castle stands against the background of the distant mountains. The surrounding park is world-famous for sakura blossom but I guess I came at the wrong time.