・Sawaguchi tamon-yagura (Turret)
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Here, a dozen horses belonging to successive lords of the Hikone
Clan were always kept. This stable is unique in that it is the only
stable in Japan still existing within a castle site.
A turret, a small, fortified structure, is called a "yagura"in
As you ascend the slope from the front gate, you'll find a"corridor
bridge,"which can be demolished in emergencies. Forming a symmetric
shape with the bridge at the center is the Tenbin-yagura.
This yagura is so named because it resembles a balance scale, or"tenbin"in
Japanese. It is said to be the reconstruction of the main gate of
Nagahama Castle originally constructed by Hideyoshi Toyotomi, Hikone
Castle has the sole example in Japan of this unique shape.
This solidly-built yagura gate guards the front entrance leading
to the Hommaru, or the main keep. Here was placed a"taiko,"or
drum, used to send coded signals.
The west side of the Hommaru quarter is called Nishi-no-maru, or
the west-wing fort. And at the far end of the area stands Sanju−yagura,
which is built on a stone wall exceeding 10 meters in height. In
the area east of the Yagura stands a grove of cherry trees, enchanting
visitors in spring with their exquisite blossoms.