If you read Harry Potter, then you are probably familiar with the Durmstrang Institute - an absolutely closed school located high in the mountains where attain their science witches and wizards. If this school existed in real life, the ideal spot for it in Japan, in the castle of Takeda.
This impressive castle is located in the Hyogo Prefecture in the city of Assago. Castle Takeda was built many centuries ago, at the foot of a high mountain. It is believed that with God's help samurai Castle was built Takeda in 1443. Since the construction of the castle changed its owners several times, until the last - Hirohide Akamatsu (Hirohide Akamatsu, who was its owner in 1600. Hirohide was a samurai, who fought on the side of the ruler of Tokugawa Ieyasu during the battle of Sekigahara. Unfortunately, not much later, as Hirohide committed seppuku, Japanese ritual suicide samurai. Hirohide Akamatsu was the last known owner of the castle, which was abandoned shortly after his death. Today, the ruins of the castle are a quarter of a mile long and 300 feet wide.
Autumn morning between sunrise until about 8 am, when a thick fog hangs over the sky due to abrupt temperature difference, the Castle Takeda appears in all its splendour, revealing the stunning view. Because of the fog the impression that the castle is hovering in the sky above the clouds, and it really is breathtaking.
Castle Takeda is often called Japanese Machu Picchu, comparing it with the majestic mountain ruins in Peru. As Machu Picchu, the castle Takeda each year attracts thousands of tourists and not only. This place is very popular with filmmakers, here are removed many Japanese movies. The castle was used as the backdrop for the film Palme d'or for kagemusha" by Akira Kurosawa.
But the time is inexorable, and old buildings like the castle Takeda gradually destroyed. So, to preserve the structure of the local authorities charge a fee for the examination of the castle, which is located 40 minutes away from the foot of the mountain.
It is believed that the walls of the castle Takeda has built a special group of masons of the Guild Ano-Shu, who erected their stone walls method Ano Zumi, which is an ancient method of creating a powerful stone walls. This method is one of the types of polygonal masonry, which the Japanese used mainly unprocessed natural stone, without application of glue solution. Stone walls built this way, well distribute the weight of the stones and have good drainage, so they are very durable and is not subject to destruction. The method is simple, but requires certain knowledge and skills.
Method ANO Sumi is passed from generation to generation. Today the representative of the 15-th generation Mason ANO-Shu operates in one of the Japanese construction companies. His company received a contract for the construction of a stone wall along the ancient method along a section of road, Tokai Nature Trail in Shiga Prefecture in 2004. During tests for the adoption of the method, were built two walls, one of concrete blocks, and the other method ANO Sumi. Then the walls have been pressure tested. Stone wall was deformed, but not collapsed. Concrete blocks were destroyed under the pressure of a lesser intensity.
The best time for visiting the castle Takeda autumn (September-November) and spring the cherry blossom season. When flashing pink branches of Sakura, symbolizing short but bright life of the samurai, it seems that the castle comes to life and is once again ready to take its defenders.