Gifu, Kagamigahara Aerospace Museum & Inuyama

4 & 6 November 2009

I went to the APISAT 2009 conference in Gifu city. With a few others, I walked from our ryokan (Taga,旅館多賀, next to the conference center) to the park at the foot of the hill with the castle around sunset. Two days later, as tour with the conference, we went to the Kagamigahara Aerospace museum and to the castle and a museum in Inuyama.

[HDR] View over the Nagaragawa (river) at sunset.

[HDR] The big building is a huge hotel next to the conference center. The conference center is just to the right there.


In the Gifu park there was an exhibition of Chrysanthemum and figures representing life at a court.

Rather than removing the protective cover from the nose-tip before flight, I think it is more critical to re-insert the engine...

It must be so cool to see this thing take of!

Inuyama castle is one of the 4 Japanese castles on the national heritage list. The others being those in Himeji, Matsumoto, and Hikone. For me, Inuyama was the last one to visit. It is nice, but I like the others better. Himeji is just huge, and you can walk through the walls (note it is under renovation until 2015!). Hikone castle has a nice atmosphere, and the curved beams and clearly hand-crafted beams are beautiful. Both Himeji and Hikone castle have a separate garden next to the castle which is worth a visit. I also think Matsumoto castle, with the park around it, has a nicer and more dignified atmosphere. I know some people look at the way stones or beams ar put together and think one castle is much more "a piece of art" than another, but this is just my lay point of view.

Close to the castle is a museum [JP] of "karakuri ningyō" [wiki] which are robots from the Edo era (17th-19th century). These dolls are made out of different types of wood and contain a spring and an ingenious clockwork mechanism to make them move autonomously. This one can walk (drive) forward in an U shape. It can serve a cup of tea to a guest, and when the guest takes the cup of tea, the doll stops walking. It resumes walking (back to its master) when the guest places the (empty) cup back in its hands See video here [YouTube]. There are many other types of Karakuri ningyō, for instance ones that grab an arrow, put it in a bow and shoot it to a target [YouTube], or ones that do caligraphy [YouTube]. Here is another funny clip with the tea bringing robot [YouTube]

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