Various pictures of Fall and winter in Japan 2009
Macross Launch Party: Akihabra, Tokyo 2009
The official launch party held in Akihabra on the 22nd of February.
Matsumoto castle:
Next to Himeji-jo, Matsumoto-jo is the next best extant castle donjon in Japan. Built by Ishikawa Kazumasa and his son Yasunaga in 1590, Matsumoto-jo is designated a National Treasure. After Hideyoshi took Odawara he stationed Ishikawa Kazumasa in Matsumoto to govern his eastern provinces.

The history of Matsumoto-jo actually begins with a castle called Fukashi-jo which was built by Shimadachi Sadanaga in 1504. That castle was attacked and captured by Takeda Shingen in 1550.

Takashima castle:
The castle was built by Lord Hineno from 1592 to 1598. It is the highest elevation flatland castle ever constructed in Japan. The castle is also known as the "Floating Castle" because it was built on a small island in the lake that was connected to the shore by a narrow path of land. The lake now sits a couple blocks West of the castle and is periodically dredged to maintain a consistent shoreline.

The Suwa clan had ruled over the area around Lake Suwa for hundreds of years but lost control in 1542. In 1601 they regained control and continued to rule until 1869. In the 1870's the castle was dismantled by order of the Meiji government.