We’ve had an unexpected development in our trip to Iga castle. Despite a restless night in the car, we were excited about getting to the safety of the castle and being around more people again. The drive there was largely uneventful, but when we arrived, we found it locked up tight. We tried calling out, but no one responded. It was still early, so we figured no one was up yet. Although the main gate at the end of the bridge was closed, we were able to find another bridge across the moat and inside the out walls. Of course, in the times that the castle was in use, no one would have been able to do that, but now the area between the outer and inner walls has been made into a public park. I emailed the guy that I’d been emailing and told him we had arrived and were coming up towards the castle.

No one came out to meet us, but we leisurely made our way towards the inner walls. This was where we came to another gate that was also closed and there was no way around it.  A lot of the walls are old and would be easy enough to climb, but others were completely flat. The way the stones fit into each other so perfectly to make a flat barrier is impressive even by today’s standards.

 

As we approached the inner gate that led unto the castle, I got a reply. I’ll just copy and paste it here:

Charlie,

Last night we went to that house I told you about. Inside were five children under 7 years old and an 11-year-old. They had been living on stockpiled bowls of dried noodles. They are not in a good shape. We had no choice but to them back to the castle. We were pressed for food as it was, but now we cannot take in anymore refugees. I’m sorry. It’s great that you got this far. If we can stabilise the food situation, we will let you know. Until then, good luck. There is a train station near here that has a relatively safe underground area. Use the combination code 9717 to get in. You’ll at least be able to take a little shelter there.

Refugees? Is that what we’ve become…? I hurriedly sent him a message back to say that we wouldn’t be a burden and will scavenge our own food. I’m writing this as we stand between the inner and outer walls waiting for his reply. Risa was wondering if we could just climb over the walls. I thought about it for a little, but even if we could climb some of the walls, the ones closer to the keep were too steep and difficult to traverse. The other thing is that if they don’t want us to come in, it might not be good to go in anyway. We don’t know much about them or what they might do.

As I was writing this, I got his reply. It was just a short message, but it affirmed my suspicions that going in uninvited might not be a good idea.

We are very sorry that we cannot take you in, but we need to look after own first. DO NOT attempt to enter the castle. The new additions to our group are burden enough as it is. We will take this as a direct threat, and act accordingly. We can see you from inside and would like you to please leave the castle, as your presence makes people here uneasy, and you may attract infected. WE will let YOU know if we are able to take you in at a later stage.

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