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On November 18, 2014, in cooperation with Jiyudaigaku, I led a tour of Aoba Castle as a city volunteer guide.

It was my first time to give a tour at the castle. And this was a special tour done at night.

We gathered at 1815 in front of the International Center. For an hour and a half I led a tour around the castle ruins.

Because it was night, it was cold but not too cold. We used flashlights to navigate and check out old castle gates

and stone walls. I talked about the history of the castle and the Date clan as we walked along.

I really tried to get participants to think about how the castle was used 400 years ago.

The gates were small to defend easily, and at night there must have been fires and torches to light up everything.

We eventually made it to the top of the castle where I talked more about what used to be there during Date Masamune’s time.

The highlight of the trip was the statue of Date Masamune looking over the city and of course the beautiful night view.

The participants were very eager to learn and explore together.

They told me the evening adventure was fun. Most of the participants have been to the castle before,

but everyone said they learned something new. Most members of the group are studying English.

I guided in English and explained a few words in Japanese when someone asked.

I received an email from a member afterwards that my explanation was easy to understand.

That made me happy.

Overall, it was a really fun trip for me and the guests.

There were not any major problems and no one seemed bored during the tour.

I hope I can give another tour of the castle on a warmer night, maybe in the summer.

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