The Crane Game
A smoothly finished wall, about 12’ high, surrounds the estate. The main gate is stout, wide enough for large wagons to pass through, and guarded around the clock. The postern is only wide enough for foot traffic but is tall enough for a horsed man to ride through. It’s also guarded around the clock.
The administration building is front and center, dominating the forward courtyard. It’s a broad, two-story wooden building that houses all official government functions for the province and most government functions for the city. The rear of the building offers views of several parts of the governor’s gardens.
The stables are hidden behind the administration building to the left and screened from it and the rest of the estate by stone walls and wide bands of shrubbery and landscaping.
Quarters for the non-house servants are behind the stables, also screened by a wall and landscaping.
The governor’s home, a massive 4 story wood and stone structure, is situated to the right. A wide verandah wraps around the building on the ground floor and all 4 walls are liberally studded with windows. Sentries are periodically visible on the roof. Besides the governor and his family a number of members of court live here and there are guest quarters for a couple of dozen samurai and their servants, too.
The governor’s gardens dominate the estate, occupying most of the acreage enclosed by the walls and centrally located within the compound. A pond of just over 1 acre is the centerpiece. Two wooden bridges, both works of art, lead from opposite sides of the pond to an island.
The tea house and shrine are situated on the island, accessed separately by the 2 bridges, and screened from each other by shrubbery and a stone wall.
Six small guest homes are arranged at the rear of the gardens. Each is large enough for a married couple and 4-6 household servants to live in comfortably.