THE first ever Japanese band to perform at the Edinburgh Tattoo has toured a unique castle garden celebrating Scotland’s links with the country.

The Japan Ground Self Defence Force Central Band is the first of its country to take part in the annual showcase at Edinburgh Castle, which runs for the rest of the month.

Members were invited to tour the Japanese Kyoto Friendship Garden within the grounds of the city’s Lauriston Castle.

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Opened 15 years ago, the garden was built to celebrate the twinning of Edinburgh and the prefecture of Kyoto.

Established in 1951, the Japanese band is one of the country’s best known wind ensembles. Its entrance to the Tattoo will conclude in a performance by soloist Michiko Matsunaga.

The Tattoo is one of Edinburgh’s top attractions during the annual arts festival and it is expected that 2017 will be the event’s 19th consecutive sell-out year.

This year’s Splash of Tartan theme celebrates Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

More than 1200 cast and crew from 48 countries across the globe take part to an audience of over 8000 people each night throughout the month.