Sunday, 10 January 2016

Himeji Castle

And I'm back with another travel post! It's been a while, but I guess sometimes it's good to take a break. (Especially when you're having an essay crisis)

Last month, I was lucky enough to go on a study trip to Himeiji and Naoshima with the CJLC at Osaka uni. They only charged us 3000 yen for the whole thing, absolute madness. 

The first day, they took us by coach to Himeji castle. It was so beautiful!
If you didn't know, Himeji is a pretty perfect example of a Japanese castle, and I think it's the most famous, along with the castles in Kumamoto and Matsumoto. Himeji castle is certainly huge, especially compared to other castles such as Hikone (which is teeny and adorable). It's 100 metres tall, and pretty imposing. 
Although we went on a weekday, it was so crowded inside! Our tour guide even warned us that we wouldn't have time for anything else if we went inside. The view of Himeji was good, but compared to Hikone castle- which I'll be posting about soon- Himeji was sooo crowded. It's a lot more famous I guess. 

And the castle (newly renovated so the roofs are shining white) looked absolutely stunning!  
I got some pretty good pictures (if I do say so myself)


 There were these super pleasing triangle-shaped windows in the castle walls. I'm pretty sure they were there for guns or bows and arrows.



 The sun came out after we got out again
 The view of Himeji was really good near the castle.

Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle





You can't deny that that is one photogenic castle right there.

 Also the Gingko trees were cute so I took a photo :)

There is also a Japanese garden right next to the castle, but I didn't have time to check it out. Hopefully, I'll be back and be able to visit there and Engyou-ji next time I go. Maybe I'll head there in Sakura season, because it's meant to be beautiful at Himeji. Although, Sakura season means it'll be extra crowded... hmm.

You can get to Himeji straight from Shin Osaka- either a half hour trip on the Shinkansen or you could save yourself some money and opt for the hour long Special express. Super simple to get there though! If you're in Japan, definitely try and check out a Japanese castle, whether it's Hikone, Himeji, Osaka... they've all got their own charm, right? Certainly Japanese castles are really different to English ones. 

After Himeji we went to the sword museum in Bizen. It was cool to go because it's somewhere I almost certainly wouldn't go by myself, you know? It was really interesting, even if you don't really know anything about swords like me. 



That night, we got to stay in a super fancy hotel with an onsen, and there was a taiko drumming performance, and we could wear Yukata and eat traditional Japanese food... Such a cool experience. 

That's it for now, thanks for reading! Next post will be about the next day, which was spent on the "art island", Naoshima, in the inland sea.
-Amy xoxo
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