Japan 2018, Osaka, Himeji, Nara, Takayama, Shirakawago, Kanazawa, Tokyo

Day 41: Himeji

I write this as we sit on the train back to Osaka, after spending the day in Himeji, with its wonderful white castle. The first fortifications were built on this spot in the 14th century, whilst the castle that stands today is from 1609. It is one of Japan’s 12 remaining original castles, never destroyed by fire or war, although an unexploded bomb did hit it in 1945, when US air raids destroyed the rest of Himeji.

Known as the white heron because of its white exterior, many believe it resembles a heron about to take flight. It is considered To be Japan’s most spectacular castle due to its appearance and size.

And a selfie with Yanmei.

The castle consists of 6 floors with a shrine at the top. We walked up very steep stairs to the different floors in socks – no shoes allowed – through a room structure that is more or less unchanged since the castle was built, seeing the doors from where stones could be dropped and the walls on which the swords were kept.

Next to the castle is a traditional and very beautiful Japanese garden, Koko-en, consisting of nine different gardens. The garden was created in 1992 on grounds that previously were part of the castle residence, that was destroyed and later excavated. The garden is built upon the grounds of the excavation, once it was completed. We had green tea where we first had to cut and eat a sweet, the take up the tea, turn the cup clockwise, twice, drink the tea, and then place the cup back on the tray after turning it anti-clockwise twice.

And for dinner. I am not sure in what Asians see in hot pot, putting vegetables and very thinly sliced meat in a boiling soup to pull it out again just a minute or so later, seems like a waste of effort, and I’m sure the chef could have done a better job with the ingredients.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *