A new day in Japan started with the fabulous breakfast served on the 8th floor of the Ibis hotel where we accommodated, again with Osaka on our feet. We already had the plan for today’s trip at Himeji Castle, so … on the way … more precisely at Shin-Osaka Station, where we went to Himeji, a town about 40 minutes from Osaka and where we find out that there is a wonderful castle surrounded by blooming cherries. And how can’t you be glad that you are alive when the distance was traveled with an impeccable train, arrived at the displayed time, extremely clean and with such design?
From Himeji Station we had a 15-minute walk to the castle, but in 2 minutes we were on the bus and in another 5 minutes I was on Himeyana Hill at the castle entrance.
Himeji Castle is very beautiful being part of the UNESCO heritage and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Japan. It is also known as white egret castle due to its dazzling white color and the roof that is shaped like a bird ready to fly. The castle is complex and comprises 83 buildings.
Although we arrived at 11:00, there were already a lot of people. We headed to the ticket office, where my husband bought two tickets to visit the castle and a garden. Then we went further based on intuition because, although the tourist attractions in Japan are visited by many foreigners, English inscriptions are missing everywhere. As we approached the entrance to the castle, we realized it would take at least 3 hours if we wanted to see much of it. I was not wrong. At the entrance, the two soldiers waited for us:
I walked hard through narrow hallways full of Chinese people taking pictures even of a fly. We came to a point where we had to take off shoes and continue walking barefoot. I almost wished to give up, watching regretfully my stockings, which will soon gather in their fabric all the old dust for centuries, but I continued with the shoes in the bag the adventure through the labyrinth of the Himeji Castle. The top view deserved all the effort:
The steep stairs I climbed, many of them spiral, with small distances to the ceiling (well, the Japanese were short at that time, too), the thought that I would go to Osaka once the stores were closed, what it was a new day without shopping, stirred my spirit a little and I was always 20 meters in the crowd in front of my husband. At that moment I thought that he would come to me sooner, scared that any Chinese of the many might leave him without his wife. But what do you think? My hubby had long wanted to see that castle and even wanted to put things together in history, so he didn’t leave an exhibit without reading its story.
With a terrible pain in my feet, I put pressure on things and I managed to bring him with his feet on the ground, barefoot, obviously. I quickly left the bags where I took my shoes and I glanced briefly at the crowd doing the same thing. I made a slight grimace with my shoes in my hand and my eyes, when my curiosity urged me to take a look at my stockings. They were just as clean as when I put on. This is Japan! After two hours of walking through all the humpbacks, climbing through all the bridges where other rooms were opening, no dust was disturbing me, I liked it a lot …
At the gate of the castle there were some beautiful cherries that I couldn’t resist taking photos:
I was already very tired and we were going to visit the Koko-en garden near the castle. I didn’t want to do that, but my husband began to reproach that he had no time in the castle to see everything he wanted, that everything was fast, that my feet always hurt when I was visiting something … I was already looking for arguments for shopping in the evening, but it was supposed to forget the pain in my feet. Girls understand me, but if I were through the shopping area, I would have been like a deer … I know, it’s not our fault … we are born like this.
I made the best decision, because what I found beyond the gates was the most beautiful garden I’ve ever seen. I thought the Japanese gardens were beautiful, but now we saw it and breathe in the ZEN garden.
A little ZEN and enough energy, we headed for the exit, and fast we took photos of some cats that were getting old there and a group of Japanese people who were at the picnic under the blooming cherries, perhaps in the lunch break, quite accustomed for them.
I walked all the way to the train station because the pain in my feet had turned into a general numbness and … anyway, I was ZEN …
We slipped among the Japanese who had ended their jobs and headed for the metro home and we arrived again in the Osaka traffic.
I had time for little shopping, encouraged by the fact that he wanted to have a cold beer after a hot day and I left him here:
I picked him up after 2 hours and fell asleep sound until morning. I’ll be back soon with some great trips. All the best!