We had our last brekky at the Guesthouse and then dragged our luggage to the ferry and train and bought ourselves some lunch to have on the hour long bullet train journey to Himeji.
I’d been to Himeji castle before, but it was 22 years ago… Chiko had organised a tour guide for us. She met us at the station, patiently waiting for us to put our luggage in the storage room – the lockers were still unusable because of the Summit in Hiroshima.
She told us a little about the history of the castle (it was never besieged) as we walked there. It was quite busy – not as busy as other places we’d been, but still…people most everywhere! Though our guide was telling us how lucky we were that it wasn’t crowded. Apparently it can take an hour just to queue for tickets at some times of the year!
We only had about 3.5 hours, and it was really hot, so we went through very quickly:
It’s a beautiful castle from the outside – the inside of the main tower is not really all that interesting.
One of the other buildings had a couple of mannequins playing cards – there was a whole long story associated with it. I just thought they were pretty 🙂
At the entrance (and exit) there’s a few cats that live there and are fed by volunteers. Cats seem to be well-loved over there.
We then went to the Castle Gardens. They are quite beautiful. They had a bonsai festival on and quite a few displays in some of the rooms of the buildings in the garden:
There aren’t many flowers in bloom in the gardens we’ve seen. Whether that’s on purpose or not, I don’t know!
We got back to the station about an hour before the train was due to leave, so had a coffee while we waited. Then it was onto the train to Kyoto, and then the subway and it was a well-described walk to the Airbnb accommodation that we had. The size of the apartment was good, but in general, it was quite disappointing after the great place we’d had in Tokyo. There was nothing included here except for the accommodation. No tea or coffee (or beer!), laundry facilities… There’s a coin laundry in the bottom floor of the building, so we could do some washing, which was necessary again. While that was going, we went to the Lawsons down the road to get some coffee and dinner and fortunately, Ela had some teabags from along the way, so we didn’t have to buy stuff for our 2 nights there.
The WiFi didn’t work – or at least it was very, very slow. Lucky I had my data on the SIM card!