Preview of Himeji Castle
We’re headed for Himeji!
Our ride was the Shin-Kaisoku (S.Rapid) Train bound straight for Himeji.
Direct JR Special Rapid Trains (Shin-Kaisoku) take one hour for the one way trip between Osaka and Himeji.
Beautiful views of the Kansai countryside can be seen during this one hour ride.
Unfortunately, heavy rain started pouring non-stop, due to the Tsuyu season.
In early summer, most parts of Japan get visited by a rainy season, the so called Tsuyu, literally meaning “plum rain”, because it coincides with the season of plums ripening.
The rainy season is caused by the collision of cold northerly and warm southerly air masses, which results in a relatively stable bad weather front over the Japanese archipelago for several weeks.
In most of Japan, the rainy season lasts from the beginning of June to mid July, while it affects the islands of Okinawa during May.
Anyhow, here we are!
We’ve arrived in Himeji!
Took a bus that’s headed for Himeji’s star attraction, Himeji Castle!
Upon alighting, it was a short walk to Himeji’s Castle grounds.
Many gift shops along the way!
Mostly selling local specialties.
We’re almost there…
See the Castle moat??
This is the first gate you’ll have to pass through to officially enter “Castle grounds”.
Himeji is most famous for its magnificent castle, Himeji Castle, widely considered to be Japan’s most beautiful surviving feudal castle.
The castle is designated both a national treasure and a UNESCO world heritage site.
Himeji Castle is currently undergoing constructions.
We didn’t let that stop us (and these other visitors) from poppin’ by though!
Major renovation works are being carried out on the castle keep’s roof and walls from April 2010 until March 2015.
Alternative castle destinations during Himeji’s renovation include Hikone Castle, not far from Kyoto. While it’s castle keep is much smaller than Himeji’s, Hikone Castle is also original with a wooden interior, impressive walls and moats and an interesting approach.
This is the link to my previous post on Hikone Castle.
And here are links to my previous entries on Kyoto.
A large scaffold structure is covering up the entire main castle keep.
The interior of the castle keep is partially closed to visitors.
However, visitors are able to use an elevator to access an observation deck in the scaffold structure, from where the renovation works can be observed.
The observation deck’s limited capacity might result in long waiting times on busy days.
The view from the top proved most rewarding!
Damn the Tsuyu..
Though very gloomy, kinda looks “Mist”-eriously Beautiful…No?
Scaffolds & fences everywhere!
At least the Scaffolding was wonderfully done! 🙂
More views from the top!
Now this here, is a Haunted Well – Yes, I swear.
This truly impressed me!
Wonderful set of Samurai armors belonging to the different warriors/rulers of Japan.
And these are Family Crests.
Each warlord has a unique one. One that their entire army adorns.
Kinda like – to identify your allegiance.
Taking a walk around the compounds.
A miniature of how the castle roof actually looks like!
And also of the entire castle & it’s surroundings.
Alright now, we’re gonna enter the main keep.
Artwork & artifacts are displayed.
Hidden Rooms aplenty!
This is where spears & guns, polearms and whatnot are stored!
It’s a really big castle!
Pity, not all rooms were available for viewing.
Another set of Samurai armor!
These were the guns that the Samurai’s used.
(Yes, they used guns as well.)
The trail here heads to the Princess’s chambers.
She lived with many servants and these are their quarters.
(This is not the Princess!!)
Out of the chambers we go!
(This might be the future Daimyo though..)
Well…It was still raining!!
Surrounding the Castle is a garden – Kokoen.
However, it was impossible (and unpleasant) to visit due to the bad weather.
Finally left the Castle as we were famished!
Decided to try some local delicacies.
(Udon with a twist, although I don’t remember what it was exactly.)
The weather seriously sucked!!
Got some souvenirs for friends and family before leaving Himeji!
Here we are, finally back in Osaka!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this preview!
Finally, one more scenic view of Himeji – from the top of Himeji Castle’s Observatory Keep!
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