Natalie Goes to Japan

40 year old very married blonde woman having a midlife crisis who heads to Japan alone to follow her dreams. Be careful what you wish for ... you just may get it.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Himeji Allure

I was hoping to be back in Hamamatsu early enough that I could still go to my three private gigs on Monday. So that didn't really leave me alot of time in Hiroshima. And I just couldn't make a decision on what to see. Nothing was just calling out to me. So I decided I would stop in another city on my way home and see their little attraction called Himeji Castle (total understatement). It is also in that list of most photographed things in Japan. Himeji is also a Unesco World Heritage site, like the A-Bomb Dome and Itsukushima Shrine. So that made 3 Unesco Sites in 3 days. Not bad, as I had only done one Japanese site before, Kyoto. Turns out that I've been to a few before: Venice, Brugge, Verona, Luxembourg, Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, Grand Canyon, Smoky Mountains, and Carlsbad Caverns. But I digress. I stopped off to see what all the fuss was about over Himeji-jo. I had been to 3 tiny castles in my area. All of which are cement reconstructs. And I couldn't see what the allure was of living in a castle here. I would rather had been a peasant, than live in one of those buildings. But Himeji was sooooo different. It is one of the twelve remaining original castles. Not to mention it really dwarfs the others I have been to. The insides were much more pleasant, and seemed quite livable. And Himeji also still has most of the battlements, baileys and out-buildings. The West Bailey contained the women's quarters. And the rooms were cozy with lovely views of the gardens. It was all so lovely and impressive and grand. And the weather was as gorgeous as it had been on the previous two days. If you come to Japan, I recommend you come in Autumn. I bought some souveniers, since I hadn't bought any in Miyajima. And I hopped the Shinkansen home. I always seem to pick the best Shinkansen on the way to somewhere, and a much lousier choice on my way back. This one made lots of stops, and took the longer route back. But still, I enjoyed the ride and have no complaints. I came back with much renewed vigor, and a lightened heart. I love travel.


At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great trip and the photos are sooo nice. It all looks very enticing. Mum


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