Japan-Korea Day 3 - Himeji Castle

July 7, 2015
japan kobe asia

First day in Kobe

…which didn’t actually have anything to do with Kobe


Step 1. Find some suitable clothing

It has been overcast and raining pretty much non-stop since we got here. This was never the plan really, as Steph only packed 8kg full of short shorts, tank-tops, and thin blouses. Everyone else in Himeji is walking around in jeans, jackets, raincoats and boots, so she felt really out of place. She has a knack of accidentally dressing incorrectly for the weather in every season and climate imaginable. Girl problems.

gum boots

Ended up buying a pair of these gum boots.

umbrellas

Tempted to buy these, but we keep buying gigantic umbrellas on trips and they’re a pain in the butt to carry back.

Meanwhile, my stylish T-shirt, shorts and shoes combo gets the job done.

The first half of today was spent looking for cheap, warmer clothes, which is not an easy feat in Japan. If only we knew that tomorrow onwards is going to be extremely hot and humid (like what we were expecting in the beginning), then we wouldn’t have bothered.

Step 2. Look at some sexy castles

We were meant to go to Himeji to check out a castle. This wasn’t our original plan, but Oka-san recommended us to head this way as the rain basically ruined our original plan of hiking up Mount Rokko and Arima Springs. I think we were both secretly happy we didn’t have to climb the mountain in the end.

random castle pic

It was better than expected. Big white castle, nicknamed “White Heron” back in the day, with cool historical facts and legends.

turret

I fart in your general direction!

Apparently sometimes they get staff to dress up as ninja and hide in fake doors inside the castle that were used for ambushing intruders. There was also a floor dedicated for stone-throwing to warn off enemies.

Castle uphill

We didn’t actually get to the castle until much later in the day. We kept getting distracted by shops and food on the way so when we actually got there, it was only about and hour and a half before closing time. We still went in and out in record time though (we tend to be super efficient when it comes to museums etc).

It took us 45 minutes to get from Kobe to Himeji there by train, but it took TWO HOURS to get back! This is the difference between taking the limited express and local trains. The Japanese train system is so vast and complicated, with multiple companies, routes and train types. So we were yet AGAIN late for dinner!

The shame.