2010 04 17 - Himeji day 1
Himeji Travel Blog› entry 25 of 41 › view all entries
After being well rested and totally cleaned up in the capsule hotel I only had to walk 10 minutes to reach Himeji castle. This castle really was beautiful on the outside as it never had faced any wars and was only build bigger by adding rings around the castle. Only by fire had some buildings not survived the test of time. However a restoration started 5 days ago so entry to the main building wasn't possible anymore. The maid quarters were though. This castle really has it all. Great architecture (even the holes for throwing boiling water on intruders are decorative), a beautiful garden with a thousand cherryblossoms, a story about Princess Sen that involves a forced marriage, ritual suicide, lost wars and eventually a peaceful life in a castle with the man she loves and marries.
Outside of the castle many Himeji specialties were sold like squid-with-sesame-seeds (not great) and Konatu (rice cakes stuffed with sweet bean past, my new favorite snack). Because of the warmth and sun I kept eating icecream all day as well. I got scared when I saw 500 grams of Kobe beef for 21000 Yen (335 Euro per kilo) even if it was a typo on all the packages 33,50 still seems excessive. I would find out that evening in Kobe that it (hopefully) was a mistake but Kobe beef is just outside of my pricerange.
Besides the castle there is also another park about 30 minutes further, close to all the stadiums.
And then leaving the city turned out to be a great mystery that took me over an hour. Kobe was never on any sign and not even the highways were on any sign. But I made it out, got a ride by a brother and sister that both seemed a bit too interested in me and I made it to Kobe in 45 minutes.
There was no Information Point at the station this time though. But after some groceries two women approached me and asked me if they could speak with me to practise their English. They showed me the nighview at Harborland, we talked about all the differences in countries, cultures and people we knew and they showed me how to eat Udon noodles (really thick, white noodles) with slurping and all. Then they pointed me to an internetcafe. More about that "tomorrow".