Monday, January 4, 2010

A Castle on Christmas Eve

I spent Christmas Eve traveling down to Hiroshima by local train. As most of you know, I bought the "young person's" cheap travel ticket to travel around Japan for the holidays. I woke up at around 4:30 and was on the train by 5:45am. Absolutely crazy!! I spent the day changing trains, sleeping, eating, listening to music, changing trains some more and then some more. In the early afternoon I was really sick of the train and happened to be going through Himeji. Himeji has one of the best castles in Japan, the best according to Lonely Planet. As there isn't much else there, I've intended to go for a long time but never end up spending the money as it's far and there aren't many other attractions around! So, this was actually the perfect opportunity to stop and see the castle.

I walked up along the walls with different shaped "windows" in them, apparently some of which used to be used to pour boiling water onto enemies who had gotten past the mote and exterior walls. Such a grim thought and extremely painful sounding, but resourceful all the same.

I think what made this castle better than others I've seen is the inside. They had lots of museum type stuff (the usual), but also lots of things like above showing where they used to keep their weapons and hang their ammunition and stand on elevated platforms to shoot. It was pretty interesting.

Also, the view from the top was pretty nice!

And the start of a solo adventure with many self-taken photos. I haven't traveled alone since coming to Japan and though I have enjoyed my adventures so far, it was really good to travel alone again. More adventures and pictures to come!

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