Travel Diary - Day 3 - Himeji

Just realised I've been titling these are dairy - lol all things milk based from Japan! Anyway Day 3 - in the morning I headed to Himeji which is about an hour or so by the Rapid Service from Osaka. I didn't time it very well though as it was rush hour and I had to stand for half of it!

It was well worth it though as Himeji Castle is breath taking - no wonder it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site! It's absolutely vast set in large grounds and the walls are so high and immense. It really has to be seen in order to get a grasp on the scale of the thing. You feel so small when you are walking up its winding hill.

Now Himeji Castle was built heavily fortified and I believe is one of the only castle's in Japan to never be successfully taken. It's whole design is built to confuse and hinder and an armies progress - with numerous gates of varying sizes, there are holes for firing and throwing things everywhere, and trap doors for dropping stuff on intruders, the walls are sloped just so in order that they cannot be climbed but can be used to poor hot oil and boiling water on those below.

Inside there are hidden rooms, trap doors, and steep stairs which are laid out in a way which means you end up having to go around and around. By the time I reached the top I was puffed.

Rilakkuma was fine - as he was chilling in my bag.

You can also go inside the a section of the inner defensive wall and there they had some art installations and bonsai on display.

After the castle I went to the nearby garden.

The Japanese maples or momiji in the garden were in beautiful Autumn colours.

At first when I walked into this part of the garden I thought it was a statue but no the bird was just being completely picturesque standing on a rock in the middle of a pond!

Before heading back to Osaka I popped into Cafe De Miki a Hello Kitty collaboration cafe - so cute!

I didn't take many pictures in the afternoon as I was mainly shopping in Umeda area and you are not supposed to take photos inside of shops. But I did pop into the Pompompurin Cafe for a snack.

I got their Osaka special dessert which came with a free mug (a brand new clean one - but is the same as the one on the plate). Now the dessert was made to look like kushikatsu and takoyaki but it was made of cakes and fruit covered in chocolate and biscuit crumbs. I only really ate the fruit ones as it was very sweet.

Then after some more shopping I had dinner at the Gudetama cafe!

One thing I will say about shopping in Japanese malls - they are like labyrinths - in one I could not find a way out so I had to ask for help. A very nice girl who spoke good English was also leaving the mall so she showed me the way out.

I have to say that the people in Osaka are super nice and those that speak some English are really friendly. Even in Himeji a lady walking next to me struck up a conversation of her own free will - turns out she has been to New Zealand and loved it.

Although one thing which is not fun is the squish which is almost always encountered when riding the trains - but once again people are generally nice and considerate. 

So that was Day 3 over - now my accommodation in Kyoto does not have WiFi so unless I can find a cafe nearby there maybe no daily posts until I get to Tokyo!