Wednesday, August 05, 2015
It was a comfortable night with AC and ample space and some privacy. A breakfast on the go saw us on a morning train to Himeji sleepiji Castle. The medieval castle was recently renovated. It stands above the surrounding landscape and presents a prominent profile. It is named after a white egret, because of its resemblance of the bird taking flight. The castle itself is a very impressive timber framed structure six stories high. We were able to climb through the entire ancient building imagining the centuries of occupants and the events the ancient walls witnessed. The entire grounds with its gates, moats and shooting holes was for me the most impressive historical site that I have visited in Japan. In the late afternoon we took a train back to Kyoto and visited the Inari Tori gates. Thousand orange Tori gates line a 4 kilometer walk to the top of a hill. Not all of our party hiked to the top, but everyone got their fill of the orange arches. Our final dinner with Markus and Steph before they head for Germany was appropriately take-out curry which was enjoyed in our rented house.