Himeji Castle & Some Real Fatty Steak (Japan pt. 2)

Life is what happens when you’re trying to travel blog! The trip is long in the rear-view mirror but here is part 2.

After a quick breakfast from hell’s supermarket, and lots of vending machine coffee (I am low-key obsessed with Boss Coffee), we went to Himeji to visit the castle and gardens. I was a bit peckish so I picked up a fried Lovecraftian horror during the walk from the train.

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The castle was wonderful. It’s a famous example of traditional Japanese architecture, and while it’s not got a history of super-famous people living there or anything, Kurasawa filmed Ran there. A lot of other movies were filmed there too! And it has a long modern history of being nearly demolished or bombed to dust, so lucky us.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t cooperating with photographs until we were just leaving. But here’s a nice pano that might give you the idea.

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 It also had lots of badass tiger-fish sculptures on the rooftops. It was hard to get a photo in situ but here’s one on display.

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Then the sun did come out for the gardens, which was a great break from the crushing crowds of the castle. It was probably my favorite garden that we visited in the country, and reminded me how much I like gardens and would like to have one again some day. Whenever it may be that I’m done with city life, or am rich and can afford a second home and lots of time to arrange the leaves on trees. The first seems more likely.

 

On the way back to the train I got a snack made by a really awesome pneumatic cast-iron snack-making machine.

 

Then off to Kobe, of the eponymous beef. We didn’t see any cows from the train. Where do they raise the cows? Somewhere else in the prefecture, I guess. By this point I felt like I was dying, thanks to the jet lag, so while the meal was memorable and tasty, it was still an unpleasant hour. Unfortunately.

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The real wasabi (upper-left) was a nice touch.

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