On a day trip from Kyoto, we decide to visit Himeji castle (if its good enough for James Bond, its good enough for me).
Travelling once again by the ultra reliable train, we arrive at the station to this.
An ultra modern city.
A mile away in the distance, is the castle.
The castle is built in a complex of gardens and other buildings.
And what kind of castle doesnt have a moat ?.
Having paid our entrance fee and bought a “throwing star” from the souvenir shop we head up hill to see the castle.
A forecourt at the foot of the castle provides this view back into the city.
You can see that the castle was supremely sited strategically.
I loved this angle, as it shows how imposing the castle is.
The walls were specially angled to make it extra difficult to climb them.
Himeji is said to be the finest authentic example of a traditional Japanese castle.
Inside, it traditional pine.
Although from the outside it appears to have 5 levels, it actually has 6.
Usual wide walkways and anti rooms off to the side that I’d seen on previous castles.
A lot of the time, there were big queues in the castle, as there was a standard walkway you had to follow.
I hung back a lot of the time, so I could get these shots without people in them.
From a balcony overlooking the main hall.
Lower down, the castle had stables and an armoury.
I was impressed at how well everything was taken care off.
An army of gardeners like the ones above tended to the gardens and fixtures.
Other buildings like this one on the grounds but outside the castle had originally been used to house servants and cooks.
A fantastic park next door to Himeji.
Annoyingly, you had to leave and re-enter when they were both next to each other.
After all the austerity and military feel of the castle, it was nice to wander around in nature.
A lovely garden rockery with goldfish swimming.
My final memory of the place, a lovely couple getting married here.
And from here, its back to Kyoto.