Winter in Japan – day 6

Apologies for the late posting of this blog, didn’t have much Internet access today.

Day 6 was one of firsts! After last year’s visit to Himeji and Mount Shosha, I said I’d like to return to visit Himeji Castle (world heritage site) and also explore some more of the town, so today set off quite early for the journey out past Kobe and parts of the inland sea. 

The trip was fairly straight forward: underground to Umeda then a train from Umeda straight to Himeji on the Hanshin line.  The journey takes almost an hour and a half and includes stops at Kobe and some lovely views out over the Seto Inland Sea.

Once at Himeji there was time for a coffee and some Japanese savoury pastries before the 10 minute walk to the castle.

Himeji Castle is generally regarded as the finest example of early Japanese castle design and is one of the oldest castles in Japan. It is also the largest castle in Japan so took a while to look around!

After a few hours wandering around the castle (and taking lots of pics!) It was back down to Himeji town for some siteseeing, shopping and a bite of lunch.

After a while – now carrying home some newly purchased kimono – it was back on the train for the trip back to Umeda.

The evening was spent exploring the roof top gardens of Namba Parks in Osaka.

I’ve stayed in Namba every time I’ve visited Osaka and I’ve been through the Namba Parks malls many many times but tonight was the first trip up to the roof top gardens. 

There’s a winter theme to the gardens just now and I really wish I’d visited on previous trips as it would have been great to photograph in different seasons. 

There was a food fayre going on 10 floors below and the smoke and smells of Japanese BBQs and hot plate cooking wafted upwards mixing with the freezing night air so that every now and then you’d walk through a smoky cloud of teppanyaki, grilled chicken, tempura or okonomiyaki.

A great place to visit and one I’d definitely recommend to anyone coming to Osaka. 

The evening ended with a nice meal and and few beers in Namba. Quite a late night tonight considering all the travel, nearly 10 miles of walking and the beers but tomorrow’s a relatively late start so should be fine! 🙂

I hope you’re enjoying the blog.  I’m getting some great shots which I hope to be sharing on instagram and Facebook when I return to Scotland next week! 🙂 

Kyoto, the philosophers walk and the silver pavilion tomorrow so stay tuned! 🙂

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