Blogs from Himeji, Hyogo, Japan, Asia

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Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji March 19th 2014

March 19, 2014 Himeji Himeji is famous for its castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, however the castle is currently undergoing renovation and is surrounded in a massive steel scaffold, which is itself impressive in a way. It reminded me of the last time I was in DC and the Washington Monument had scaffolding around it, making it look like somewhat futuristic. The outline of Himeji Castle could just be seen through the scaffold rising above the castle grounds, but it doesn’t quite have the same effect. It’s not quite nodokana. However, having already been warned about the castle by the Polish man I met in Miyajima, my goal was to visit Shoshayama and the temple there. The bus ride takes just over a half an hour from the train station, and ... read more
Maniden Stilts
Maniden Balcony
A Road in Engyo-ji

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji October 5th 2013

The first half of the day was a rest day with alight lunch at home. Then we took the bikes for a 30minute bike ride through the suburbs to the ropeway for Mount Shosha. It cost about $5 each for the ropeway up and another $5 each to enter the temple walk at the top of the mountain. This is certainly a must see...we had no idea how magnificent this temple was going to be! The buildings were built around 966 but all have been rebuilt or restored over the years. There were many beautiful Buddha statues along the way but the most significant surprise was the 1000 or more tiny jizo statues along the way. These statues are said to be the protectors of children. We spent a few hours wandering in and out of ... read more
Gardens at Mt Shosa
Koala  in yukuta

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji October 4th 2013

We started the day with a well earned sleep in and slow bike ride to the shops. It was great to be away from the tourist hype. We rode our bikes from home to the busy shopping streets and malls, each mall branched off the main street withmore shops and more malls as far as your eye could see. We went to a large honya , book shop, where we bought a series of basic bilingual manga to bring home. Kate bought Doraemon, Riley bought the Tale of Genji and Lori bought a manga about a kuruta game we have played the last few nights. We rode to the shops to buy ingredients for a home cooked meal of bolognese and rice, yummy ! The girls watched a movie and ate chocolates and chips while the ... read more
Reading manga
Amane  wine bar
Sanyo building lunch

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji October 2nd 2013

Arrived late last night just in time for the Coopers local shared dinner party. They live in an apartment style accommodation with 22 other families and singles. We were graciously given the lounge room to live in for a few days. Today Peter and Julie were our guides by bicycle around Himeji. First stop breaky at their local kisaten (coffee shop) and then off to the museum to see a large floor map of Hyogo prefecture ,West Japan. Then on to Himeji Jo. Unfortunately for us the castle is under repair and hidden inside a giant box the size of Seacliff Schools two story building! Except this one was 8 stories high! We went up inside by a lift to the top level where we could see the restoration in progress. Amazing to be here seeing ... read more
Coopers  hill (otokoyama ) in Himeji
Himeji Fire Station (shoubosha )
Himeji Jo 021013

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji September 26th 2013

Thursday’s mission was to head to Himeji on the Shinkansen. I was up earlier than Wednesday, but when I got to Kyoto station I had to wait almost an hour for the next train where I could reserve a seat. It was worth the wait though, because the rail pass allows me to reserve a seat in “Green” class, which is much nicer than the regular class, which is what I travelled in from Tokyo on Sunday. The trip took under an hour and I was in Himeji. Once again I started off with a trip to the tourist information centre. It was a bit more difficult to find than Hikone though, because Himeji station is much bigger. It was also signposted with a big question mark and looked like a fancy shop, so I walked ... read more
Bridge heading to the entrance
Steep walk up to one of the gates
Another Gate

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Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji May 18th 2013

Adelaide and Himeji are sister cities, and for more than 20 years there has been a teacher exchange program between them. In 2010 I taught EFL in Kotogaoka Senior High School. Here are some insights from this experience. Bu nen kai is the end of year staff dinner at wedding chapel, small room for 80 on 4th floor, complete with 10 courses, table service, and as much alcohol as could be drunk in 2 ½ hours. Buses picked us up and dropped us back at the station, seating was done by lot and the main entertainment was a Bingo game. Décor – European fantasy castle. The student counselor works here one day a month. She meets with parents and students in a small conference room in the suite of rooms where the Principal works. The students ... read more
Expressions of Individuality
Speech Contest
Culture Week Performance

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji November 16th 2012

Another Timewarp, precious details remind me of the similarities and differences between Japan and China. Schools are institutions that shape and mould future citizens. Teaching other peoples children is such a priviledge, and a way of getting to know so much about a country. Meet the kids from Kotogaoka Senior High School. Students regularly report that After School Clubs are their favorite part of school. Most kids are involved with one club, and will stay back until late, or come in early, and participate for hours on the weekends and holidays in their chosen Club Activity. Baseball, archery, softball, kendo, band, choir, cooking, athletics, and English are amongst the clubs run at the school. The kids always go to and from club in full school uniform, with fantastic aprons, sports gear and ... read more
Kotogaoka Senior High
In the Genkan
Teachers Room

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji April 28th 2010

After Kyoto we headed to Hiroshima. It is far so we spilt the drive into 2 days. On the first day we stopped in a small town full of Onsens. An Onsen is a Japanese hot spring which is separated into male and female pools and where you bathe naked. They are very relaxing and I felt like a new woman after. Must be those healing minerals! Dana and I went to one beside a waterfall which gave off a cooling mist as you sat in the near boiling water. Before and after your soak you have to shower yourself, but to do so you sit on a little stool beside the bath. I obviously don’t have pictures of these, although Dana took a photo of the communal bath in our Tokyo capsule hotel. Afterwards we ... read more
Photo 7
Himeji Castle: The fairest in all the land
Photo 8

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji December 12th 2009

by shinkansen from kyoto station about 1 hour we walked to the castel about 15 minutes the imposing castle is considered the best in Japan and it is really worth... read more
himeji castle
himeji castle
himeji castle

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji November 23rd 2009

Monday Nov. 23rd A trip in Japan wouldn't be complete without seeing a temple or castle, therefore today we headed 40 minutes away from Kobe to Himeji City to see a UNESCO World Heritage Site... Himeji Castle! And lucky for us, the weather was PERFECT! Blue sky, and warm weather.. not what I'm used to having in November. Himeji Castle looks like your typical white Japanese castle (but somehow it's still pretty). A few interesting things is that it was designed so that you have to spiral around the castle in order to get to the keep, so if you were an intruding force people within the keep could watch and fire upon the enemy from safety. The castle was full of hidden rooms and what not, but unfortunately we weren't allowed to go into them... ... read more
Himeji Castle
NINJA!
What Himeji used to look like




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