Blogs from Himeji, Hyogo, Japan, Asia


Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji November 16th 2019

Himeji Castle is recognized as Japan's most magnificent castle, particularly after its recent five-year renovation, and certainly deserves its moniker White Heron Castle. Built in 1580 by general Toyotomi Hideyoshi, it was never destroyed by war, earthquake or fire and survives to this day as one of the country's twelve original castles. There's a five-story main keep and three smaller keeps, all surrounded by moats and defensive walls. Himeji Castle may be familiar to visitors because of its being featured in films such as Kurosawa Akira's Seven Samurai (1954) , James Bond film You Only Live Twice (1967) and Ran (1985). You should begin your tour of Himeji Castle exploring the surviving royal residential building with an enclosed corridor and multiple unfurnished rooms, which provides a completely different experience than the main building. Visiting the main ... read more
Chicken Eikben
Himeji with the Castle in the Distance
Himeji Castle

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji August 24th 2019

Summer came, the humidity rose and the termperatures became unusual in that days were 34. 35. 36 instead of just 30 but alas the humidity sat between 80 and 95%!!!! So have wonderful friends come to visit. Two things collide happily - its summer and holidays for Japanese people and lots of those who live in the northern hemishphere and holiday in their school summer holidays in Japan so there is lots of entertainment; and Jacinta could join in the fun, somewhat free from work but not completely on holidays as Australian teachers would be. I've never managed to be in the right place at the right time to see the internationally famous puppet company based in Osaka called Banraku. They do travel, but we managed to go with my friends Ea and Molly. For readers ... read more
the stage photo of our performance
the puppeteers and a puppet off stage
the stage for a performance from the brochure

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji July 19th 2019

. Last night we joined Mitchie and Shingo for dinner and a concert. The performers were two highly skilled and fantastic performers who played shamisen. Yes they wore the kimono in their poster for the first half of their two hour concert I enjoyed it so much I thought I’d give you access to them if you’re interested.The blog can’t host the video, but these links should help from u tube read more

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji July 9th 2019

To reacclimatise to Himeji, Jacinta organised for me to attend a cultural performance at the Sosha Shrine which is in the heart of Himeji, just below the castle. We were accompanied by Kasumi who is a member of the shrine. Two amazing facts about the visit: It was the first I'd heard of Gagaku, and the whole event was catered to English speaking tourists - a first in Himeji for me. Unfortunately we were the only two obvious ones at the event and consequently have been immortalised on many digital recordings of the event. Gagaku is music and dance from about 1500 years ago formerly performed in the Imperial court. I think this would have been in Kyoto. However, the company bringing back this cultural art form are from Kobe city, about 30 minutes away by ... read more
our performance MC and English interpreter
one of the drummers
Ryuteri player

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji June 26th 2019

Wednesday, 26th June 2019 My second half of the day was spent onboard the Nozomi N700 Shinkansen services to the city of Himeji, some 455km away on the island of Honshu. It was amazing that the journey only took slightly less than two hours to complete. The Japanese bento lunch box that I had onboard was a good mix of seaweed, eggs and minced pork which tasted great as usual. By 5.49pm, my train had pulled into Himeji Station where Dormy Inn was another 5 minutes' walk away from the South Exit. I am always excited to stay at Dormy Inn with its in-house onsen facilities as well as complimentary ramen in the evenings. Also, I noticed that the room is normally more spacious than the standard business hotel rooms in Japan. Himeji made an ideal ... read more
Happy Bento
Longevity ramen for dinner

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji May 23rd 2019

Today we started the last leg of our journey through a small part of Japan. We were going to Kobe, via Himeji. Every travel company we had spoken to recommended a day’s trip (at least) and to the castle. Third castle in a row, but they do differ by their history and layout. So it was back on the Shinkansen for the last time. . We got off at Himeji and discovered a bus which tours the city so we bought our tickets. We found the correct bus stop and set off to explore the the castle. The outside is very impressive. The castle dates back to 1333 when it was built as a hill fort. In 1346 it was dismantled and rebuilt as a castle, and then two centuries later it was remodelled again as ... read more
Himeji Castle moat
castle complex and city from Himeji Castle 6th floor
strong wood frame structure of Himeji Castle

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji March 5th 2019

Returning to Japan for the fourth year, and to Himeji for the second year is proving to be an excellent beginning to my retirement from teaching. Being greeted with hugs from Japanese women colleagues from 9 years ago was a most unexpected gift. I have been surprised and delighted with how easy these first two months have been. The school year ends in Japan in late March and so I arrived in time to teach the last few classes and set exams for the Year 12’s (三年生). Yesterday was their graduation ceremony: a formal, solemn and moving end to their school days, followed by beaming faces, oodles of photos and a dance display at the school entrance. I was moved to tears by the rousing thanks each class gave their home room teacher. Shogai Daigaku (university ... read more
Welcome Party
Dream House
Playing the hand drum

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji September 17th 2017

Sunday, 17th September 2017 Nagoya >> Himeji (278.3km, 93 mins, 8,610 Yen) The weather was forgiving as I woke up shortly after six this morning. The rains that plagued since yesterday had miraculously stopped as the skies gave an all clear signal. The weatherman from NHK had announced that the typhoon had already made landfalls in the southern part of Kyushu early morning and was soon on its way to sweep through the rest of Japan within the next 24 hours or so. With perfect weather before the impending storm, I jumped onto the opportunity for a whirlwind Shinkansen excursion to Himeji and Kyoto for the day. Home to the magnificent white castle, the beautiful Himeji-Jo was evident as soon as I made my way out of the train station. I strolled my way through the ... read more
Himeji Station concourse
The imposing modern facade

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji April 6th 2016

Himeji Castle is often described as the prettiest castle in Japan and, although we haven't seen all the others, it's not difficult to believe. We are so lucky to have seen it. Nicknamed 'White Heron' or 'White Crane' because of its gleaming exterior and delicate architecture, it has been closed for restoration for several years and only reopened a couple of weeks ago, in time for cherry blossom season. So significant is this fact that the finale of the Miyako Odori dances we attended celebrated the blossoming of the 1000 cherry trees at Himeji. The survival of the castle is in itself quite miraculous. It was sold to a private buyer in the Meiji era (late 19-early 20 C) for the equivalent of $2500 in today's money and was slated for redevelopment but the project was ... read more
Kokoen Gardens
Maiko farewells a client outside a Gion tea house.
Wedding coupe at Himeji Castle

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji March 29th 2015

Himeji In Himeji steht ein Schloss, das einige Jahre wegen Renovierung geschlossen war, und vor kurzem wieder eröffnet wurde. Noch dazu war Sonntag, und ganz Japan ist auf den Beinen um das Schloss zu besichtigen. Deswegen wurden die Leute für die Besichtigungstour in einer langen Schlange durch das Schloss geschleust... You are never alone in Japan.... read more
Sightseeing Bus
Ruf zur Ordnung

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