Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Himeji Castle 姫路城

The busy hustling bustling main train station in Osaka. I call this the organized chaos, bcoz everyone seemed to be walking in orderly manner at such speed. Nobody is in the middle of the road blocking anyone....such behavior of standing in the middle of the road/corridor chatting is hardly seen here in Japan. That reminded me of Venice, u can hardly do that bcoz of its narrow alley which fits only one person. Even if u gonna stop for a second, you will be frowned upon for blocking the narrow streets and alleys of Venice. 

This orderly behavior and to certain extend I called it manners, should be apply here in Malaysia. Don't block the road, esp cars!!! think of others and don't stand in the middle of a busy pathway chit chatting....move aside. 

On that weekend, we decided to head out of Osaka to visit the one and only surviving castle in the entire of Japan.....so again it's Monkey playing tourist guide *despite that's her first time too!!!* Look at that cheeky face, she has got something on her sleeves.

"JS.....can we have some of these yummy kiddy drinks...or that packet of snacks over there?? pllleaaaaassseeeee?????" asked Monkey who was standing next to a kiosk selling all sort of yummy food.

JS -_-"
"I knew it!!! I knew why u chose this spot to stand!!!!! grrrRRRrrrrrrrrrr."
Monkey :D tee hee hee

Fast approaching shinkansen on the background. I'm like a kid watching all these trains with glee....It's really easy to catch a train here in Japan, everything is so systematic from the ticketing to exactly which spot u stand to wait for ur coach. Each train is really precise, stopping for about 30 seconds before moving onto the next city.

As we waited 10 mins for our train, we saw so many trains already came, unloaded some passengers and picked up many more. It's so systematic....the soon to be onboard passengers queue-ed up on the stated box while those needed to disembark came out diligently and most of all in the most un-barbaric way. See difference of first world vs 3rd world country?

What's with the mask!? It is also here that if you are down with flu or runny nose, u are responsible for putting on a mask to stop the virus fr spreading to other people.

Soon we were on board and our packed lunch unveiled itself. JS's favorite green tea with his pork katsu sandwich. The pork fillet has got crunchy outer bits, and moist meat in the centre. The bread was soft fluffy like sponge with a wasabi mayonnaise spread. Really yummy....the only reason he loves train ride in Japan I suppose. Someone out there ought to do a posting on different type of food served in the train at different country like tiffin in India or those rice with vege wrapped with banana leaf in a compact manner for easy consumption onboard a moving train.

Ms Monkey and her mini size sandwich of mashed pork floss, pork katsu and pork belly with lots of japanese greens aka Mizuna over wasabi mayo spread. Of coz not forgetting my mini size bottle of orange jus. I know, I'm like a kid!!!

Both of us were like kid, coz the journey was less than 35 minutes and the kind of stuffs we brought on board were enuff for a 3 hour ride. LOL!!!!!

When we arrived Himeji town, we were greeted with the huge white castle at the end of the kilometre long road...the reason why we travelled to Himeji.

It's a huge complex covering 83 buildings...oh well being the LARGEST castle in Japan u gotta be prepared to walk and spend some time here. :)))

"JS, this place is huge so please follow me closely and don't get lost!!!" 

He's too bz snapping pic and ignored Monkey.

including bz snapping other people's wedding. -_-"
It is a famous spot for family portrait.

We were still quite far away from the castle, hence it looked small. Also fondly known as Hakuro-jo, translated to White Egret Castle....it is said that the castle resemble a white bird taking flight.

I thought we were getting nearer, but it seems further? hehehehehe......
This pic was taken near the princess tower, it was believed that Princess Sen the daughter of Shogun Tokugawa Hiteada

no shoes allowed, and clean plastic bags are provided for u to pack ur shoes for "to go". Hahahaha as all visitors will exit at different exit, u are required to carry it along.

The corridor is indeed long. This is the same building where Princess bow to the mountain before applying her makeup each morning.

"JS follow me closely and don't get lost....this place is huge ass."
Yes and I think my ass is huge :P bahahahahaha.

From Princess Sen's window, the castle looked even more magnifique!!!
The best time to visit Himeji castle is during cherry blossom period, where the entire complex and compound is filled with the beautiful scent and pink blossoms.

Japanese architecture....notice the pavement has got a row of tiles embedded onto the ground? it's to prevent erosion and damages to the floor/ground/soil during rainy season, as rain water fall ferociously from the roof tile. How clever :)))) and it was aesthetically designed too.

Himeji Castle is the only original castle left in Japan. The rest of the castle are re-constructions due to fire, wars and natural disaster. Hence this is truly a UNESCO world heritage site and Japan National Cultural asset.

It has undergoned a massive 5 years restoration works and recently re-opened to the public. So Yay to us, just in time :))))

constructed in 1333 the castle has gone through various feuds, different hands and at one point in time used as barracks during war. It was also built in such a way with confusing layout to deter enemies attacks.

scars from samurai swords..those were really long scars.....

We climbed all the way to the top and there's this lil shrine....ring the bell and clap twice to awake the God!!!!

JS: "Monkey....wat are u doin???"
Monkey: "hehehehe making friends with local japanese :P"

Bcoz the entire structure is built with wood...its base from cypress wood...only limited number of visitors are allowed to get into the castle. 

JS: "U done talking to strangers? Can we go now?"
okie lor....

It's really a beautiful castle...one can never get enough of it....How did they construct it? and so we sat there admiring its beauty discussing world issues....as always :P

Glad that we made this trip :))
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