Himeji Castle and the International Manga Museum

Himeji Castle and the International Manga Museum

This morning we popped on the train for an easy one hour ride to Himeji to visit Japan’s grandest castle. You can see it on the hill from the train as you pull into the station and it is magnificent. On the short walk up the hill we saw the most adorable school children singing and paired up using the buddy system so they would stay together. We also saw a lady dressed as a ninja on a bike, but the photo didn’t really come out so I didn’t post it.

As we walked through the many gates of Himeji, it became immediately clear that this was a castle that could defend itself. There were dozens upon dozens of shapes cutout in the sides of the walls for firing arrows and guns at would-be intruders. As we hiked the thousands of stairs in the sweltering heat, we hoped it would be cooler inside the castle. Thank goodness it was, but guess what? More stairs! And these ones were so steep they could almost be considered ladders. We all had to constantly watch not to hit our heads, knees, elbows, etc. on the staircases to all seven floors. Once inside, we were immediately impressed that the entire castle was made of wood. And even more impressive is the fact that in the last 100 years they have completely disassembled, repaired, and reassembled the castle twice. Can you imagine how much work that was? What if they got to the end and had a small pile of extra pieces? What then? Hehe. After some well-deserved ice cream and a snack at the train station, we headed back into Kyoto for a rest.

In the afternoon, we visited the International Manga Museum where we weren’t allowed to take many pictures, but we were able to browse thousands upon thousands of manga books and magazines. It was a lot of fun to learn about this traditional Japanese cartoon and animation style and even how it influenced some of our American art forms. Before we turned-in we had a delicious tempura dinner where we got to wear bibs and did some quick shopping.

Cheers!

Chelsie and Andrew

The front of our Shinkansen (bullet train)

The front of our Shinkansen (bullet train)

A mythical tiger-headed fish called kinshachi used atop the castle towers as a talisman for fire prevention

A mythical tiger-headed fish called kinshachi used atop the castle towers as a talisman for fire prevention

Some adorable tiny visitors using the buddy system

Some adorable tiny visitors using the buddy system

Andrew in front of Himeji Castle

Andrew in front of Himeji Castle

Some of Andrew's photos are good enough to be made into postcards

Some of Andrew’s photos are good enough to be made into postcards

Racks for hanging weapons

Racks for hanging weapons

The inside of Himeji Castle which is impressively almost all made of wood

The inside of Himeji Castle which is impressively almost all made of wood

View of Himeji City from the castle

View of Himeji City from the castle

Another view from the castle

Another view from the castle

Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle

We survived all the stairs in Himeji Castle

We survived all the stairs in Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle

A well-deserved black sesame ice cream after the hike in 90 degree temps

A well-deserved black sesame ice cream after the hike in 90 degree temps

Andrew enjoying the International Manga Museum

Andrew enjoying the International Manga Museum

2 Comments

  1. Oh I agree, Andrews pics could definitely be postcards! Stunning and I know my “viewing device” does not do them justice. Sounds like another fantastic day. Was the black sesame ice cream sweet?? After all the steps and heat, cold ice cream was definitely well deserved.

    • Thanks Melissa! Miss you guys. :) Loved the photo of you and Olivia on Facebook. The sesame ice cream was sweet, but it was also really tasty…almost like a dessert Tahini.

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