Himeji Castle (and the futuristic city of Kobe)


I guess that when we travel, we usually have those essential visits in our heads that we don't want to miss. In my case that day was going to arrive today with the himeji castle. Himeji-jo is the best preserved castle in all of Japan since medieval times (next to that of Matsumoto and Kumamoto) and still standing in very good condition. All this makes it considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and the National Treasury of the country.Kobe, however, is its antithesis. Kobe is the example of how a city that suffered a terrible earthquake in 1995 can overcome it being today one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Japan. Its bay is futuristic and is impressive (taste its Kobe Beef more). REMASTERIZED 2017

Japan is proving a fascinating journey. We commented a while ago before we went to bed to write these lines, we are already on our seventh day of travel and we continue with our eyes as dishes. Everything surprises us, every day is a world, very different from the previous one.

Himeji Castle, the most beautiful in all of Japan

It is very early when we left Miyajima on the way to Himeji taking the first ferry of the day of the company JR (At 7'20 and takes 9 min). After connecting with Hiroshima station with JR Sanyo, we take the Shinkhashen with our reservation made with the Japan Rail Pass the other day. The punctuality of the trains is seconds and allows you to stand at 10 in the morning 300 km from where you have risen watching a different world, a luxury that does not occur in ANY COUNTRY OF THE PLANET. The journey takes just 1 hour and we take the opportunity to have breakfast (2 juices and some 470 Y buns).


Although we always give you all the information to organize the trip on your own, if you have little time or prefer to forget about preparations, you have the following option COMPLETELY IN SPANISH and with VERY GOOD OPINIONS from other travelers. This is a private guided tour that accompanies you through all the essentials of Himeji and Kobe. The price is per group, not per person. Book in advance because it is usually quite demanded and with limited availability of dates

Himeji and Kobe excursion from Kyoto

The first thing we do when arriving at Himeji Station is to take a brochure in the tourist information office and leave our backpack with the change in a slogan (300 Y) after eating pick them up before following our route. From there to Himeji Castle there is only a small walk. He Castle of Himeji (entry for 600 and each) is, without a doubt, the prettiest castle we've ever seen of this type. It is also the largest castle in all of Asia, it seems to be.

It is incredible that after the bombings of 1945 he survived almost entirely. We could tell so many things about this visit (about 2 hours), especially its history, but I think it is best to see it in photos. It is an ESSENTIAL visit (We take this opportunity to bring us a souvenir coin for 300 Y and hydrate for 220 Y). (UPDATE: The enclosure remained closed for long months for conservation but is again open to the public)

Unlike the Osaka Castle or the Okayama Castle that we have seen these days, this construction is entirely of wood and preserves the rooms unchanged. Besides, his inside visit It is also very worthwhile as well as its views in the highest part of the main tower.

We do not know the exact reason, but we are visiting Japan with hardly any tourism and, of course, far from mass tourism from other places, which is very much appreciated (possibly getting up early helps).

Today we were with some basques Very friendly who took advantage of Finnair's offer overnight. If in a chance of life one day you read us, a big greeting. We hope you finish that trip well. Surely yes.

Mt. Sosha or Engoy-jo, the temple complex of "The Last Samurai"

Without leaving the Himeji area, we decided to follow the recommendations of a traveler in the forums (and the own Lonely Planet of Japan) and go by bus and later teleferico to Mt.Sosha or Engoy-ji and the truth is that we couldn't get it right anymore. The bus is taken back to see the castle (where we took the opportunity to buy 2 ice creams for 500 Y) as you look at the Himeji Station on the right. You can also in the corner area from the bridge but we go down to near the station to buy a combined bus + cable car ticket by 1300 And each and a water for 110 Y. From there to the top of Mt. Sosha takes 25 minutes and the cable car another 10.

Only a couple of tourists were there, the rest of us and the vegetation that looked as if it had eaten the temples thus transmitting a peace and tranquility that left you in a state of pure relaxation (RETURNED EDIT: Highly recommended visit for those who loved it Nikko or Kamakura since we liked it even more). The entrance with minibus to the center of the complex Engyoji It costs 1000 Y per person.

As we enter this great complex in the middle of nature with the only noise of the cicadas (that accompany us throughout Japan) we find the beautiful temple of Maniden, especially beautiful!, of the best we have seen to date. There we took the opportunity to hang our own request (500 Y) and light some incense (100 Y).

The path between the big trees allows you to also reachDaikodo, a temple that has a special uniqueness since here scenes of "The last Samurai" (and they take advantage of it to charge 200 Y per person to see it inside). There is no doubt that inside the enclosure one comes to mind the images of the film. The comparison is inevitable ...

The fact is that this area of ​​the enclosure is especially impressive, with very well preserved wooden temples and many more stops on the route to visit asKongodo, Shoro, Jikido, Gohodo, Jogyodo ...

Almost without realizing it, we have been here for 2 and a half hours when we return to the central area, where there is a kind of restaurant to try to eat something although they do not have too much (900 Y). From there we return to the cable car to resume the bus to the station where we make a "second meal", hehe (620 Y + water 100 Y).

Kobe's meat ... in the futuristic city of Kobe

Let's go to Kobe, the world-famous city for which many say it is the best meat in the world, Kobe beef. It is approximately 50 km away and we get to the Kobe Line in Sannomiya in 40 min. We will distribute our partial vision of Kobe through the two main areas. This is our route:

From the outset we present that another cosmopolitan and futuristic city, as it was what to see in Osaka For us, it awaits us. In fact walking from the station 1 to Chinatown, our first visit, we took the opportunity to buy some other gift (who will it be for? hehe ... 200Y).

The famous Kobe Chinatown 2 is very lively and full of shops, restaurants and bars to enter at this time (more water 130 Y). Parallel to it runs Motomachi Street, closed above and mainly dedicated to trade

There we spend the afternoon until we begin to glimpse the sunset, it is good time to approach the Tower of Kobe 3(600 and each). If there is something that impacts Kobe it is the beautiful futuristic bay. It seems a lie as it has been after in January 1995 an earthquake of 7.2 left Kobe plunged into ruins and with more than 5000 dead and 300,000 homeless.

This earthquake is considered one of the most expensive natural disasters of the modern age. However, nowadays Kobe is impeccable, a true city of the future where roads pass over each other on dozens of levels or inside buildings, there are highways taken from films such as Blade Runner and neon lights appear in Every corner

This area deserves a good walk where people continue to show kindness when they see us taking a picture asking if we want one together. Where does that happen in the world so proactively? We arrive at HarborLand, Mosaic Mall and the famous Ferris Wheel 4. We were preparing for the big moment ...

... because "where to eat the bestKobe Beef that in Kobe "? What a mistake !!

We have not tasted more exquisite meat in life. We consider ourselves great consumers of it (and in Galicia nothing bad meat or beef is eaten) but the touch, the taste, the soft texture of Kobe's… it was cut with the fork as if it were butter !! The legend was true ... We are not going to enjoy a good beef steak again in life (exaggerating, Galician meat awaits us)

From there we begin to notice that it has been a long day. We approach the station Kobe - Hyogo 5 and we set off for Kyoto (1 hour). We just arrived at Tour Club (you can read our Tour Club review). We have everything ready to go to Kanazawa tomorrow and that our bags, sent to Tokyo by transport service to the hotel, wait for us.


In 2012, during our trip to the South Seas, we finished our trip around the world through Japan and tried Kobe meat in an expensive restaurant with stunning views of a skyscraper in Shinjuku. Expand your information in "Kamakura, Kabukicho and Kobe meat in Tokyo"

This is a joy. Is easy to adapt. It doesn't matter that nobody understands you or that you understand someone and that each poster sounds like a Martian, everything works and everything is simple. The toilets with water jets, the punctuality of the trains, the Japanese that offers to take a photo of you, the girl who accompanies you deviating from its route to indicate how to go to such a place, the food a delight and we are even brown. Tomorrow new day to the interior of the Japanese Alps.

Isaac, photo of Kobe, already from Kyoto (Japan)

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12,270 Y (approx. 76 EUR) and GIFTS: 820 Y (approx. 5 EUR)