FUN-travel: Jubilant Japan in Bloom! – Himeji

April 12, 2018 by  

  • Himeji Castle…AKA White Heron Castle…

…widely considered Japan’s most spectacular castle…

…due to its elegant white appearance & for its imposing size…

…& beauty was completed in 1609.

  • Its well preserved complex castle grounds…

…made up of over 80 buildings…

…spread across multiple baileys…

…& connected by a series of gates & winding paths…

…creating a labyrinth-like approach intended to slow down & expose attacking forces.

  • At the heart of the complex stands the main keep…

…a 6 story wooden structure with a series of steep, narrow staircases…

…with each level getting progressively smaller as you ascend.

  • The roof ornaments – incorporating a lion, dragon & fish – are believed to protect from fire.

FUN- fact – The Himeji Castle is both a national treasure and a world heritage site. And unlike many other Japanese castles, it was never destroyed by war, earthquake or fire and survives to this day as one of the country’s twelve original castles.

  • Engyogi Temple…mountain top temple complex…

…requires a cable car to reach is over 1000 year old…

…& spread over a spacious densely forested area.

The Last Samurai Buildings

  • Takes 15 minute walk uphill to reach the first gate…

…& another 15 minutes to reach the Maniden…

…a beautiful wooden temple hall constructed on pillars on a steep slope.

  • Another five minute walk along forest trails brings you to the three massive wooden temple halls.

  • Belief was anyone who climbed this mountain would be purified both in body and spirit….so it became a pilgrimage site.

FUN- fact – Engyogi Temple was the location for movie the Last Samurai.

Not so FF – Full day of trains… buses… walking…thick cloud cover…coldest day of the trip so far…to the point of bone chilling!

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