237 - 19th September 2006 - Himeji, Osaka


Fountain in Osaka near our Youth Hostel - The whole thing was choreographed very well


Our first view of Himeji Castle


This castle is regarded as the finest in Japan


The main gate


Dan Cruickshank came here for his 'Around the world in 80 Treasures'


The castle was never successfully attacked due to it's ingenious layout and design


It's also quite amazing to look at


One of the rooms off the 'Long Corridor' where the ladies in waiting lived


The view over the town


These trees were planted specifically for their high water content. The theory being that a fire would not penetrate a wall of these trees. Sadly, very few are left due to pollution.


This is princess Sen and her lady in waiting playing a memory game.


The walls are covered in arrow holes and slots like this for dropping stones or boiling water or oil on invaders


The path Zig-Zags backwards and forwards meaning invading armies are almost always being attacked from behind


White fluffy clouds


We were lucky enough to have a free English speaking guide


This is one of the few original walls left standing. It is called the Oil Wall


A deep well in the castle - The deepest is 45 meters


These show the crests of the various Dayimo that lived here


More holes for dropping things on people


The view from the top of the castle


Looking towards the station


The shrine in the uppermost room. The family would commit suicude here if invaders ever got this far - but they never did.


We were on the tour for two hours with these guys from Croydon and Bromley. Abe (pr. Ah-Bay) was our guide.


The moat


An example of Japanese train efficiency - They tell you exactly where to stand to get on the train. In this example carriage 12. You have to be careful though - 8 car trains may have their numbers in different places to the 16 car trains. Only twice have we had to run the length of the platform because we were in the wrong place. We think we have it figured out now though.


The Shinkansen. We saw a Nozomi super-fast train go through before this one arrived. It is a stunning sight.


The fountain by the Youth Hostel by night.