|Himeji Castle looms over the city with the main thoroughfare|
directly in front. An amazing sight as you leave the train station
to walk to the castle grounds.
Today, Tomoko-san and I go to Himeji Castle in Himeji city. I am glad that I didn't realize ahead of time how difficult the steep slope entrance and the stairs/stairways inside would be to climb. Himeji Jo (castle) is famous for its military strategy in defensive walls, entrances and armament positions.
The steep slope is very difficult to walk up (small stones with large stones at the edges), circuitous twisting paths (no straight line entrances), and always moving up. From the castle, the samurai warriors were able to see all the entrances below so no surprise enemy attacks. (No attacks were ever experienced so they don't know if the defenses worked or not.) And, of course, my camera had died so I couldn't take any pictures.
At some point, we all (this is Saturday so there were a lot of tourists) had to remove our shoes and carry them in a plastic bag. The very top level is the 7th floor. Tomoko-san and I (and everyone else I guess) climbed to the top. I wondered if it was like climbing to the top of the Washington Monument, and back down.
|Map of the castle grounds with the samurai families|
living within the dark blue walls of the inner city
and the merchants and townspeople living on the
|Close-up detail of inner castle area.|
|Tomoko-san at the sushi-ya.|