VIDEO| Virtual Vacation: Himeji, Japan

Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi
Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi

VIDEO| Virtual Vacation: Himeji, Japan

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

Whether you’re working from home, sheltering in place or just staying home, if you’re like us, you’re probably dreaming of open skies, sandy beaches, tall mountains, or perfect powdery slopes. Our travel plans may be on hold, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream up where we’ll go next.

Welcome to virtual vacation video series where we can explore destinations from the comfort of our homes.

Join us as we take a short virtual journey to Himeji, Japan.

 

The great thing about this destination is that it is easily accessible from Tokyo via Shinkansen bullet train that runs at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour, in just 3 hours.

Located in Western Japan, Himeji is a quiet and conservative castle city that harkens back to its old-world roots. With the majestic white castle, anyone wishing to experience an air of Japan’s traditional and elegant past should consider visiting this great getaway

Some of the must-see spots in Himeji include:

  • Himeji Castle- This is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The 400-year-old castle is comprised of 83 buildings, including the must-see 600-foot corridor with various rooms displaying complex defenses, such as hidden shooting holes and areas from which soldiers could attack intruders with rocks and even boiling water. Although a full tour of the castle may take you more than half a day, you’ll find many English-speaking volunteer guides in ninja or samurai attire willing to help with directions or any questions you may have.
  • Himeji Zoo- On the east end of the castle, Himeji Zoo is home to almost every popular animal you’d expect in a big-city zoo: Elephants, giraffes, polar bears, lions, kangaroos, guinea pigs, ducks, and goats. It even has a miniature farm with cows, chickens and other farm animals. Enjoy a full day of history and visits with member of the animal kingdom all in one spot!
  • Koko-en- This is a traditional Japanese garden built in the castle’s west residence for feudal lords and high-ranking samurais. The vantage point of covered cypress-wooden walkways in the well-maintained garden let you take a glimpse of an elegant traditional Japanese landscaping with pond and waterfalls surrounded by artfully manicured trees and seasonal flowers in the rushing sound of waterfall. There is also a modern museum, café and convention rooms at this facility, as well.

While you're there, don't forget to sample “Anago Meshi,” or conger-eel rice, which is a popular local delicacy. Savor the tender, local conger on steamy hot rice pairing with the rich-flavor of soy sauce-based broth.

I hope you enjoyed a look at Himeji through my travel photos and that it’s inspired your next trip. Stay safe and get ready to travel with us in our next video. Thanks for watching!

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