Hyogo Prefecture, Kyoto
Many say that one will not need to visit any other castle after seeing the most beautiful castle of Japan, the Himeji Castle.
Although a bit far from Kyoto than other nearby places, this castle is worth a visit. It is white in colour and a World Heritage Site too. The main highlight of Himeji is this castle.
NOTE : Please refer to my Himeji Page for more tips or visit Sonia's (heywinks) page for comprehensive information too.
You will pass-by Kobe to and fro Kyoto and Kimeji. Kobe is a coastal city with a big port. I was there for merely half-a-day. I was at the Port of Kobe Harbourland where the Kobe Tower is.
Many remember this city as they recall the destructive earthquake which unfortunately happened there.
At 5.46 am on January 17, 1995, the Southern Hyogo Prefectural Earthquake (the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake), the first major quake to directly hit a Japanese urban area, inflicted unprecedented heavy damage on such cities and their surrounding areas in the Hanshin-Awaji region as Kobe, Awaji, Ashiya and Nishinomiya. The powerful jolt, which lasted barely 20 seconds, took 4,569 lives in Kobe city alone, practically reducing the elegant harbor city developed through many years of our ancestors' hard work to mere piles of debris and depriving many people of the very basis of their livelihood.
Some Main Highlights of Kobe :
- Kobe Chinatown
- Kobe Tower
- Kobe Maritime Museum
- Kobe Erathquake Museum (Highly Recommended as I read so much about this and I believe it is worth the visit although I did not have the time to pop by.)
Proceed to HIMEJI CASTLE: no other castle is more splendid than this marble white castle! Also known as Shirasagi (White Egret), this castle is conveniently located from the JR train station Himeji. I was lucky in acquainting with the voluntary guide who spoke perfect English and explaining the many facets of the castle to me. Thanks! Check out at the gate for guides voluntaring the touring of the castle, you may just make a new friend!