The Ultimate Samurai Castle
Trip Start Jun 24, 2005
86Trip End Mar 24, 2008
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
A word of caution to those who might be buying the Japan Rail pass and using the Bullet trains. The Bullet trains are called Shinkansen in Japan (Shinkansen in Kanji directly translates to 'New Express Line'). Rail pass holders can use only the two slower 'Hikari' and 'Kodama' Shinkansens. Not the fastest 'Nozumi' Shinkansen. The slower trains basically make more stops and travels a bit slower. Furthermore, the slower Shinkansens do not go direct from Tokyo to Hiroshima, you must make a transfer at Nagoya.
In comparison with the Eurail Pass, the Japan Rail Pass requires that a reservation always be made for seats
Our first stop was Himeji for its famous Himeji Castle, touted by critics as the ultimate Samurai castle. As far as I know, all castles in Japan were destroyed in WWII. So like all the others, Himeji was rebuilt after the war. The castle has 7 levels and the interior reminded me of the Bruce Lee movie where he had to climb multiple floor of a tower to reach the big boss, beating a foe on each floor to advance.
Himeji is a small town and nothing much else to see beside the castle so we headed on towards Hiroshima.