> Travel > Japan Part 5

Japan, December 18, 2003 - December 30, 2003
Part 5, Days 11-13, Himeji, Miyajima Island

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The next day we went to Himeji Castle. About an hour and a half outside of Kyoto, Himeji is one of the best preserved feudal castles in all of Japan. The architecture of Himeji is amazing and we were able to walk up to the 6th floor of the main building which gave us a panoramic view of the city of Himeji.

When we got back to Kyoto, Teri wanted to go shopping. She has a Japanese doll that was actually made by someone in her family many years ago. The doll is supposed to holding an umbrella but over the years the umbrella has disintegrated. She hoped to find a replacement. We took a taxi to an umbrella store and walked around to other stores but in the end we were unable to find a replacement umbrella.

Back at the hotel, Teri was writing up the Uchita adventure of the day before but Allyn was itching to go out exploring. Allyn started walking around the Kyoto Station. There is a famous Shinto shrine called the Fushimi Inari shrine right outside of town that Allyn had wanted to visit. As Allyn was walking around the station he saw that the train in that direction was about to leave to he got on and went over to the shrine. It took four minutes to get there on the train, and the shrine was right next to the train station.

For our last full day in Japan, we decided to make an all-day trek to Miyajima Island. Miyajima is a sacred island near Hiroshima. There is a huge Torii standing in the water in front of the island indicating that the entire island is sacred. The torii in the water is considered one of the most scenic views in Japan. We also took two cable cars up to the top of Mount Misen, the highest mountain on the island, which is a monkey preserve.

On our last day we got up in the morning in Kyoto and got on the Shinkansen to Tokyo Station, then transferred to the Narita Express to the airport before our 10+ hours flights home. It was a very long day of travel.

It is somewhat ironic that we spent four nights in Kyoto yet didn't see any of the Kyoto sights. We will have to see those on a future trip.

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Copyright © 2003 Teri & Allyn Fratkin, All Rights Reserved.