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Day 11: Himeji, Shopping. Another ride on the Shinkansen bullet train, but this would be a slightly different experience for us: we didn't have a reserved seat ticket. Previously we had always had reserved seat tickets when we had taken the Shinkansen. We thought we'd try something new today. Some of the cars on the Shinkansen are unreserved, so you just get on and find a seat. It actually turned out quite easy and the trains were not that full.

Teri found us a great Teriyaki Beef bento box lunch in the station which we ate on the train. Most of the bento boxes were much more challenging than this one so this was quite a relief.

This is plate in the street in Himeji as we're walking the several blocks toward Himeji castle. Our Rail passes really came in handy after we exited the train station on the wrong side; instead of having to walk many blocks around the station or take a taxi we were able to just go right back in and walk through to the other side.

We have arrived at Himeji Castle, also called "White Egret". It was built in 1580 and is one of the only surviving feudal castles in Japan.

As you can see, Himeji Castle is quite beautiful.

Teri was very impressed with the workmanship in this square beam that was obviously hand-hewn.

The lower walls are sloped which makes them more difficult for invaders to scale (at least that's what I read, it seems like it would make it easier).

We had to remove our shoes, carry them in plastic bags, and wear poor-fitting slippers.

Nice view of the city of Himeji.

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