13 Aug

West Japan trip

Short summer vacation is shooooort 🙁

Kobe (神戸) is a large port city just west of Osaka. It’s famous for its Western architecture, a small Chinatown and the ’95 earthquake.

Capsule hotels are… weird. No pictures, I was too tired and fell asleep instantly. They had a very nice onsen, though.

Himeji (姫路) has a beautiful castle that actually survived WW2 and has awesome castle grounds, it feels like the real thing. The town itself seems small, though, and all the shops were already closed by 8-9 pm, even on the main street…

Okayama (岡山) has a black castle that’s the evil twin brother of Himeji Castle. Too bad it’s just a reconstruction of the original. At least it has an elevator inside… Okayama also has Kourakuen (後楽園, not to be confused with the Tokyo subway station), which is one of Japan’s top 3 gardens. It really is beautiful. But the real treat was going back at night, when the whole garden is lit up for the summer, and they had some live shows from Okayama-based bands, too. The light-up was called 幻想庭園 (fantasy garden).

Onomichi (尾道) is a small town between Hiroshima and Okayama, and has like 25 temples and shrines and stuff. It’s also the scene for the 2005 anime Kamichu! Since it’s right along the way I had to visit.

ferry-a.jpg   stairs-a.jpg

temple-a.jpg   well-a.jpg


Miyajima (宮島) is a small island close to Hiroshima, and it has the big red floating torii (大鳥居), one of Japan’s top 3 sights. The torii is nice but there are way too many tourists walking around. During the day, as the tide goes out you can actually walk down to the gate in the mud. The tide comes back in by sunset, which is wicked beautiful and I spent an hour sitting and watching…

Hiroshima (広島) is of course famous for obvious reasons. It’s a great city, feels big, it also has a nice and slow tram system. The A-bomb memorial is an eerie sight, but more than 60 years later there’s a quiet, tranquil air to it. The museum is very matter-of-factly and still thought-provoking. The Shinkansen trip back to Tokyo is an experience in and of itself, 800 kilometers in only 4 hours, with just a few stops along the way.

6 Responses to “West Japan trip”

  1. 1
    kz Says:

    the Himeji castle is asskick (Kamichu too, obviously)

  2. 2
    kz Says:

    17:52 k-zed: the construct ‘hakkei-Roshia-jin’
    17:52 k-zed: unfortunately, I don’t have the kanji, only romaji
    17:52 k-zed: does it refer to Belarusians, or the Russian Civil War era royalists?

    plz help 😀

  3. 3
    kz Says:

    (the question is from “dig”, blog engine stripped the lt…gt ..)

  4. 4
    Z Says:

    hm. according to kojien:
    so, Russians exiled after the revolution who opposed Soviet politics, or something.

  5. 5
    kz Says:

    09:11 +dig: k-zed: Thanks. Then, the meaning is for the Russian Civil War royalists.
    09:11 +dig: Well, it’s a bit simplification because not all of these Whites were
    royalists in the strict sense, but they were generally lumped together in
    this way.
    09:12 +dig: k-zed: I asked it to get a context of a text I stumbled upon, while studying
    history of bigotry and fascist tendencies in Russia.
    09:12 +dig: k-zed: I didn’t have Kanji because the phrase appeared in the name of a book
    09:13 +dig: And for some reason, the book reference was given only in Romaji.
    09:13 +dig: Could have something to do with difficulties of entering Russian and
    Japanese at once under Windows.

  6. 6
    Wahoo Says:

    Thank you for sharing!

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