Sight-seeing at Himeji En Route to Arima Onsen (Kansai, Japan Trip 2012, Day 14)

On this day, we did a bit of sight-seeing at Himeji while going to Arima Onsen. We managed to did a bit of shopping at Kobe too. 🙂

At Himeji, we visited the Himeji Castle (姫路城), a true survivor that was never destroyed in wars, earthquakes and fires. It has been kept in its original state for 600 over years. The cherry blossom trees around the castle was in full bloom and we took a few pictures. In the castle, one can learn about the life story of Princess Senhime (千姫).

After the castle tour, we went to Kobe Motomachi to have lunch and did a bit of shopping. We then proceeded to Arima Onsen. Arima Onsen is a famous small hot spring town whereby one can explore on foot. There are several hot spring sources, nice temples and shrines and a small hot spring museum to be discovered.

As we arrived at Arima Onsen during evening, we decided to leave sight-seeing to the next day but managed to squeezed in one last bit of shopping and sight-seeing. We bought some souvenirs, Arima senbei (highly recommended!) that were made using the carbonated hot spring water and also hopped onto a special sight-seeing bus/van to catch the “million dollar night view” of Kobe city from Mount Rokko.




Not One, Not Two but a Thousand Torii Gates! (Kansai, Japan Trip 2012, Day 13)

Torii gates (鳥居), traditional Japanese gates usually found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine, mark the transition from the earthly world into the holy spiritual world. At Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社), you don’t see just one or two of them, you see thousands of torii gates! One can imagine what a spectacular sight it is and how great they’ll look in photos. These are donations by individuals and companies who would like to thank the Kami (神), gods, for their successes.

Fushimi Inari is a shrine dedicated to Inari, Shinto’s God of Rice. One can spot many statues of foxes in the grounds of the shrine as they are believed to be messengers of Inari.

We spent our time leisurely exploring the shrine and of course happily taking photos. Here are some to share with you.