Day 5 in Japan: Himeji Castle and the seaside town of Onomichi

A final farewell to our AirBnB and the surrounding Gion district of Kyoto that has been home to us for the past 4 days. Let the adventure continue onward!

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Over our last cappuccinos in Kyoto, Andrew described to us how refined his palate has become to the finer foods in life, that is until Viola reminded him this was coming from a man that ate a deer biscuit in Nara a few days prior. Bazinga!

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Back on the Shinkansen for a 300km/hr trip to the city of Himeji, famous for its elegant white castle.

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The Himeji Castle (White Heron Castle): over 400 years old, it is considered to be one of Japan’s most spectacular original surviving castles.

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The moats, walls and 83 buildings that comprise the castle complex.

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Making our way up the 6 floors of the castle constructed of primarily wood and stone.

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Overlooking the city of Himeji from the top floor.

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Time for a few last pictures and a quick lunch to go …

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As fast as we arrived in Himeji, we were gone to the next stop: Onomichi. A charming, yet gritty seaside town that oozed 1940’s Japan. As soon as we got off the train I was in love with the place!

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Our accommodation for the next 2 nights: Onomichi U2. This place is a hipsters dream! Hotel, restaurant, bar, shops and bicycle rental facility all under one open concept warehouse on the harbor.

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The 2 main reasons to come to Onomichi: starting point for the 76km Setouchi Shimanami Kaido bicycle route (tomorrow’s itinerary) and a 25 temple walking tour through the city.

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With just enough time to spare before sunset, we located a map of the temple walk to help navigate our way through the various narrow alleyways, and up the hillside of the town.

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Don’t mind the odd scooter squeezing through the narrow walkways … beep beep!

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Puppy! Viola was super excited that this little guy took a liking to her and was doling out the kisses.

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I came across a similar picture (pagoda with Onomichi below) randomly on the internet when searching for more off the beaten path destinations in Japan during our trip planning. Hard to believe months later we are standing in that very spot!

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Continuing on with the walking tour, we definitely did not have time to see all 25 temples.

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We made it to the top lookout point, the so called “Lover’s Sanctuary,” with breathtaking views over Onomichi and the various islands in the distance.

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Making our way back down into town, Viola found another friend. Cats definitely run these alleyways. They were everywhere!

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Finding dinner in Onomichi proved to be surprisingly difficult at 6:30pm. Many restaurants had already closed at 6pm and those that stated they were open until 7pm were shutting down or closed. It became hilarious as we went from restaurant to restaurant. Thankfully we came across the Yamaneko Cafe for a comforting meal in an eclectic atmosphere. Mango beers all around!

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