Saturday, April 3

Korea-Japan, Day Twelve: Himeji Castle

Today we visted what turned out to be our biggest time-sink of the trip so far: Himeji Castle. We were compelled to brave one of Japan's most popular sights during one of its busiest occasions due to it being list on so many must-see lists, but even with that in mind we did wonder whether the one hour queue to get tickets and three hour queue to enter the castle was worth the hassle.

And to be honest, it wasn't. Like many castles around the world, Himeji was perfectly accessible from the outside and in retrospect our time would have been better spent lazing in the grounds, watching the live music and dance that was going on there. Instead we waited to climb the castle and see some admittedly wonderful views of the surrounding town.

The massive queues and time spent traversing them had taken their toll, so after a brief walk around Himeji town we headed back to Osaka. After dinner we visited the n-shaped Umeda Sky Tower north of where we were staying in order to take in some of the views it had to offer via its glass elevator and suspended-in-mid-air sky elevators (and yes, it's what you're imagining). Since those alone were so much fun we decided to pass paying to get into the actual observatory itself.

Osaka at night is pretty cool. The distinct lowering of pace has made us realise how much of a toll all the action is taking on us.

We decided to grab an early night.

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