Saturday, April 12, 2008

Japan Day 10 (Hikone)

We felt tired after all the walking around Kobe so had a lie in cuddling in bed before heading out.

Today we headed to Hikone to see the castle there. It was one of the few castle stops survive unaffected by the war and is mostly original construction. We took the Shinkansen to Miabara then changed trains to Hikone. Hikone city is on the shores of Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan.

We followed the crowds of people which led us first to a temple so we had a Quick Look around then headed to the castle on the top of the hill. Constructed in the 17th century Hikone castle is a good example of the style and gives suburbs views out from its high vantage point. 

Like Osaka the castle is best viewed from outside inside it was crowd and cramped build for people in a different age. The grounds were well worth spending some time in though we enjoyed the woods.

I grabbed a fried squid from a stand in the grounds and we met the mascot a cute rabbet with a horned helmet. 

Next we stumbled upon a garden in all its Zen glory it was very beautiful. It was starting to grow cold and dark so we left Hikone heading for Kyoto.

Arriving in Kyoto late, we managed to grab a map a from the tourist information place. It had all the local subway and tourist places marked. Kasia fancied a pizza so we found an Italian restaurant on the 10th floor of a shopping centre connected to the railway station. 

The food was really good (if a little expensive) and we got a great view of Kyoto.

The station complex itself is a marvel of steel and glass. Saint lead up from the ground to the top. It had been a long day so we headed to our hostel for a snooze.

No comments: