Himeji Castle and the 7-11

Himeji Castle and the 7-11

Putting the previous day behind us, we headed for the famous Himeji Castle. It was glorious in the beautiful sunshine.

The castle complex is massive – and there are stairs inside to go to the top of that building behind us. I found a bench on the fifth floor and read the information brochure while the rest hiked to the tippy top. Once difference between these castles and ones we have encountered in Europe is that the rooms are all empty. So far, in the ones we have been able to go in, there have been very few displays, no decorative art, or furniture. So that’s a lot of walking when the money shot is on from the outside!

As we were leaving, walking along the sidewalk, I looked up to see a camera pointed right at me. I leaned and stepped to my left to get out of the way of whatever the photographer was trying to photograph behind me, only to discover that he was trying to take a photo of me!! He looked up from his camera and gave me a big smile and a thumbs up. I can’t imagine my expression on my face, as I was trying to dive out of the way, but ok . . .

Have I mentioned the important role that the 7-11 plays over here? They are everywhere, together with their sister stores, Lawton’s, and contain everything you could want, at good prices. The hot food includes curry potato croquettes, spring rolls, baked sweet potatoes and a bunch of other exotic items (not a hot dog on a rotisserie in sight). There are also bento boxes, take and heat items of all sorts, and fresh sandwiches. The egg salad is to die for, having been made with Japanese mayo, on good old fashioned white bread, with the crusts cut off. Just like Mom used to make. So good. And booze! Seems like most countries can be trusted to have booze in their corner stores – take note Canadian government!!

This particular area is apparently known for their squid balls (takoyaki), so Ayami got some of those and David was feeding her the squid parts out of his while she was driving.

One thing about travelling with your kids is that there are different budgets to consider. This evening, our dinner cost about $9 for both of us, plus the less cheap bottle of red wine. Definitely a budget booster! Tomorrow we feast!!

There was one shop close to our hotel that I had to go in. They sell these celebration dolls. I asked if it was ok to take photos and he said yes, but please don’t touch! They are all hand painted and painstakingly made – priced in the thousands of dollars.

Then it was goodbye Kobe, and on to Nara National Park. The tire is still holding out – so far so good. Ayami makes sure we eat, even from the driver’s seat. The gyoza like delicacies are also from 7-11.

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