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The Hotel bus drove us back to Himeji and dropped us off at the castle. The weather was surprisingly warm having been quite chilly since we got here. I`d forgotten how cold and damp Japanese houses feel in the winter, every night climbing into bed the sheets were ice cold and felt damp, I keep thinking I`m going to wake up with bronchitus. Still, walking through the gates of Himeji castle made up for it with all the cherry blossoms starting to bloom, the views across the castle grounds were fabulous. This was my fourth visit to Himeji jo, my youngest son was really looking forward to this, he`d seen the castle on the way past and recognised it from various series of Power Rangers, Ninja Storm in particular.
We strolled up and round the castle climbing right up to the top floor, navigating through some seriously steep and narrow flights of stairs that were made even more dangerous by the constant polishing they get from the thousands of visitors each year. Not to mention the fact that the roof/ floor as you go up and down is only about three foot above the stairs, so us tall westerners are made to struggle hard..... still, it`s an interesting place to visit and should be on anyone`s sightseeing list coming to Japan.
As we left the castle my wife asked our son if he would like to live there, "no" he shot back, "why not, it`s the Ninja Storm castle?". "There are two ghosts in there behind the door" he said, "I don`t want to stay here".........
As we strolled back out of the gate there was a cherry tree that was jsut starting to blossom when we went in, now just over an hour later, It was almost in full bloom, quite phenominal.