The second day of our weekend trip involved visiting two castles. The first one was Bitchu Matsuyama Castle, not to be confused with Matsuyama Castle in Ehime. This castle is in Takahashi and is a bit of a hike. The tour company provided bamboo-like walking sticks and we all used it. Because the tour was mainly in their 60’s or older, I bet the stick was very useful and I was super impressed that everyone walked very well and fast. I personally didn’t find the stick too helpful and regretted getting one because it just ended up being something else to carry.
The weather was super hot and humid, but I still had a good time. I didn’t take pictures of the inside of the castle, but the stairs inside were super steep and I can’t imagine anyone wearing kimono walking up and down.
On our way to the second castle we stopped at a little tourist shopping place in Okayama. I really like those places because you can buy local food and cute souvenirs. I love buying cute keychains and my collection grows each time I visit Japan. I bought two cute little peach keychains because white peach is the thing in Okayama apparently. I love cute round things and one of the keychains even has a cell phone cleaner fabric on the bottom of it. I didn’t take a picture but you can imagine how cute it is if you know me and have seen my other ridiculous keychains.
There were so many peach things and I wanted to buy some, but I didn’t want to carry it. I would have bought something for my dad because he loves peaches but it would have all been bad by the time I get home in August. I did buy soft serve ice cream. They didn’t have peach ice cream, but they had green grape ice cream which was so unique that I had to try it!
The second castle we visited was the infamous Himeji Castle in Hyogo. There are hundreds of tourists and many shops to buy souvenirs from. The castle is huge and you can walk up to all 6 floors (or however many there were). It was really crowded and there were lines inside so I wouldn’t recommend it during the summer, but I had a great time anyway. After the castle, I even found peach ice cream!
Another thing that made my day about the trip was that there were two cats inside the castle grounds: one white and one black. I petted both even though I’m sure they both had fleas. They were friendly and meowed when I approached them.
It was a lovely weekend and now I can say that I have been to that part of Japan!