Japan. Day 11: Himeji castle & Osaka

Eleventh day of our trip to Japan in spring 2015, my husband and I went to a visit Himeji and Osaka. Early in the morning we left our hotel in Kyoto and boarded the fast shikansen train to Himeji.

The reason we traveled to Himeji was the castle Himeji-jo – one of twelve original Japanese castles that hasn’t been damaged or destroyed in the wars or in natural disasters. It is actually pretty remarkable that the castle is still standing. During World War II the Himeji town was completely destroyed by the allies, but the castle remained intact. Luckily the bomb that landed on the roof failed to detonate. As it is still in its original shape and because is considered to be the finest example of the classic Japanese feudal period architecture it has been inscribed to UNESCO World Heritage list. Continue reading

Blast from the Past: Vienna

It’s time for new Blast from the Past post! Today I’m remembering my trip to the Austrian capital Vienna, I’ve visited on a cold winter day in December 2006. I’ve visited the imperial Schönbrunn palace, strolled through the lovely decorated streets of the old town, drank mulled wine at the Christmas Markets and enjoyed the pre-Christmas atmosphere in town. Here are some snaps from my visit:

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Japan. Day 9: Cycling in Kyoto

On our second day in Kyoto, my husband and I woke up to a warm sunny day – perfect day for cycling. We went to the cycle rental shop nearby main train station we’ve spotted the day before and rented two bikes with which we explored Kyoto.

Kinkaku-ji temple

Kyoto served as Japan’s capital and the emperor’s residence from 794 until 1868 when the capital functions were transferred to Tokyo. For centuries was the centre of politics and culture. Many of historical buildings, temples and shrines were build during this period – so many, Kyoto is now also known as “City of Ten Tousand Shrines”. Seventeen of those buildings are now inscribed to UNESCO’s World Heritage List. My husband and I decided to visit two of them: Kinkaku-ji and Ryōan-ji.
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Japan. Day 5: Mt Fuji and ryokan experience in Hakone

On the fifth day of our trip to Japan my boyfriend and I left bustling Tokyo for peaceful Hakone, a mountainous area west of Tokyo famous for hot springs and Mt Fuji views.

Lake Ashi & Mt Fuji

In the morning, we bid farewell to Asakusa and successfully navigate our suitcases through the morning rush. At the Tokyo station we’ve boarded shinkansen Kodama to Odawara. There we’ve change super-fast and comfortable shikansen for slow local Hakone-Tozan Line to Hakone Yumoto. We’ve just missed the bus that would take us to our ryokan (Japanese inn) in Tonosawa. Because we would have to wait for another one for quite some time, we decided to take the taxi. After a short ride, we arrived to our accommodation. Again, we arrived too early to check in and our room wasn’t ready yet. We left our luggage in the lobby and went out to explore the area. Continue reading

Blast from the Past: Kroměříž

In today’s Blast from the Past post I’m taking you to Moravia in Czech Republic. My destination there was picturesque historical city of Kroměříž. Town’s gardens and castle were inscribed to UNESCO World Heritage List for their significant role in the development of Baroque garden and palace design in central Europe. They are truly unique place worth visiting.

Here are some snaps from my trip previous autumn:

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