February 24, 2008

I am loving Japan sooooooooooo much right now. Each day I feel this way more and more.

Today I decided I was going to start my day by heading out to the Himeji. Just 30 minutes away on the bullet train. Easy peasy.

When I stepped out of the door today little flakes greeted me from the sky. Awesome. I would be exploring today in the snow. Only a
person who is not exposed to the snow much would find this idea exciting.

Himeji is really known for one thing. Their castle. And right when our train was approaching the station, there it was in the near distance
standing beautifully. Beautifully under snow, that is. How lucky would I get that I would get to see this site in these conditions? I’m sure it’s
gorgeous in its own rite. Actually, I know it is. But to see it and the surrounding trees under a thin blanket of snow only added to it all.

The views only got better and better the closer I was to the castle. This castle is most popular with the Japanese tourists. In fact, in my
entire time out there today I didn’t see one other Westerner. Not one. I’ll be honest – it made me feel a bit special.

I made my way through the castle without really understanding much of what I was looking at. But that was okay. I read enough of the
English descriptions to get the gist. And I was actually just as excited about walking around inside of it. After all, these Japanese castles are
pretty bare inside so there isn’t really a ton to see anyway. I made my way to the top for some pretty snowy views of the city.

On my way out, sun was shining and the snow was essentially all gone. Who knew I could have such impeccable timing? If I started my day
an hour later I would have missed seeing the castle with the snow-covered trees. I’m a lucky girl.

And let’s face it – with the sun being out, that meant it was warmer outside. I know I said I love the snow – but that also means that the
temperature is literally freezing outside. I mean that’s pretty cold. The snow at least came in handy today when it needed to. I’m so selfish.

I also want to put a special shout-out to the poodle-like doggy outside of the Himeji Castle that I was playing with. He was quite a little
looker with his jeans and shirt on. Oh yes…he was wearing a pair of jeans and a shirt.
Back to Japan.
Heading up to the castle.
Some snowfall in Himeji.
Felt like a winter wonderland.