Whimsical Wandering: Himeji Castle & Hello Kitty Café

Himeji castle

Most castles in England are in ruins, so you could imagine what it was like for me to see a fully-formed and beautiful Himeji castle in Japan. It was a real building – all standing proud on top of a hill, and it looked amazing. I had seen photos of it before but it didn’t really do it justice… The only downfall was that the cherry blossoms hadn’t bloomed yet, but nevertheless it was so pretty.

But Himeji castle was quite far out, so after some research I discovered that there was a Hello Kitty cafe not too far away (thank you, the cat you and us!). Pretty castles and a Hello Kitty cafe?! What could be better!

So we got up bright and early and I had to layer up like crazy because it was super chilly outside. We decided to go to Himeji castle while it was still quite early in the morning, and it was one of the best decisions I made. It had already gotten busy by the time we got there, so how busy is it in peak time? We caught Pokémon while we were waiting to go in (we’re such weebs) but it wasn’t long until we were inside the castle.

Thing is, the inside wasn’t as impressive as the outside and I was quite disappointed. It was empty apart from a few little models of the reconstruction of the castle. The structure was quite impressive but most of it was spent in a line going up and down the extremely steep stairs. If I had known it was like this I wouldn’t have bothered to go in, but seeing as we travelled so far we might as well make the most of it.

himeji castle

himeji landscape

himeji castle interior

We took some fresh air and headed over to Koko-en, a nearby Japanese garden, which was beautiful. Not all of the flowers had bloomed but it was so peaceful listening to the sound of running water and watching some koi fish lazily swim past. It was still pretty quiet except for the rumbling of our stomachs, so we then decided that it was time to find the Hello Kitty cafe.

kokoen garden

kokoen pagoda

kokoen garden

“I was so excited” couldn’t quite cut it  – my posts aren’t in order but this trip happened before I went to Puroland so it was the first time I was at a themed cafe. We managed to find it after a while and it was so cute! The food was extremely yummy too, and brought spaghetti to a whole new level. I wanted to stay there forever and just eat their soft serve ice cream all day.

cafe de miki hello kitty cafe

sanrio, hello kitty cafe

hello kitty icecream

hello kitty spaghetti

hello kitty hot chocolate

If you were thinking of going to see Himeji Castle then I would totally recommend it. Inside the actual building isn’t that impressive, but the gardens surrounding it was beautiful and the Japanese garden we went to was just around the corner. And, of course, Hello Kitty cafe was really close to the station so it’s well worth the trip.

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What do you think? Have you heard of Himeji Castle before? You drooling at the sight of the super cute food? (I know I am!)

Lizzie xx

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