Fed up with crowded Kyoto? Yes! Everyone is! I went to Kyoto last November and was hoping that less tourists were there, because the peak of Japanese autumn leaves was already over… Nope! Not at all. Thousands of people where there.
We planned to stay 2 days in Kyoto, but I couldn’t stand the overfilled trains and busses. Sometimes you wait more than an hour for the bus going to Kyoto station. But there is another place in kansai (関西), about 1 hour from Kyoto by train, I always wanted to go: Hikone Castle (彦根城).
This castle is one of the last three ones in Japan which are not rebuild – one of the oldest castles in Japan. You can find Hikone Castle in Shiga Prefecture. There is an express train from Osaka station to Hikone station and it takes a 10 minutes’ walk from the station to the castle.
It was my first long kimono trip. I brought normal clothes, but I forgot to bring normal shoes, so I had to walk everything in my Japanese sandals (geta 下駄). This was a disaster, because the castle is on top of a hill and because it’s an old castle, there are no straight stairs. Anyway I managed to have a nice day there.
The castle is right next to Japan’s biggest lake called biwa-ko (琵琶湖) and the autumn leaves where shining in fiery red. On top of the castle you have a nice view over Hikone and the lake surrounded by mountains.
When you’re fed up with Kyoto, come to Hikone! But bring sneakers or very good geta!! 😀
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