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Living in Himeji

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Washington DC...
posts: 12
Living in Himeji

Hello! I've been presented the opportunity to live in Himeji for a year, but I know little about the city. I have traveled in and around Tokyo but am not fluent in Japanese.

I would love to know what living and working in Himeji is like for 20 somethings: things to do, local customs, visiting nearby Osaka and Kyoto, etc. Thanks for any and all insights!

M

14 replies to this topic
Nashville, TN
Destination Expert
for Himeji, Kobe, Osaka
posts: 1,677
reviews: 14
11. Re: Living in Himeji

A couple of things about Himeji. First, it's a truly wonderful place to live. There are some great places to explore. Mt. Hiromine offers some wonderful hiking; you can do a route from one end of the mountain to the other, exiting at Mt. Shosha. There is good rock climbing, including the seaside area of Shosekiheki, which is also a place popular with some folks who do remote control airplanes (gliders, mostly). There is paragliding nearby as well. The castle is excellent, and Otokoyama (near the castle) is one of my favorite morning jaunts when I'm in town; there's nothing like walking up the steps to invigorate you.

There is an abundance of temples and shrines; the aforementioned mountain area has a lot, and there seems to be one tucked in on every other street. I go to Sosha (not to be confused with "shosha), which is in the area near the main post office and NTT building; it is relaxing in the morning to watch the monks sweeping the walks, and the head priest going through the morning rituals.

There's also a large burial mound near Gochaku; it isn't all that famous, but I found it very neat. In that same general area are some really decent hidden temples and shrines that I can guide you to if you're interested.

Himeji had abundant night life. I tend to go to the local Irish pub when I'm in town, even though they don't treat their Guinness with the proper respect. You do have to be somewhat careful in this regard; Himeji has historically been a Yakuza town, and there are a lot of bars/etc. where you simply will not be allowed. It isn't as bad as it was when I first lived in Himeji in the early 90s, but old habits die hard.

There are tons of restaurants in the area just north of the station, on both sides of the street. I suggest finding a few friends to guide you to their favorite spots. It's also the best place for shopping. A few miles south of downtown (opposite side of the station from the castle) is River City, a large mall where you can find just about everything you need. Also in that general area is Tegarayama, a large park with an Eastern European-inspired play castle that you can see from all over the town. Tegarayama used to be the terminus of the city's monorail, which is no longer in operation; but you can see remnants standing over the city like some sort of steam-punk archeology. Tegara is a good place for a walk.

There are some good museums in Himeji, and the zoo is a bit pitiful but cheap; so is the aquarium on Tegarayama. Still, beggars can't be choosers.

If you need any more specific advice, feel free to post here or contact me directly via Trip Advisor.

Thanks!

John Worth

London
posts: 384
reviews: 20
12. Re: Living in Himeji

I think Himeji is in a really nice location. As stated it's easy to get to the major Kansai places. You can also get out to other interesting places quite easily, like Okoyama, for the gardens and castle, from there you can get across to Shikoku and also Naoshima which is a great place. There's also Hiroshima (though a fair distance further). I think Himeji is a big enough town to stay interesting. I think it's better as well than staying somewhere like Osaka, which whilst a great city, has many people that don't really get that immersed in the culture.

Washington DC...
posts: 12
13. Re: Living in Himeji

Thanks for all of the great info, John and Paul!!

Bergen, Norway
posts: 2
14. Re: Living in Himeji

How did it turn out? Coming to himeji soon myself. But im only on tourist visa. :(

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