Himeji

The best way to get around Japan is by shinkansen—high speed train. If you don't want to be out of money in no time, you should consider buying an unlimited travel card for a fixed period of 7, 14 or 21 consecutive days. One high-distance round-trip most likely would be cheaper with it than regular ticket.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

In fact, you buy voucher outside of Japan, and then you exchange it for travel card called JR Pass. Queue to JR office in Narita airport was like 30 minutes long to finally get the pass. You can also get useful Suica or Pasmo card in the airport as well.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

JR staff is only interested in expiration date on the pass. Yeah, staff, because in order to use JR Pass you need to show it at the manned ticket barrier at the stations. It has no use at automatic gates. The funny thing is that after 21:00 there is usually nobody to show your pass to, so free ride then.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Inside the train. Each stop announced in Japanese and English. It's better to pay attention to the announcements, because most of the stops has stop time of just one minute.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Landscapes outside the window.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.
🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.
🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

At the station.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.
🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.
🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

There is always staff at the station. And there is one person with microphone—here in the photo it is this man to the right—to make announcements, but only in Japanese, unfortunately.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

In the other hand he has a flag.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Lockers. From top to bottom: small ones for ¥300, then medium for ¥500 and the big ones for ¥700 at last. Empty lockers are with keys in them. At first I found the whole block of occupied lockers, so I had no way to distinguish occupied ones from free—what a shame and waste of 10 minutes.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Explanation of shinkansen cars' layout.

  • Reserved—reservation is required in advance
  • Green—first class, you also need to reserve a seat
  • Non-reserved—the cheapest way to take a ride with free seats, but there might be not enough seats for everyone, so you might end up standing

You can make reservations for all your rides at once. It's better to write down departure times and destinations on paper or type them on phone, so Japanese staff would have no problem with understanding you. Their reading skill is the way better than listening and speaking. In overall it feels like they stuck at school level English, like Russians do, who don't travel.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Display duplicates the info that the car is non-reserved. There is also the same info inside the car.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Hints about car number, direction of travel and other useful stuff.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Public space in front of Himeji station.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Maps are at every turn.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Streets.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.
🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.
🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.
🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.
🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Shopping arcade.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Street navigation.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Castle area.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.
🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.
🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.
🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.
🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.
🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

The castle itself.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Panoramas.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.
🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.
🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.
🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.
🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.
🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Bench.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Inside the castle. Feels like you are in Khrushchyovka after construction has ended and there is free access to every apartment. There is almost no furniture inside, except to museum exhibits.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Long gallery.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Big Brother.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Big pin.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

No shoes allowed inside the castle, so it's little bit cold in mid-April.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Reminds PlayStation logo.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Cute guard rails.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Himeji central station.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.

Not all shinkansen trains do a stop here. That's the thing they differ at—number of stops. Although they all proudly called superexpress. The fewer stops, the higher the price. One of these non-stop-here trains flew by on speed around 250 kmh (150 mph) on the third track from me in no time.

There were no non-stop trains in the next 10 minutes, so I had no chance to make a video. Next time then.

Route of the ride on the train from Nagoya to Kyoto. 130 km (80 miles) in just half an hour! Chart shows most the time it keeps the speed of 284 kmh (176 mph). It's better to sit near the window in any transport if you want to record your own route, because GPS signal is much stronger there. It also convenient to leave a phone on windowsill.

🇯🇵 Himeji, Japan, april 2017.
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