I don’t know if you knew but I really, really enjoy biking. My first bike as an adult was a cruiser. Then I graduated from cruiser to a road bike. A car mangled that one. Then I graduated to my first fixed gear bike. That bike was damaged by another car. Then I bought my last bike, which was also fixed gear. I gifted that baby to someone before I left Arizona. I hope they are enjoying that sweet red and black paint job.
Over the course of 6-7 years I’ve owned quite a few bikes now that I think about it. I also learned that most drivers aren’t paying attention and I should be doubly aware of everything. I said all that to say that I’m used to commuting on a bike. It’s a fun way to explore. And now, thanks to an Aussie teacher who was kind enough to let me borrow her spare bike, I’m back on the saddle again. Pun intended.
I got the keys to this bike today and thought that I should do a mini check up/ride on it. I put air in both tires, and set off. Because I’m not as familiar with street names and roads as I’d like to be, I decided to test my memory. During our first few days in Himeji, a bus would frequently pick teachers up from our complex and drive us to City Hall. The first few trips I paid close attention to buildings and signs that were unique so that I could find my way if I needed to. I’m very glad that I did. I also remembered that my mom always says that you can never get lost “if you remember how you got there, just turn around and go back”.
I checked off all the mental bookmarks and found my way. I decided to change my route and explore a new area that I’d not seen yet. Do you know what I found? Can you guess it? You’ve seen the pictures. It’s the most well known attraction in Himeji. You guessed right. I found the Castle! Bruh! Have you ever seen a castle in person? Pictures don’t do it justice. It’s ginormous and majestic. I’d heard that there was a moat but there is really a moat! Like a real MOAT. When I used to think about moats I would imagine these tiny little pools of water that a cute little drawbridge could lower over. Nah! It looked wider than a lot of rivers that I’ve seen. And that wall! Talk about fortification. There’s a reason this thing is still standing!
Near the moat is a bike/walking path that just seemed super idyllic. There were lots of people out in front of the castle but very few on the path around it. I felt more like a local and less like a tourist on that path. I road as far around the castle as I could before turning around and riding back. I’m super excited explore more of Himeji by bike.