We left Kyoto early, after yesterday’s satisfying 紅葉 koyo experience, to 岡山 Okayama, dropped our bags at the hotel, and went straight to take the train to 姫路 Himeji (since we had activated our JR Pass).
At the station, we met a very helpful information counter staff who spoke Mandarin, and gave us some advice for our day trip, and also directed us to the popular タコピア Tako Pia at グランフェスタ Grand Fiesta, which was just in front of 姫路駅 Himeji Station.
The concept at グランフェスタ Grand Fiesta was a little like a food court with free seating, where we bought a ticket for a tray of 10 明石焼き Akashiyaki (¥400) from the vending machine, then bring the ticket to the staff making it, and waited for our piping hot octopus balls.
Compared to たこ焼き Takoyaki, 明石焼き Akashiyaki was softer, and had a more eggy texture… We liked it! We saw some people dip it into the soup served by the side, but we did not try it, because it seemed kinda strange. Little did we realise that the proper way to eat it was to dip it in the soup 😛
After this light snack, we proceeded to stroll to 姫路城 Himeji Castle (also known as 白鷺城 Shirasagijo – the White Heron Castle). We strolled to the Himeji View Point, which was a raised platform that provided a good view of the castle, and plenty of opportunities for photo-taking with no one else around 😛
We then went to the admission-free area of 姫路城 Himeji Castle, since our objective was to admire its beautiful exterior. Too bad this was not the cheery blossom season, otherwise it would have been even more beautiful. Still, we had plenty of fun 🙂
Soon it was lunchtime and we went to the nearby たまごや 卵屋 Tamagoya for lunch, as we had read about the fabulous raw eggs with rice! (There’s a poster outside the restaurant that says “I don’t know why you guys don’t eat the raw eggs!” 🙂 )
The restaurant was full when we arrived, so we just wrote our names down and hung around for our table. This restaurant could only sit about 20 customers, but the turnover was fairly quick, and we got our table within 15 minutes.
We were quite hungry and opted for the house special おもてなしご膳 Omotenashi-gozen.
For ¥2000 (including tax), the set included the raw eggs with rice (free flow), grilled omelette, kuguni boiled sand eel with soy sauce, grilled anago, pickles and soup. The rice and raw egg combination was very delicious, and we actually had second helpings!
We left the restaurant happy and with almost-bursting bellies, and strolled back to the station. It was a lovely walk passing by the trees with yellow and gold leaves, reminding us of the glorious autumn!
|タコピア Tako Pia:
|たまごや 卵屋 Tamagoya: