One of the most striking castles has to be (姫路城 Himejijo. Unfortunately everyone else had the same idea and it was incredibly crowded. Still, I managed to snap dozens of wonderful images of Himeji Castle.
Upon entering the grounds, one is greeted by 鯱 (Shachi - no, not Chachi), which is a mythical creature with the head of a tiger and the body of a carp.
This is 姫子ちゃん Himeko the elephant. If you look in the background you can see the castle.
On loan from the zoo, she looks more content here than in her cage. I can't say the same for the ostrich, pigs or black-headed squirrel monkeys.
Ahh! Glowing fish!
A final shot of the Castle as I walk into the shopping district.
Ironically, this statue of pigeons has NO pigeon poop upon it.