21 January 2017
~08:00AM Woke up to 4 energetic little monkeys! :’) Sara, Runa, Miko and Hiro-kun!!
09:58AM Arrived at Himeji Castle (姫路城, Himeji-jō), one of the country’s twelve original castles!!
10:10AM So.many.stairs. They were so steep too! I felt so bad for my host mum who had to carry around a lot of things plus Hiro-kun with her as we went up to five levels of steep stairs.
10:38AM Sight from the top floor of Himeji Castle. From here you could see the town surrounding the castle. How stunning! Not only was the castle breathtakingly beautiful, it had one of best defence features and architectures I’ve ever seen!
Personally, I prefer the authencity of Himeji Jo rather than that of Shuri Jo. Himeji Jo, though cleaned up, feels like it has history embedded within its walls. Nothing compared to the recently reconstructed and polished Shuri Jo. Although you could say that it would be futile comparing these two castles, having Himeji Jo known to be Japan’s best preserved feudal castle.
11:14AM Of course the castle was a bit of a hike so my sisters and I are quite tired now that we’ve reached the bottom once again.
11:30AM Seeing one black cat was surprising enough! But look, there’s two!
11:59AM Had lunch.
12:40PM And then ice-cream. It’s really cold right now but anytime is a good time for ice-cream.
03:08PM After a stroll around the outskirts of Himeji Jo, we finally arrive home.
04:13PM We spend the rest of the afternoon playing and watching TV.
06:50PM Nothing beats eating dinner together as a family! Yakiniku soooooo good! おいしいかった！
08:52PM Everyone gets ready for bed. It’s been such a long day well spent.
22 January 2017
11:06AM We were on our way to Kobe Tower but because it started to rain heavily, we decided to spend a little time at a shopping centre instead and bought some stuff at a 100yen shop, Seria.
12:06PM KOBE TOWER!
12:41PM I adore this picture. From left to right is the youngest to the oldest. Habits run in the family.
12:59PM We then visited this Studio Ghibli shop.
01:36PM Finally, lunch! This is the first time for me seeing a kids eating area inside a food court called Kids Space. Also, what a coincidence that Joyce and I would run into each other here at the same time, same place!
03:53PM As soon as we got home, we played even more!
06:25PM This is probably the highlight for me this entire homestay. I get to do some creative stuff with the little munchkins with the help of my host mum!
08:53PM There is never a dull moment with these kids.
11:27PM Now tucked in bed, I remember the past two-three days with these kids and how it’s been a while since I felt like being home. We may not have gone out too much or do much but I loved just being part of their everyday life as a family. My host mum reminded me so much of my real mum!