After hearing about Takeda Castle and doing a little bit of research, we decided to use one of our days in Kansai to visit the Machu Picchu of Japan!
Usually people set off really early in the morning, before dawn, to catch the morning mist hovering in the valley from Takeda Castle. Unfortunately, as we are based in Kyoto and it takes about 2.5 hours to get there, we decided to settle for the afternoon sun instead. After changing trains a couple of times, we ended up in the village where we were surprised to see a couple of elderly ladies heading off to climb up the mountain as well! #respect
You can choose from two options, the long winding gentle route that most people take, or the steep narrow faster route. We decided to go for the gentle route because Yujie was a little too unfit for the steep route BUT we took a wrong turning and ended up at the steep route instead.
Well, up and up we went! It did get a little tiring after a while, but we opted for the 20 steps rule. Every 20 steps we would stop to take a breather. Grace and I managed fine, but Yujie started filming her farewell video to her family! It got a little hilarious.
The view from the top was amazing. Granted, we didn’t get the morning mist and surreal effect, but it was still oddly serene and quiet up there with the panoramic view of the valleys.
When we were heading down, we managed to flag down a tour bus and hitchhiked back to town! Sadly, it was past lunch time and there was no food available. We decided to head back to Kyoto, stop by to see Himeji Castle, then grab an early dinner. When we got out at Himeji station, we saw the castle 1+ km away, and realised it was under construction. After much debate, we decided to skip Himeji and just head home! Grabbed some Okinawan dinner near our home and well deserved beer, before calling it a night.