Today on the 14th of April, we headed out after breakfast to the Himeji Castle. Arriving at the castle, we headed across a historic wooden bridge over the inner moat. The courtyard was lined with beautiful blooming cherry blossoms and other traditional trees. The temple was built in 1609 with a complete wooden structure, but minor rebuilds with maintained wooden structures. There are two main centre pillars within the castle which one is an original 400 year old pillar. Walking up towards the top of the building, the stairways and entrance ways continued to get smaller and smaller which suited the Asian individual more than the Australian boys. This was a form of defence aimed to limit attackers. In some levels of the castle, there still remained original 400 year old flooring boards and lined with turrets which were in 3 different shapes of a circle, triangle and squares but also the walls were lined with racks where when in operation, swords, arrows and bows would lie. Reaching the top of the castle, we could see out to the amazing surrounding mountain ranges and the infrastructure in the immediate vicinity where people were hardly visible from the sheer height. Most of the boys agreed to say that this castle has been one of the most impressive and overall enjoyed the experience of the history of Japan.
For lunch we went to a restaurant and had rice, noddles, lots of fried fish and water to drink. Then we travelled to the Kinki University to play a game of rugby and also for a welcome conference and class activities. The Kinki School students had set up tables with Japanese food and games for us to try. For example, writing in Japanese, using chop sticks in races and rock, scissors and paper and hitting each other over the head. Then we went and played the game of two 20 minute halves. From the kick off the boys held good structure and quickly built momentum through the hard work of the forwards and the speed of the backs to get up the field and produce points. This continued throughout the rest of the half as the team worked hard and well together. In the 2nd half after some poor communication in the first few mins, the team got through it and stuck back to the structure and again succeeded through hard work and team work. After the game the team had a 20 cardio session and travelled back to the hotel for dinner.
Tries = Pedro, serhon, Isi, Malley, Nate, Duvall, Ica, Horne, White, Turner x2, Opeti