Himeji – or: learn to be ok with yourself.

himeji purple

“Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” ― Denis Waitley

himeji riverside

himeji dinnerhimeji komorebi

It was in Himeji, that I finally realised that maybe I like things that are considered boring by the standards of society – but moreover that I can be okay with that. So that’s what I did. I started to feel more and more comfortable in my own skin and brain. I started to feel grateful for myself, for the people I met during my trip, the people back at home, grateful for the world and the opportunities I was given. And I started doing exactly what I felt like doing.

I made myself a little promise to do that the rest of the trip – and not feel guilty if I ‘missed’ anything. Because I treated myself this way (with dignity and respect is maybe too much to say) and because I treated each moment with love and gratitude – I couldn’t blame myself for anything that I did or didn’t do. And that was good… and unfortunately also new. I’m still trying to pursue this.

himeji photographer himeji pond himeji flower

It is futile to continue to blame yourself for things you did or didn’t do. Especially when you realise that, at the time, you did the best you could.

Because of my state of mind, Himeji was a bit of a strange place for me. But it was wonderful. The castle is truly beautiful, and the city has a very relaxed atmosphere.


himeji castle view himeji kurazushi himeji faces
If you were to visit Himeji though, I couldn’t really tell you what to do and where to go. Apart from the castle, the beautiful castle gardens, and the surrounding museums I didn’t really explore Himeji that much. At the time, I was much more content looking out over the city from a hilltop at sunset, eating kaiten sushi (くら寿司) at one of my favourite chain-store restaurants, and reading a book down the riverside. And ehm, yeah… there’s a bit of ‘fancy travel photography’ missing here. But then I only did what I felt like – and I was here just 2 nights.

himeji street castle

One thing I could say though, the hostel I stayed at was interesting. The beds were very firm, a bit like wooden planks covered with a thin cotton sheet. The people were nice, but a bit strange. And the shower was, well… build in the backyard? But then again, I was on a bit of a budget, ha!

himeji hilltop

himeji hilltop fencing himeji castle

Next up: Takamatsu, the first stop of my Shikoku shenanigans. I will try to blog a bit about real-time Louise-life too, in the meantime.

Until soon, I hope you’re well!

himeji sunset

  • Marjolein

    Beautiful pictures!

  • I can relate to feeling a sort of pressure to hitting all these must-see locations when I’m traveling, but sometimes it feels better to slow down, maybe spend a whole afternoon at just one coffee shop, and it’s such a wonderful feeling to be at peace with this decision and not feel like you’ve “wasted” it :) -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  • aahh you slept on futon? :DDD i love himeji and sometimes in my free time i love to wander around it through google maps. recently i’ve been thinking the same way, that it’s futile to punch self over things i did or didn’t do. but as long as i managed to do things i want to do then there’s no time wasted, right? every time spent with myself is a time well spent. hope all is well over there, louise!

    xx http://tanaditya.co.vu

  • Charlotte

    Wooow, Himeji…and great insights. Love how you describe this inner journey as well. :)

  • I think you kind of reached a new level of zen there Louise! And it looks like it was the perfect place for it too.

    Hope you’re well, do tell us what you’re up to in real time as well!

  • The whole point of going on holiday is to be able to do whatever you feel like, and especially when you’re on your own and don’t have anyone else’s agenda to satisfy. It’s when you get to do things like that you’re likely to have these kinds of moments when you realise wonderful things about yourself and that’s what life is all about. :)


  • “… that maybe I like things that are considered boring by the standards of society – but moreover that I can be okay with that.”
    I often think about it of myself. I used to think that it was me which wasn’t cool, like my friends never get it why I enjoy spending hours in a bookstore rather trying out that new and fancy restaurant in town, but then I realized that this is how I live and moreover I feel so thankful because when I’m not living to fit into the society standards, I know that happiness is just around the corner.
    PS: looking through all these pictures are making my heart so calm and warm right now. they are so beautiful!