Stonehenge A Sophisticated Architecture that should not be missed

Stonehenge-A Sophisticated Architecture that should not be missed

Stonehenge a sophisticated architecture and one of the wonders of the world is right at our doorstep! This pre-historic monument has wowed many and continues to intrigue all visitors here. Not only is Stonehenge a sophisticated architecture, it is definitely, an engineering masterpiece given that it was built with simple tools and technologies during the Neolithic times. It is another of those structures in the world that make visitors and scientists wonder to the theories behind its construction – Why it was constructed and by whom, to the extend that it could have been an alien creation or the much popularised legend of King Arthur by historian, Geoffrey of Monmouth. Anyways, here’s Stonehenge for you in a nutshell – pay us a visit – mystical or magical – you decide.

1 | Stonehenge A sophisticated architecture

The monument known as Stonehenge, was erected with precise interlocking joints, unseen at any other prehistoric monument. According to its history, it was built in several stages, with the first monument being constructed around 5,000 years ago.

Stonehenge - The Stone Circle
Stonehenge – The Stone Circle | Image: georgina_daniel

2 | Stonehenge a sophisticated architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site

This unique prehistoric masterpiece sits on a rich archaeological landscape and the area, Avebury and Stonehenge form a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stonehenge is the most architecturally sophisticated and an unique place to visit.

3 | Where is Stonehenge exactly?

Stonehenge is located on Salisbury Plain, about 8 miles (13 km) north of Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. Its coordinates are:

Latitude: 51° 10′ 26.30″ N Longitude: -1° 49′ 20.56″ W

If you haven’t been to Stonehenge, click on the link to Google Earth and get a first hand, up close and personal experience of this mysterious wonderment. Watch the awesomeness of this majestic structure that has puzzled many historians and remains a mystery! It will sure to blow you away too!

Stonehenge on Google Earth

4 | The Stone Circle at Stonehenge a sophisticated architecture

The Stone Circle at Stonehenge is an iconic symbol of Britain with each stone standing at 13 feet high, 7 feet wide and weighing around 25 tons. It is believed to have been constructed between 3000 BC and 2000 BC. This sophisticated architecture is the only surviving lintelled stone circle in the world.

Stonehenge - A closer look at the Stone Circle, an architectural masterpiece.
Stonehenge – A closer look at the Stone Circle, an architectural masterpiece.| Image: georgina_daniel

I was instantly wowed at the gigantic stones and intrigued at how cleverly it was “constructed”. I did feel a little “tiny” in the midst of all these and the vastness of the area. There is certainly a lot to discover here.

As mentioned earlier, this iconic sophisticated architecture throws more questions than answers as to the “Why’s” and “Who” – here’s what I found out but be rest assured that there are a lot more theories and opinions out there.

5 | The theories behind Stonehenge a sophisticated architecture

One of the most comprehensive hypothesis of Stonehenge’s sophisticated architecture and its origin along with its purpose can be found in Stonehenge Decoded by Gerald Hawkins.

5.1 | Stonehenge Decoded

According to Hawkins, the cluster of stones were constructed in phases between 3100 BC through 1600 BC and its purpose was to relate to an ancient astronomical observatory calendar, to predict movements of the sun and stars. His hypothesis identified 165 separate points on the construction, and he links them to the two solstices, equinoxes, lunar and solar eclipses. The stones are aligned in such a way that at dawn on the summer solstice the sun glides from behind the Heel Stone to above the stones and shine onto the centre of the circle – the sun and stones all aligning perfectly. Similarly, at the winter solstice on December 21, one can experience much the same at sunset. It would seem that Stonehenge was created to showcase the summer solstice.

Sunrise at Stonehenge
Revellers watch the sunrise as they celebrate the pagan festival of Summer Solstice at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, southern England on June 21, 2018.GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images

In this book, Hawkins decodes the mystery behind Stonehenge and illustrates his findings that gave rise to controversy on both sides of the Atlantic.

Stonehenge Decoded

Gerald S. Hawkins, 1965 (Hardcover)

However, Hawkins’ theory had been criticised by historians for it gave too much credit to ancient builders who did not have the sophistication or the tools necessary to predict astrological events. Despite its criticisms, Hawkins theory does lend more legitimacy than the 12th century legend associated with King Arthur by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his History of Kings of Britain

5.2 | History of Kings of Britain

According to Geoffrey, the massacre called the Night of the Long Knives in 449 A.D. occurred at a monastery on the Salisbury Plain. To honour the dead soldiers, the then King, Ambrosius Aurelianus consulted the wizard, Merlin to help him select an appropriate monument. The wizard suggested that the King’s Ring from Mount Killarus in Ireland be dismantled and brought to England. An expedition of soldiers were sent to bring the stones to Stonehenge where Merlin reconstructs with his magical powers, a monument on the Salisbury Plain honouring the dead in the monastery cemetery.

5.3 | A modern twist

A modern twist to this tale seems that it was aliens rather than Merlin who constructed the ingenious architecture. Some of these rocks weigh 50 tons and cannot be explained how ordinary humans could have moved such masses., hence aliens. In addition, Alfred Watkin in the 1920s suggested his theory of “ley lines” in his book “The Old Straight Track“, published in 1925. He suggested that Stonehenge connected with other sites which once served as landmarks or ancient sites in a given alignment between, and across the dense island but since vanished. Other theories surrounding this ancient monument relate to it being a healing ground because archaeologists have discovered skeletons with crude wounds, an indication of rudimentary surgery.

5.4 | Recent Discovery at Stonehenge

In recent years, archaeologists have discovered skeletal remains at Stonehenge which dated to a 500-year period beginning in 3000 B.C.. The discovery suggests that the remains belong to a select group of elite ancient people, hence providing the most solid evidence yet that the site was used as a burial ground. However, this does not preclude Stonehenge as an astrological calendar or as a religious site.

5.5 | The mystery continues…

So, a conclusive answer to the “Who” and “How” are yet to be found and the mystery of Stonehenge continues to puzzle archaeologists, historians and ordinary people alike. One thing for sure, that it will continue to attract thousands especially on another equinox when the sun rises and sets, for one to experience the magical or mystical vibes in this mysterious part of Salisbury, Wiltshire.

View post by National Geographic on 7 Ancient Sites Some People Think Were Built by Aliens

6 | Popularity of Stonehenge

Stonehenge is one of the popular destinations in UK for tourists with almost 1.5 million visitors a year. It is also a popular destination for the thousands who are drawn here during the summer and winter solstices, for whom it symbolises a sacred place. It invokes a great sense of awe and humility. Stonehenge is especially significant for members of the Druid and Pagan community, who perform rituals and celebrations at the summer and winter solstices.

6.1 | Summer and Winter Solstices

Solstices have been celebrated here for centuries. People gather here to welcome the sunrise on the longest day of the year with cheering and revelling. On the summer solstice, the sun rises behind the Heel Stone, the ancient entrance to the stone circle, and sunlight is channelled into the centre of the monument. It is also a day when the English Heritage opens-up the stones to the public.

Revellers at Stonehenge watching the sunrise on summer solstice
Revellers watch the sunrise as they celebrate the pagan festival of Summer Solstice at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, southern England on June 21, 2018. GEOFF CADDICK/AFP/Getty Images
Spiritual revellers celebrate the summer Solstice (mid-summer and longest day) at the ancient stones of Stonehenge, on 21st June 2017, in Wiltshire, England. (Photo by Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images)
Revellers at the summer solstices
Revelers gather for summer solstice celebrations on June 21, 2016, at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England.
 Julio Etchart—Getty Images/Robert Harding Worl

Whatever the true story of this monument, anyone and everyone can enjoy the spectacular sunrise behind these stones at the solstices.

Mystical, Magical – You decide…

When I visited Stonehenge in late summer, it was after a rain and before a storm. I witnessed these mystic clouds, which appeared above one of the Stone Circle, giving it a sense of solitude and magic. I thought the clouds were rather unusual.

It was after a rain and before a storm when I witnessed these mystic clouds, which appeared above the Stone Circle wonders of the world, giving it a sense of solitude and magic.
It was after a rain and before a storm when I witnessed these mystic clouds, which appeared above the Stone Circle wonders of the world, giving it a sense of solitude and magic | Image: georgina_daniel

Just so you know, there are a few recorded experiences where one was overcome with feelings of sadness and loss, while some have felt coldness and isolation. Though none of these can be explained and I did not experience any of these feelings, I was totally amazed at the uniqueness of the structure. I would highly recommend that you visit this sophisticated architecture – a bucket list experience for sure.

There is an Asian proverb that says,

“Better to see something once, then to hear about it a thousand times.”

So, if you haven’t been here, get it onto your itinerary and experience this iconic ancient achievement. Return and share your stories 😊

Travel tips and Practical information on Stonehenge

Travelling to Stonehenge during Covid-19: Safety measures

Update from English Heritage: Mar 2020

  1. For safety reasons, visitor numbers are limited;
  2. Visits MUST be booked in advance. You must have a booking confirmation to show for the chosen arrival time;
  3. Bring a face covering along – you can’t enter the cafe or the shop without face coverings;
  4. Safety and social distancing measures are in place for everyone’s safety;

Opening and Closing times + Tickets

Opening and Closing times:

Summer: 0900 – 2000

Winter: 0930 – 1700

Last entry is 2 hours before closing

Tickets:

Entrance to Stonehenge is through timed tickets. Advance booking is the only way to guarantee entry on the day and time of your choice. So, you Must book these tickets in advance.

By booking in advance you will also benefit from an advanced booking discount.

Entrance ticket to Stonehenge

Become a Member of English Heritage

English Heritage is guardian to some of the nation’s most treasured and iconic buildings and monuments, including Stonehenge, Tintagel Castle, Osborne, Hadrian’s Wall and Dover Castle. They ensure that our heritage is protected for future generations.

From one fee for a whole year, English Heritage members enjoy the following benefits:

  • Unlimited access to over 400 historic properties across the country;
  • A whole year’s worth of fun days out;
  • Free entry for up to six accompanying children per adult member;
  • Free or reduced-price entry to exclusive members’ events giving you access to our experts and a glimpse behind the scenes;
  • Exclusive Members’ Magazine four times a year with in-depth features about our properties and wider work, which also includes a nationwide events guide;
  • free handbook to help plan your next exciting day out;
  • Special offers, discounts and competitions for a great variety of products and experiences; and
  • An English Heritage car sticker.

English Heritage and National Trust members are also required that they book in advance for their FREE visit.

Become a Member of National Heritage today and enjoy all the membership benefits for a whole year!


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How to travel to Stonehenge

Visiting Stonehenge from London | London to Stonehenge | Easy ways to get to Stonehenge from London

When visiting London, you may find Stonehenge makes a nice little day trip from London. You have a choice of either making your way to Salisbury by train or coach OR join one the value for money guided tours. There are a variety of guided tours to select from, from half-a-day to full day tours. There is a half a day tour to Stonehenge only and the full day tours are often combined with a tour to the Historic City of Bath and Windsor Castle. Personally, I prefer the full day tour that combines Stonehenge with Bath and the West Country.

Should you wish to make your way to Stonehenge directly, the following are ways for you to do so.

How to visit Stonehenge from London

1 | From London to Stonehenge by Train

The nearest train station to Stonehenge is Salisbury and the distance from Salisbury to Stonehenge is less than 15 kilometres (9 miles). To get to Stonehenge from London by train will involve two legs of journeys:

Leg 1: From London to Salisbury

Take the train from London Waterloo Station to Salisbury Station on the South Western Railway. There are trains every 30-40 minutes from 6:30 am to 23:40 pm with a slightly altered timetable at weekends. The journey from London to Stonehenge takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes. The price of your train ticket only applies to this part of your journey.

Buy your Train tickets to Salisbury. Book and buy in advance for best price.

Note: There are Additional costs involved for transportation between Salisbury and Stonehenge

Leg 2: From Salisbury to Stonehenge

Upon arriving at Salisbury, there are taxis, private car hire, bus services serving the route to and from Stonehenge as well as the Stonehenge Bus Tour offering a hop on hop off service. Stonehenge Bus Tour operates every 30 minutes or so.

2 | From London to Stonehenge by Coach

If you wish to visit Stonehenge by coach, you need to make your way from Salisbury to Stonehenge as described above.

As for a coach/bus from London to Salisbury, here’s how you can make that journey:

Take the National Express from Victoria coach station to Ringwood. This service runs from 6.30 am to 7.30 pm. There are around 4 coaches running throughout the day, every 3-4 hours.

When you reach Ringwood, you will then need to change at Ringwood and take the X3 to Salisbury. From Salisbury, your onward journey to Stonehenge will be via local buses, taxis, private car hire or the hop on hop off Salisbury Tour Bus.

For return journey to London, the first coach leaves Ringwood at 6.45 am and the last coach leaves at 6.40 pm. There are around 4-5 coaches throughout the day.

The X3 from Ringwood towards Salisbury and return is operated by the Salisbury Reds. This journey takes around 40 minutes. The service runs from 5.57 am to 11.32 pm Monday to Saturday and from 8.43 am until 8.43 pm on Sundays and public holidays. The X3 runs from Salisbury to Ringwood from 6.40 am to 9.45 pm Monday to Saturday and from 9.40 am until 9.40 pm on Sundays and public holidays.


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On a final note…

Whether this monument is mystical or magical, being present among this incredible, ingenious architecture will have you in awe and wonder! It is an experience that I strongly recommend.


Is this post valuable to you in planning your visit to Stonehenge? If so please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you. Scroll all the way down for more ideas and inspiring travel stories. Subscribe to join us at Timeless Travel Steps to receive all the latest news and events. As always, I am contactable for any further info or to design your itinerary for you.

Happy adventures and have a splendid time exploring Stonehenge!

Georgina xx

March 2021, Update

Updated Mar 2021


English Heritage

Visiting Stonehenge during Covid-19: Safety Measures

  1. Visitor numbers are limited;
  2. Visits must be booked online prior to visiting this monument;
  3. Bring a face covering along.

Become a Member of English Heritage and enjoy unlimited visits to Stonehenge and other English Heritage properties:


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Stonehenge a sophisticated architecture
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Stonehenge a sophisticated architecture

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A visit to this awe inspiring sophiticated prehistoric monument will have you captivated in more ways than one. A synopsis on its historical background and travel guide.  including options for day trips from London. #englishheritage #bucketlistexperience #ancientmonument #UNESCOheritage #wonderoftheworld via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/A visit to this awe inspiring sophiticated prehistoric monument will have you captivated in more ways than one. A synopsis on its historical background and travel guide.  including options for day trips from London. #englishheritage #bucketlistexperience #ancientmonument #UNESCOheritage #wonderoftheworld via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

Ultimate 1 day guide to the best of Himeji, Japan

Ultimate 1 day guide to the best of Himeji, Japan

Himeji is a City in the Kansai region of Japan, in the Hyogo Prefecture. It is easily accessible from Kyoto or Osaka (see below) and makes a brilliant day trip. My ultimate 1-day guide to the best of Himeji, Japan covers castles, gardens and temples – just three places which should be in any visit list to this region.

You can find Himeji using the following GPS coordinates.

Himeji

34° 50′ 13.19″ N
134° 41′ 22.79″ E

Himeji Castle - a white castle on top of a hill. It is said to appear like a bird taking flight! Ultimate 1 day guide to the best of Himeji, Japan
Himeji Castle – it is said to appear like a bird taking flight!

What to see and do | Ultimate 1 day guide to the best of Himeji, Japan i

The are three places which you should not miss when visiting Himeji. These are:

  • The popular Himeji Castle;
  • The traditional Edo-style garden called Koko-en;
  • The Engyoji Temple at Mount Shosha;

All within easy reach of each other.

1 | Himeji Castle | Ultimate 1 day guide to the best of Himeji, Japan

Himeji Castle is a hilltop landmark, a 17th century castle. Often called Hakuro-jo or Shirasagi-jo which means “White Egret Castle” because of its white façade and its appearance as a bird taking flight.

Himeji Castle - a white castle on top of a hill. It is said to appear like a bird taking flight!Ultimate 1 day guide to the best of Himeji, Japan
Himeji Castle – it is said to appear like a bird taking flight! | Photo: georgina_daniel

Himeji Castle was one of my highlights in Japan and I hope you will find the following to be as fascinating as it was for me that made my visit very special.

1.1 | Himeji Castle is UNESCO World Heritage Site

Himeji Castle was constructed on an existing fort in 1601 under the order of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Tokugawa Shogunate ruled Japan from 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Ieyasu ruled Japan with a mission to unify  the country. He built one castle in each province and good defences to stave off attacks.

This white castle has not seen a battle since it was built and had stood strong throughout the years, despite the bombings during the World Wars and earthquakes in Japan. The Castle is a National Treasure of Japan and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993. It is one the few original castles from Japan’s feudal period that has moats, passageways and cherry trees.

Himeji Castle has beautiful landscaped gardens and moats that surrounds the Castle. Great photo opportunity here!Ultimate 1 day guide to the best of Himeji, Japan
Himeji Castle has beautiful landscaped gardens and moats that surrounds the Castle. Great photo opportunity here! | Photo: georgina_daniel

The Castle is visible even as you begin your walk from Himeji Station. As you approach the Castle, there are various beautiful spots that make great photo opportunities. When you arrive, enter through the Otemon Gate, purchase your tickets and walk through the passageway to the Main Keep.

Entrance to Himeji Castle Ultimate 1 day guide to the best of Himeji, Japan
Entrance to Himeji Castle is over the bridge and through the Otemon Gate | Photo: georgina_daniel
Winding walled passageways takes you to the main entrance of Himeji Castle.Ultimate 1 day guide to the best of Himeji, Japan
Winding walled passageways takes you to the main entrance of Himeji Castle | Photo: georgina_daniel

1.2 | The Main Keep and Interior of Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle has six floors and the Main Keep of the top floor offers spectacular views of the castle grounds and across the city itself, surrounded by beautiful mountains in the distance.

Spectacular views from the top floor of the Keep of the Castle grounds, view of the City and the mountains beyond.Ultimate 1 day guide to the best of Himeji, Japan
Spectacular view from the top floor of the Keep of the Castle grounds, view of the City and the mountains beyond | Photo: georgina_daniel

The Main Keep is the largest structure of the Castle and there are six floors. The staircases are steep, and it gets steeper and narrower as you climb higher. The climb to the top floor is one long queue, so take your time and try and capture the views of the castle grounds.  Also, take note of the loopholes used by the archers to defend the Castle during attacks.

1.3 | Gardens surrounding Himeji Castle

When you have completed the Main Keep, make time to explore the gardens surrounding the Castle. This vast ground offers great photo opportunities. I visited Himeji Castle towards the end of the cherry blossom season and was fortunate to capture the beauty the season brings to Japan. The sight of cherry trees planted in a long line with pink and white petals against the blue sky is simply awesome! There is an area of cherry blossom trees which serves both as a picnic and resting area offering shade.

Cherry trees in a line surrounds Himeji Castle. Cherry blossom season in Japan
Cherry trees in a line surrounds Himeji Castle | Photo: georgina_daniel
Peaceful and serene - gardens within Himeji Castle grounds.Ultimate 1 day guide to the best of Himeji, Japan
Peaceful and serene – gardens within Himeji Castle grounds | Photo: georgina_daniel

1.4 | Meeting with talented artist at Himeji Castle

During my visit, I was fortunate to meet an incredibly talented gentleman called, Pierre, who is an artist/sketcher. His passion is to sketch every temple, every castle in Japan and China. He had been doing this for five years already. His book of sketches was beautiful, he captured every detail of the architecture and its history seamlessly.

Pierre's sketchbook Himeji Castle. Ultimate 1 day guide to the best of Himeji, Japan
Himeji Castle | Pierre’s Sketch Book – Isn’t this awesome! | Photo: georgina_daniel

Pierre did inform me that he lives in Paris. Unfortunately, Pierre does not have a website or a blogsite where he showcases his work and I want to mention him here, in this blog because his work and his passion should be merited (I do have his consent to mention him in my blog). I hope that one day, Pierre will find himself reading this blog! 😊

1.5 | Travel tips and Useful information on Himeji Castle, Himeji

Useful information:

  • Give yourself anything between 2 to 4 hours;
  • Entrance fee: 1000 Yen
  • Hours: Generally, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Summer (Apr 27 to Aug 31) 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

            Last entry is an hour before closing. As well, the Main Keep is not wheelchair accessible.

1.6 | Getting to Himeji Castle from Himeji Station

Take the North exit at Himeji Station. It is about 1km. It is not far at all when you walk along the Otemae-dori Street, the shops are a good distraction and the sight of the Castle is straight ahead of you.

After visiting Himeji Castle, you may wish to take a break or have a picnic under the cherry blossom tree before making your way to Koko-en Garden.

2 | Koko-en Garden

Koko-en Garden is 3.5 hectares, of traditional Edo-style garden just next to Himeji Castle. It is laid out in nine-themed sections, with water features, pagodas and step-stones projecting tranquillity. You can take as long as you like here and can take up to 2 hours  or more by the time you walk around all nine gardens. It took me almost 3 hours.

Koko-en at Himeji - There are nine gardens here with individual themes. Ultimate 1 day guide to the best of Himeji, Japan
Koko-en at Himeji – There are nine gardens here with individual themes and it is really worthwhile spending some time here | Photo: georgina_daniel

3 | Engyoji Temple

To the Northwest of Himeji City Centre, lies Mount Shosha which is home to Engyoji Temple. This Buddhist Temple is a Temple of the Tendai Sect and was founded by Shoku Shomin in 966. The well-preserved wooden buildings of Engyoji Temple and its surrounds are over a 1000 years old and has been used as a location for films such as “The Last Samurai” starred by Tom Cruise.

3.1 | Travel tips and Useful information on Engyoji Temple, Himeji

Useful information:

  • Entrance is 500 Yen
  • Opens 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Getting to Engyoji Temple:

  • From Himeji Station, take the bus for Mt Shosha Ropeway and get off at the last stop – takes approximately 25 minutes;
  • Take the cable car to the top of Mt Shosha – takes approximately 5 minutes;
  • The Mountain Pass: No-mo (the gate of Engyoji Temple) and Mani-den (the main temple)

It’s a 15 to 20 minute, walk from the station at the top of Mt Shosha to Mani-den. Along the way, you can see 33 Kannon statues.

There is a bus service from the entrance to Mani-den. A round trip costs 500 Yen

Travel tips and Useful information on Ultimate 1 day guide to the best of Himeji, Japan

How to get to Himeji

Himeji is easily accessible from Kyoto and Osaka

From Kyoto:

  • Shinkansen: Kyoto and Himeji are connected via the JR Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen;
  • Hikari Shinkansen-55 minutes journey (Japan Rail Pass is valid)
  • Nozomi trains-45 minutes journey (Japan Rail Pass cannot be used)
  • JR Special Rapid Train: Shin-kaisoku takes 90 minutes.

From Osaka:

  • Shinkansen: Hikari, Sakura or Kodama trains – 40 minutes journey (Japan Rail Pass is valid);
  • JR Special Rapid Train: One hour journey.

How to move around Japan | Transportation

Enjoy unlimited travel around Japan with the JR Full Rail System Pass on all JR lines and bullet trains except Mizuho and Nozomi. You can purchase the Rail Pass to suit the duration of your travel – 7, 14 or 21 days and have it delivered to your home address well before you board your flight to Japan. Take a look here.

Planning a trip to Japan

If you are planning a trip to Japan, how about checking out the following services to enhance your travel experiences? I use them when planning my own travels and I am sure you will find them useful too.

Travel resources at a Glance

Planning your dream vacation? Excellent! Here are all the Resources and Practical information you need for your self-guided or guided vacation.

Legal entry/Tourist travel Visa

Check Visa requirements with iVisa, a leading independent company in the travel documentation industry.

Flights

I have a few choices. Search Google flights because they offer very competitive prices. You could also try Opodo for cheap airfares. For special experiences, go to On the Beach and Jet2Holidays. My all time favourite has been Qatar Airways for long-haul flights for the comfort and their first-class service. I use British Airways as well. For all other global deals >> kiwi.com

Accommodations

My favourite website for booking hotels is booking.com – I love their flexible cancellation policy which means I’m covered till the last minute. I also like that the totals show up for the whole stay so it helps me budget better. Other favourites of mine are Millennium & Copthorne Group of Hotels and Resorts for their consistent high quality accommodations and service. You could also take a look at the Radisson Hotels chain that caters for all budget. For accommodations in UK that has a personal touch and affordable luxury, stay at Hotel du Vin.

Unique experiences & tours

My all time go to resource for unique experiences and tours is Get your Guide. I am also a fan of Viator for their special deals. You shall find suggestions on recommended tours sprinkled throughout TTS on each experience I write about.

Travel insurance

Never travel without travel insurance and never overpay for travel insurance! I use and recommend World Nomads for your travel insurance needs. They even insure on the go. Before purchasing any any travel policy, read through the terms to ensure that the plan is right for you and your trip.

Travel essentials

Never travel without these! I use and fully endorse all the products on this page but especially: High powered wireless power bank, Universal travel adapter and unlimited portable pocket wifi.

You may also be interested in reading about my experiences in Kyoto – the Top 5 Must See in Kyoto and the Ultimate 2 Kyoto Markets which you should not miss. As well, you may also want to look-up my itinerary on Hiroshima and how best to see Tokyo in 3 Days.


Is this post valuable to you in planning your visits to Himeji ? If so, please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you.

Have a great time discovering Japan.

Georgina xx

Updated February, 2021


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This iconic castle in Himeji, built in 17th century, aka "bird taking flight" will impress any visitor here with its unique architecture and white facade. Learn more from the Ultimate 1 day guide to the best of Himeji, Japan via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/This iconic castle in Himeji, built in 17th century, aka "bird taking flight" will impress any visitor here with its unique architecture and white facade. Learn more from the Ultimate 1 day guide to the best of Himeji, Japan via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/