For the first time in 3+ years, I did not go back to the States during the winter break. The reason why is because I was tired of going back home during the arctic tundra that is known as winter in Minnesota. I love seeing my friends and family but I hated the fact that I could never step outside for more than a few minutes. I missed the outdoor activities. Therefore, I’m going back in the summer for once. However, the majority of people go back home during the winter which left me wondering how lonely winter break was going to be.
To counter my potential boredom/loneliness, I planned out a few solo day trips throughout the break. My first trip was to Hikone, the city known for Hikone Castle. I briefly saw Hikone castle during my school trip a little over a year ago but it was only a speck in the distance. Being a fan of castles, I decided to check it out more up and close.
I was lucky that the weather was gorgeous. It barely felt like winter and I really didn’t need my winter coat. Hikone itself is very small and home-y but I didn’t mind that at all. The castle grounds are fairly large and the castle itself was impressive. I did like how the interior was still in its original form compared to a lot of castles nowadays that have museums inside. Fun fact: there are only 12 castles that are still in its original form and 4 that are considered national treasures. Hikone Castle fits in both of these categories.
After the castle, I walked around the streets and enjoyed the walk down the more traditional section which they nickname Castle Road due to its proximity of the castle grounds.
Despite it being a brief visit, Hikone was a nice pit stop to my days of lounging around, doing nothing. It’s been awhile since I had done a solo trip and it was a good day trip. If you’re a fan of castles, then by all means, stop on by!