Himeji Castle is located about 50 miles outside of Osaka and is an easy day trip from the city. By train, it's about an hour and a half and $20 and there are plenty of options for getting there and back at all hours except early morning. We arrived after the peak bloom when most of the petals had already fallen, but the castle is worth a visit anytime. Unlike many castles in Japan which have succumb to fire or destruction by war, this is a 400 year old original. It's the quintessential Japanese castle.