Himeji Central Park

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Himeji, located approx 1 and a half hours from Hiroshima by slow (Kodama) bullet train, is home to Himeji Central Park (姫路セントラルパーク) – one part amusement park, one part safari. Spent a whole day enjoying the unusual mix of Japanese Golden week holiday madness and African safari all in the one place.

Weather was perfect if not a little warm. The amusement park had ample number of rides ranging from a tame carousel, numerous roller coasters and a bungy jump platform (wasn’t that game). “Imo Rinse” was about as wild as it got for me.

Tiger Bus
After a short drive, leaving the fun and games behind aboard the Tiger Bus (トラバス), will see you arriving at the safari park side. Passing through the Jurassic Park style gates, the double layered glass serves as a window to the African countryside. Although praying for David Attenborough style cheetahs chasing down deer action shots, as expected the cats were all having their siestas. All the other beasts put on a good show, coming up to the cars (public entry is also available for private vehicles – that do not make too much noise), eating, frolicking, defacating (elephants did in full view) and just generally DOING SOMETHING other than sleeping.

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Hippos
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(Will work out a better way to present these photos in the not too distant future).

Then onto the “Walking Safari” where all the smaller animals are exhibited. There is a section with kangaroos, wallabies and emus. This section also presented opportunities for feeding – including the elephants, bears and giraffe.

Elephant feedingBearGirrafe

All in all a good day out.

It also happened to be the first outing of my my new camera. Gradually worked out some settings so shots got better throughout the day. Generally, 90% of the shots were over exposed. Thank God for photo editors for making these shots presentable. Those of you with a keen eye will see the ones that have been tweaked (a lot!). I’ll be better prepared for next time!

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