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Himeji Castle

Also known as Shirasagijo - the White Heron Castle.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.118 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview :  Himeji-jo is a hilltop castle,as opposed to a flatland or mountain complex,and comprises of 83 wooden buildings that are recognised as... more »

Tips:  From April 2010 through to March 2014, Himeji-jo will be going through some major renovation work on the castle keep's roof and walls.... more »

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Points of Interest

No matter whereabouts in Japan you are coming-from, you can get to Himeji-eki (station). The station is on the J.R. Main Line and is accessible from all major cities. The J.R. Shinkansen (Bullet Train) also stops here.There are plenty of shops to purchase food & drink for your picnic at Himeji-jo koen (park). Upon exiting the station there are... More

2. Himeji Castle, overlooking moat.

This will be your first full view of the castle, before entering the main entrance. Also at this spot, there are likely to be many vendors selling local and national food.

3. Hishi Gate.

After your 5-minute walk from the main entrance, you have arrived at the Hishi Gate, the main entrance to Himeji-jo. You have paid your admittance fee and are now about to embark on your experience.Enjoy the experience.

4. The To-no-ni Gate.

The ceiling, of the Ni Gate, is filled with murder holes for defenders to attack enemies trying the breach the castle.

5. Aburakabe, or Oil Wall.

There are some conflicting theories about when,why and how this wall was built but it is still an anomaly.The "Tsuijibei" type walls are very strong, time-consuming and labour intensive to build.So it doesn't make sense why this wall was build in this location of the castle.

6. To-no-yon Gate.

This is the "Karametemon" Gate, or rear-gate of the castle.

7. Nishinomaru Bailey.

These "Yagura" (tower or turrent)were the living-quarters for the maidservants of Princess Sen, the granddaughter of Tokugawa Ieyasu.

8. The Western Enclosure.

You can also see the "Mizukuni Moat" and "Hishi Gate" from this vantage point.

9. Himeji-jo during

Any time of year is a good time to visit Himeji-jo, but, if you want my recommendation, Spring, especially the Sakura are in full bloom.

10. Himeji-jo in Autumn.

Then there is Autumn, with all the many colours that add to the beauty of this time of year.

11. Himeji-jo at Sunset & Dusk.

If you are fortunate to be here, when the conditions are favourable, this will be the result.

12. Himeji-jo in Winter.

Winter, Spring, Autumn, at sunset, at night. Whatever the time-of-year, you have to agree, it is a very-beautiful sight.