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Exploring Japan's Castles: Himeji Castle

November 12, 2023

Exploring Japan's Castles: Himeji Castle

Japan is home to a multitude of beautiful castles that continue to captivate history enthusiasts worldwide.
While Japan boasts renowned castles like the "Top 100 Castles in Japan" and the "Three Great Castles," each castle has its unique location and historical background, leading to diverse appearances and atmospheres.

Among them, the number one castle that steals the hearts of visitors from both within Japan and beyond is Himeji Castle.

Located just a 15-minute walk from JR Himeji Station, Himeji Castle is a historic castle registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This early modern castle was built on Himeyama Hill, standing at an elevation of approximately 46 meters and is famously known as the "White Heron Castle" due to its striking white plaster-covered walls. It attracts a multitude of tourists daily, not only from within the country but also from overseas, and its allure is just as enchanting during the day as it is at night when it's illuminated.

A Glimpse into Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle is a legendary fortress that has withstood the test of time for over 400 years, surviving wars and natural disasters while preserving its original appearance. In 1951, its main tower complex was designated a National Treasure, and in 1993, it became Japan's first entry on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list.

This castle is one of only 12 surviving pre-Edo era towers with a main tower complex in Japan. It is particularly famous for its multi-layered main tower complex, consisting of the main keep, small keep, and various turrets, with eight of these buildings designated as National Treasures. Within the castle grounds, visitors can experience the history using the Himeji Castle Great Discovery app, which provides augmented reality (AR) recreations of the lives of the people living there during that era.

The vast number of preserved buildings and historical remnants within Himeji Castle are a testament to its immense charm, and a thorough exploration can easily fill an entire day. We strongly recommend taking the time to savor the rich history and breathtaking beauty of this remarkable castle.

Perfect for day trips

From JR Himeji Station, you can also reach the castle by bus, but it's only about a 15-minute walk from Himeji Station's north exit. The walk offers an enjoyable opportunity to gradually approach the castle while taking in the view.

JR Himeji Station is conveniently located just two stations away from Shin-Osaka on the Shinkansen route, and three stations away from Kyoto.
This means that for travelers staying in Osaka or Kyoto, Himeji is an ideal day trip destination, with a journey taking as little as 40-45 minutes.

Even if you don't plan to get off at Himeji, be sure to savor its beauty from the Shinkansen. When traveling on the Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka to Hakata, you can catch a glimpse of the castle as you pass Himeji Station. It's visible on the north side (to your right if you're traveling from Shin-Osaka), so we recommend sitting in the E seat (or D seat if you're in the Green Car).

Opening Hours

Himeji Castle's opening hours vary depending on the season.
During the summer (April 27th to August 31st), it is open from 9 AM to 5 PM, with the last admission at 4 PM.
In other seasons (September 1st to April 26th), it opens from 9 AM to 6 PM, with the last admission at 5 PM.
It is closed on December 29th and 30th.

For the latest information and admission fees, please refer to the official website.

The beauty of it stands out even more during the cherry blossom season.

Book Your Shinkansen Ticket to Himeji with us!

For the swiftest route from Shin-Osaka or Kyoto to Himeji, consider taking the Shinkansen.

You can conveniently purchase your Shinkansen tickets for travel between Shin-Osaka/Kyoto and Himeji on our website. Let's easily enjoy the beauty of Himeji Castle, proudly standing under the blue sky, by taking the Shinkansen!

Shinkansen Ticket Online Booking : Shin-Osaka to Himeji

Shinkansen Ticket Online Booking : Himeji to Shin-Osaka

Shinkansen Ticket Online Booking : Kyoto to Himeji

Shinkansen Ticket Online Booking : Himeji to Kyoto