Himeji (Japan) and the White Heron Castle (Himeji Castle)
Himeji is a city in Japan, territorially between Kyoto and Hiroshima. It is famous for the eponymous attraction – Himeji Castle or White Heron Castle.
Himeji Castle is a national treasure of Japan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During sakura blossom, the park around the castle attracts thousands of tourists from Japan and the whole world.
What to see in Himeji
No. 1. The heron castle is the main attraction of the city. This is one of the oldest castles in Japan (construction began in the mid-14th century). The castle complex includes 83 buildings, almost all of them are wooden. The main building was built on a high hill, which ensured its impregnability.
Entrance to the park is free. It is from here that the best views of the fortress open. You can enter the courtyard and the castle itself for 1000 yen. But there can be a huge queue at the entrance, especially in the high season, be prepared for this.
Opening hours of the castle: from 9:00 to 18:00 (in winter until 17:00)
Castle website: http://www.city.himeji.lg.jp/guide/castle/
No. 2. Koko-en Garden is a traditional Japanese garden adjacent to the castle. The garden was built relatively recently – only in 1992. Consists of 9 separate kindergartens in different styles:
- Garden of the Lord’s residence with a waterfall
- Tea Garden with Tea House
- Pine tree garden
- Bamboo garden
- Flower garden
Very nice place I recommend.
You can visit it separately from visiting the Himeji fortress. Entrance costs 300 yen (castle + garden = 1040 yen).
Opening hours: from 9:00 to 18:00
No. 3. Himeji Central Park. A theme park near the city center. You watch all the details about the park on the official website http://www.central-park.co.jp/en/
Number 4. Engyo-ji (Engyo-dzt or West Hiei Mountain) is a temple complex founded in 966. Located on Mount Shёsya, you can get there by cable car. The place is known including the fact that they shot scenes of the film “The Last Samurai”
Less popular sights of Himeji are: Himeji Zoo (site), Museum of Local Lore in Himeji (site), Art Museum, Aquarium, etc.
How to get to Himeji
Getting to Himeji is equally easy from Kyoto (1-1.5 hours), Osaka (40-60 minutes), Kobe (15-40 minutes) and Hiroshima (1 hour). Make it better by train. Get off at Himeji Station. If you purchased a JR Pass (buy online), then traveling on any train will be free. If there is no travel card, then choose – longer and cheaper on a regular train, or faster and more expensive on a high-speed shinkansen.
From Himeji station to the castle about 15 minutes on foot. You can also take a bus or taxi.
Hotels in Himeji
If you decide to stay in Himeji for the night, do not forget to book the hotel in advance. Here is a small selection of booking
That’s all. If you have additions or questions, please leave comments.
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