Himeji Castle (姫路城, Himejijō) is widely considered Japan's most spectacular castle. Unlike many other Japanese castles, Himeji Castle was never destroyed in wars, earthquakes or fires and survives in its original form. It is both a national treasure and a world heritage site. The castle recently underwent extensive renovation works over several years and was fully re-opened to the public in March 2015.
In the 14th century, a fort was first built on the current castle site. Over the centuries, the various clans, who ruled over the region, gradually enlarged it. The castle complex, as it survives today, was completed in 1609. The well defended castle and its wooden interior are fascinating, and the castle's sight is spectacular, especially during the short and crowded cherry blossom season, that usually takes place in early April.
From Himeji Station, the castle can be reached in a 15-20 minute walk or 5 minute bus or taxi ride along the broad Otemae-dori Street, which leads straight from the station to the castle.
information source: japan-guide.com
Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (until 18:00 from late April through August)
1000 yen (castle only)
1040 yen (castle and nearby Kokoen Garden)
Address: 68, Honmachi, Himeji-shi, Hyogo
Airport: Itami Airport
December 29 and 30