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Himeji Castle, Himeji

A World Heritage Site, Himeji Castle represents the largest structure of its kind in Japan. Constructed in the 14th century, the grandiose castle underwent several major reconstructions since then, surviving two scheduled demolitions, the 1945 bombings, and an earthquake. Admire the imposing structure from the outside, or roam the well-kept interior and labyrinthine garden paths. Put Himeji Castle into our Himeji road trip planner and find out what's close by, where to stay, and where to head next.
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Himeji Castle Reviews
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  • The Lonely Planet guide says that this is the finest castle in all of Japan, and visiting it is a “must”. I couldn’t agree more. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. The castle recently went through a 6 yea...  more »
  • We were in Himeji during sakura (cherry blossom) season and we read that the castle gets overcrowded. So we rearranged our plans to arrive at the castle as soon as it opened. Good call, and I'd highly...  more »
  • Very beautiful and interesting, was there in March 2018 when the cherry blossom was in full swing, certainly worth a visit.
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  • Himeji castle is one of the few castles untouched by war. It has been maintained and restored since the early 1900s and is one of the largest castles. You can roam the inner grounds and the main building for 1000¥, which I would highly recommend. Inside you can see how the castle was designed and at the 6th story, get a great view of the town. You can also walk around the West Bailey side building and the gardens for a relaxing stroll.
  • I visited when it was under renewal and it was quite amazing to see the traditional craftsmanship in progress and the sheer magnitude of the work. Visiting again after the renewal is complete, it’s a truly impressive and beautiful sight. It was a great experience to climb up through the castle keep and experience the grandeur and deep history that is evident in the stones, timbers and textures of the place. With a bit of imagination it transports you into another time.
  • Excellent. Very large, tall standing structure with large grounds and a maze of gates and paths meant to confuse attackers. Was restored a few times but lots of it is very old. Tickets about $10. Took quite a while to see the entire castle. Top floor was extremely busy on a Sunday early afternoon. Steps inside are pretty hardcore. No elevators. Don't recommend flip-flops. Inside the castle are a few exhibits but not meant as an expansive museum like Osaka Castle for example.
  • We visited Himeji Castle on a cloudy spring morning. It was awe inspiring to see the largest and finest surviving castle (of original architecture) in Japan. The main keep is built on a large hill, at the center of a sprawling and highly defensible castle grounds, and is 6 stories high. We were lucky to beat the rain (it came in heavy as we left) and be able to explore it thoroughly on a less crowded day.
  • Really enjoyed and thought it was worth the money. Visiting in early March virtually no lines at all. There was a free tour guide (English), I'm glad I went a long with him, he was able to provide a lot more information than I think was on the signs. If you go, I would definitely recommend getting a guide (I found a company that does it but they said it takes a few days to schedule and I didn't plan for that). You'll learn a lot more because yes the inside is empty. If you go, wear shoes with socks and I would skip the slippers they offer--I thought they were more trouble than they were worth, especially on the shallow steps. Also, I saw questions elsewhere about being able to turn around if you couldn't climb to the top. They had clear paths set out, so you would have to "jump" a barrier.
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