Himeji Castle Profile Renewed

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Himeji Castle Profile Renewed


I've completely renovated the Himeji Castle profile page with over 300 photos divided into nine sub-albums. This was actually a massive undertaking that involved organizing and selecting photos from 6 visits over as many years. I also realized that it rains about half the time that I go to Himeji, so you may not want to go with me !


Himeji Castle / 姫路城


I may be biased, but Himeji Castle is probably the most amazing place you could visit in Japan. There are some beautiful temples out there too but the sheer size of the main keep at Himeji Castle and the fact that you can walk around unhindered inside of it cannot be experienced elsewhere. Combined with the various types of gates and walls, it really is like stepping back in time. It can be very crowded however and the website provides some information about wait times to enter the main keep. If possible, try to visit on weekdays and plan to arrive when it opens. Most of the pictures you see in these albums were taken on weekdays in the winter, so it is possible to get good photos if you have some freedom with timing.

Just before the ticket counter, off to your left, is an administration office where you may be able to connect with a volunteer English guide to tour the castle too. They are very knowledgeable and do great tours helping to make sure you don't miss anything important.

I've been to Himeji Castle 11 times in about 20 years, but there are still things I've missed or forgotten to look for in the excitement of this great castle. If you have time, the Koko-en gardens are a worthy visit. You can also walk the outer moats around the castle to see more interesting angles of the castle and the ruins of other gates and fortifications. Himeji is a nice town and hotels are less expensive than Kyoto/Osaka. If you spend a night here you can see more of the sites. The town also has a good bicycle rental system if you want to visit the castle and outlying areas efficiently.

Himeji Castle is too vast with too many great things to show, so I've split the photos into the following albums. I get a lot of requests for more photos of what the interior looks like so I've put a lot of photos into those albums. The photos shown after the map below are just a few photos of the main keep that you can see from the main compounds and three panorama photos from the Egret Himeji. Please see these albums for more details:

  • Main Compounds: Honmaru, Nishi-no-maru, Ninomaru and parts of the San-no-maru compounds. These are the areas most visitors will see if you follow the standard routes around the park.
  • Outer Ruins: Areas mostly outside the inner moat. Not typically visited by most tourists but if you walk the outside of the castle you'll see these sites. There are a lot of really interesting stone walls around the former gates.
  • Main Keep from a distance: Otokoyama, Keifukuji and the Egret Himeji - places around town where you can get good unobstructed views of the castle from a distance
  • Kokoen Gardens: Japanese Gardens built just outside the castle on former samurai residence grounds. You can see some reconstructed gates and walls representative of samurai quarters.
  • Heisei Restoration: A few photos from a 2012 trip to see the progress on the restoration of the main keep.
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