Visit The Most Radiant Castle in Japan
Aside from Japan being deeply rooted from its roots as seen in a very advanced city brimming with its past’ story, almost every prefecture and town has its own elegant castle surrounded with lavish gardens. The presence of castle and its features also signifies the power of that place during the old age.
Here’s another world heritage site from Hyogo side of Japan. Three distinct facts about this castle; first, it is the first World Cultural Heritage site declared in Japan on December 1993 together with Horyu-ji in Nara. Second; its unique prototypical structure mentioned for its advanced defensive system. And lastly, it is the only castle with dazzling white exterior, thus its other name Hakuro-jō or Shirasagi-jō (“White Egret Castle” or “White Heron Castle”) exists.
I have been to different castles in Japan not only to see its beauty but also to grasp how it was during the time when these castles were functioning as haven of the powerful rulers safeguarded by its commandos. I was surprised as to how intricate the interior fixtures were. The stairs were challenging, but as I hustled myself to the organized crowd going up and down the steep and slippery stairs I felt I was drawn into a deep dream rushing up stairs to peep on those tiny windows as enemies are getting closer the “shiro” (castle).
Short clip of Himeji
HOW TO GET THERE
By Train (JR)
→JR Sanyo Shinkansen Line (30 minutes from Shinosaka Station)
→JR Kobe Line Special rapid service bound for Himeji ( approx. 1 hour from Osaka; 40 minutes from Sannomiya Kobe)
→JR Sanyo Shinkansen Line or local train on the Sanyo Line Himeji bound (approx. 20 minutes from Okayama by Shinkansen; 1 hour and 25 minutes by local line)
By Private Sanyo railway lines
→Take the Sanyo Himeji-bound train on the Hanshin Line and the Sanyo Line (1 hour and 30 minutes by express service from Hanshin Umeda and 1 hour from Hanshin Sannomiya.)
From JR Himeji Station /Sanyo Himeji Station
Take a Shinki bus at the North Exit of Himeji Station and get off at Otemon-mae. (5 minute walk to Himeji castle)
Or 20-minute walk from JR Himeji and Sanyo Himeji stations.
Chugoku Expressway: From Tohori Ramp via Bantan Express way (About 15min)
Sanyo Expressway: From Hanada IC via Bantan Expressway (About 15 min)
From Himeji Nishi IC (About 25min)Hanshin Expressway
From Chuji Ramp via Himeji Bypass (About 15 min)
09:00 ～ 17:00
*might extend depending on season
Entry (tickets are sold until) until 14:00 only
- Remove your shoes/ sandals at the area where it is said so. Plastic bags are provided so you can carry your shoes as you go around the castle (If you don’t like walking barefooted bring your own socks)
- Some areas have ‘NO PHOTO/VIDEO` signs. RESPECT
- There is another area where you will be asked to wear the slipper they provided for the visitors. The slippers may not be enough if there are a lot of visitors.
- Walk in line if there are many guests. Do not force yourself to get in first as everyone will have enough time to go around the castle and stay inside as long as you want until the closing time.
- Do not wear your personal shoes/ slipper unless you haven’t reached the exit door. Return the plastic bag to the staff;
- Do not leave you garbage anywhere, keep your trash on your pocket/ bag or wait till you see garbage bins. TAKE NOTE: do not throw other trash other than cans or bins on the garbage bins provided near the vending machines unless there is a specific bin for other garbages.
- Capturing the castles facade using drone is strictly PROHIBITED
Check more on this link : HIMEJI CASTLE (English translation available)