Himeji Castle 姫路城
|Alternate Name||Shirasagi-jo (White Heron castle)|
|Structure||5 levels, 6 stories|
|Admin's Rating||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Historical Site||Special Historic Site|
|Historical Value||Top 100 Castles, National Treasures, Important Cultural Properties, UNESCO World Heritage Site|
Ha Watariyagura, Ni Watariyagura, main tenshu, East Kotenshu, I Watariyagura, Ro Watariyagura, Inui Kotenshu, West Kotenshu, Ha Watariyagura, Ni Watariyagura
Important Cultural Properties:
I Watariyagura, Ho Yagura, He Watariyagura, Obi Yagura, Ikaku Yagura, Chi Yagura, Ri Watariyagura; (1st & 2nd sections), Nu Gate, Kesho Yagura, Ka Watariyagura, Nu Yagura, Hishi gate, To Yagura, Orimawari Yagura, Taiko Yagura, Yo Watariyagura, Ru Yagura, Ta Watariyagura, Wo Yagura, Re Watariyagura, Wa Yagura, I Gate, Ha Gate, Ni Gate, He Gate, To no Ichi Gate, To no Ni Gate, Chi Gate, Ri Gate, Mizu no Ichi gate, Bizen Gate, To no Yon Gate East Wall, To no Yon Gate West Wall, To no Ni Gate East Wall, He Gate East Wall, He Gate West Wall, Mizu no Ichi Gate North Tsuiji Wall, Mizu no Ichi Gate West Wall, Ni Yagura South Wall, Mizu no Go Gate South Wall, I Watariyagura South wall, Ni Gate Upper East Wall, Ni Gate Lower East Wall, Ro Yagura East Wall, Ro Yagura West Wall, Ha Gate East Wall, Ha Gate West Wall, Ha Gate South Wall, Ro Gate East Wall, Ro Gate Southwest Wall, Kesho Yagura South Wall, Wa Yagura East Wall, Ka Yagura North Wall, Hishi Gate West Wall, Hishi Gate South Wall, Hishi Gate East Wall, I Gate East Wall, Taiko Yagura South Wall, Taiko Yagura North Wall, Obikuruwa North Wall, Ikaku Yagura South Wall, To Yagura South Wall, Ro Watariyagura, Obikuruwa Yagura, Ro Yagura, Ni Yagura, Ka Yagura, Ro Gate, To no Yon Gate, Mizu no Ni Gate
|Location||Himeji, Hyogo prefecture|
|Access||Himeji Station (Sanyo Honsen/Shinkansen), walk 15 minutes.|
|Website||Himeji City Website|
|Visited||February 1996; December 1997; August 1998; March 21, 2004; November 15, 2009|
|Notes||Himeji Castle is the most spectacular example of a Japanese castle in existence. The beauty of the main keep is unrivalled throughout Japan and the extent of surviving structures is amazing. Even for someone who is not particularly interested in castles or history a trip to Himeji-jo is fascinating. This can be a half day side trip on the way to Hiroshima or a short day trip from Osaka or Kyoto.|
Toyotomi Hideyoshi first built a small castle on this site for his
campaigns in western Japan from 1577-1580. You can still see some of the remnants of
Hideyoshi's castle in Himeji castle as Ikeda incoporated some of the stone walls
into his castle. Ikeda Terumasa, an ally of Tokugawa Ieyasu at the Battle of
Sekigahara, was awarded this province (Harima) for his alliance during the war.
Ikeda Terumasa built the main keep of Himeji-jo and erected the castle as it is known
today. Himeji-jo's nickname Shirasagi-jo means "White Heron
Castle" because the main keep with its three smaller towers resembles a
white heron. Himeji-jo was granted "World Heritage" status by
UNESCO in 1993.
Himeji Castle RestorationIf you are thinking about visiting Himeji Castle in the next couple of years, please be aware that they will be conducting restoration on the main keep from October 2009 until 2014. See the 2 English PDFs linked below for more details.
Also please view the report of my visit to see the restoration efforts. Himeji Castle Restoration in March 2012
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Himeji, Hyogo prefecture