If you take a day trip from Kyoto or Osaka, make it Himeji. The famous many-tiered white castle at Himeji is acclaimed as Japan’s most beautiful and complete historic citadel.
Known as the White Egret, the hilltop castle was built in 1580. The main features are its five-story central tower and surrounding moats, walls and pagodas. From its mountain-top eerie, the castle appears to float on a sea of Japanese pine trees.
Take an organized tour to discover the castle’s history and many nuances, such as the many openings in the defensive walls that were used for pouring boiling oil onto intruders.The castle grounds are flanked by the ponds and tea rooms of Koko-en Gardens, a welcome retreat for a stroll or lunchtime stop.
Himeji Castle recently underwent a full renovation and reopened to the public in March 2015.
Himeji is around 50 km (31 mi) west of Kyoto. To get here, either take an organized tour or jump on a shinkansen bullet train (under an hour) or slower JR Tokaido train (a bit more than 1.5 hours).
Tours & Tickets
This full-day walking tour takes you to one of Japan’s national treasures: the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Himeji Castle. Leave by rail from Osaka for a visit ... Read more
Location: Osaka, Japan
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)
Embark on a full-day walking tour to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Himeji Castle. You'll take public transportation from Kyoto to Hyogo with a guide to the ... Read more
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)