Your day starts with a short walk to Kyoto Station after meeting your guide at the New Miyako Hotel. Board the JR Shinkansen in the non-reserved section and relax on the scenic 1-hour journey to Himeji.
When you arrive, your guide leads you to Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site that attracts more visitors that any other castle in Japan. The impressively fortified 5-story complex features architectural elements on its exterior that resemble a heron taking flight, giving the castle another name: Shirasagi Castle (White Heron Castle). See the interior and exterior components of the magnificent site with your guide, who shares fascinating details about the 14th-century castle and feudal times in Japan.
Then enjoy a lunch buffet that features both Japanese and Western cuisines.
After lunch, ride the JR Special Rapid Service or Rapid Service (non-reserved seat) from Himeji to Maiko Station. From there, an easy five-minute walk takes you to Akashi Kaikyo Bridge. Stop into the Bridge Exhibition Center to learn about the world's longest suspension bridge, which spans 12,828 feet (3,910 meters) between the city of Kobe and Awaji-shima Island. Then see more from the Maiko Marine Promenade, an observation walkway located under the roadway and 154 feet (47 meters) above the waters of Akashi Strait. The enclosed walkway has some sections with glass flooring that gives views of the sea below.
Your tour at Kyoto Station when you return by train in the early evening.