Himeji Castle - Hyogo

Located in Himeji City in Hyogo Prefecture in Japan, Himeji Castle (姫路城 Himeji-jō)  is the largest castle in Japan. Its complex is comprised of 63 buildings that were built on top of Himeyama Hill.

Himeji Castle (姫路城)

Himeji Castle History

Himeji Castle is also called Hakuro-jo (White Egret Castle) or Shirasagi-jo (White Heron Castle) because of its brilliant white exterior and supposed resemblance to a bird taking flight. The first structure built on top of Himeyama Hill was a fort built by Akamatsu Nornimura in 1333. In 1346, the fort was dismantled and rebuilt as Himeyama Castle

Himeji Castle - Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture

A stone maker outside the Himeji Castle vicinity

After two centuries, the castle was remodeled and renamed Himeji Castle. In 1581, the castle was significantly remodeled and the three-story keep was added under the instructions of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. In 1600, Tokugawa Ieyasu awarded the castle to Ikeda Terumasa for his help in the Battle of Sekigahara. Ikeda then rebuilt the castle from 1601 to 1609, expanding it into a large castle complex. From 1617 to 1618 several buildings were later added under the command of Honda Tadamasa.

The Himeji Castle UNESCO Heritage Site Marker

The Backpack Adventures visits Himeji Castle

The "rock garden" outside the castle

Running going to the castle from its wide lawn.

Himeji Castle's Otemon gate descriptor

You have to visit Himeji Castle when you go to Japan!

Himeji Castle luckily survived and remained intact even after the bombing of Himeji during World War 2 and the Great Hanshin earthquake in 1995. In 1993, Himeji Castle was registered as one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Japan.

Himeji Castle from another angle

We visited Himeji Castle on our 24th day in Japan. It was our last stop during our Hyogo Prefecture trip. It was during this trip that my family got to experience riding a Shinkansen. We rode the train from Shin-Kobe Station in Kobe City. From the station in Himeji, we could already see the castle. We rode a taxi to reach the castle grounds and luckily we managed to get a last-minute pass to go around the castle complex. 

Check out the 2015 Admission Fee for Himeji Castle!

The pathway to the castle keep.

What to see in Himeji Castle:

Himeji Castle map

Gate going in the Ro no Gate of Himeji castle

Wall with information about the former owners of the castle

Lots of historical antique stuff

Mannequins playing cards inside of of the rooms

Example of roof decorations per period

You'd remove your shoes when you pass through this corridor

The Okiku Well

Some stone coffins

Himeji Castle's Nu no gate

Checking out the Himeji Castle archer peepholes

Sadly, when we visited a part of Himeji Castle was still being renovated. I managed to get inside the corridor and see the numerous displays and artifacts. I have to thank my godfather, Mr. Toshi for this trip though because he was the one who ran so that we could get the last-minute tickets.

Team Nicerio with the iconic Himeji Castle as our backdrop

Himeji Castle Admission Fee:


To enter Himeji Castle keep, adults need to pay 1000 yen while students will only pay 300 yen.

Himeji Castle Opening Hours:

Himeji Castle is open from 9PM to 4PM every day.

Why visit Himeji Castle?

Himeji Castle remains to be one of the most impressive, if not the most impressive, among all castles in Japan. It's also one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites that you should visit when in the Kansai Region. The photos on the internet, no matter how good it was composed, do not show the real beauty of Himeji Castle which you'd only experience when you see it with your own eyes.

Getting to Himeji Castle:

From Kansai Airport, ride a JR train going to Shin-Osaka Station. From there ride a Shinkansen going to Himeji Station. From there you could take a 20-minute walk towards Himeji Castle or ride a taxi which is way faster (but costs you money).

Overall rating


  1. The castle looks very unique and it is really nice that you could go here with your kid. Seems to be stroller friendly, which is definitely a plus for parents to small kids like you and me. The architecture of the castle is very attractive. I would love to visit it some day

    1. Hi there, yes the castle is really unique. As a matter of fact it is one of the most beautiful in Japan.

  2. hi
    this is a lovely write up , the stories of the castle really go back to generations . The instructions and details within the rooms are they in English and do we have guides who would show one around considering that the castle looks really immense

    1. Hi there, when I visited I did not have any guides. You can rent the services of a guide but you have to call it ahead.

  3. Interesting report and very nice pictures! Luckily, I also had the chance to visit this place earlier this year and even at the very start of the Cherry Blossom period. It was amazing, I love this iconic and elegant castle. Definitely a must-do sidetrip from Kyoto or Osaka!

    1. I envy you, it was winter when I visited hence there was little natutre backdrop. Thank you so much for visiting my blog.

  4. Castles in Japan would be something new for me. I saw many in Europe, but this one looks totally different.

    1. You have to visit the castles in Japan. It is totally different from European castles

  5. Japan is Always in my heart. I will go to Japan one day. waiting for that moment...

    1. You should. This is just one of the many places that you could visit in Japan.

  6. Haven’t been in Himeji. Your post is considered a virtual tour of the castle. Wonderful photos and family you got there!

    1. Thank you Ann. I also frequently visit your blog to check out what other places I can visit in Japan. :)

  7. Castles evoke a sense of history and curiosity. While today most castles are renovated and tales are adapted for tourism, its always fun trying to imagine why people built castles and how life was then. My sense is that people were far more chill back then!

    1. You're right it gives visitors the experience of what it was like back then. I think people are more chill now that before though. Hahaha

  8. This is such a unique castle and a very interesting one too. Those passages and the interiors are well preserved. Found the stone coffins quite interesting and am sure there were stories attached to them. Would love to see them myself. Cheers

    1. Each part of this castle has a story attached to it. :) You should visit it someday. :)

  9. The castle is just picture perfect. And it's great you get to share the moment with your family as well. :)

  10. Congratulations you made it to this iconic structure in Japan. I'm sorry to hear about some restricted areas. Hopefully, the reconstruction would be finished so people would fully enjoy the entirety of the castle.

    1. Thank you Erica. :) I do hope to visit those areas once again when I visit Japan sometime soon.

  11. Very nice write-up. I absolutely appreciate this
    website. Keep it up!

  12. Found your post interesting to read. I can't wait to see your post soon. Good Luck with the upcoming update. This article is really very interesting and effective. Private Guided Virtual Tours

    1. Thank you so much. Please do visit Himeji Castle. :)


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