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Himeji

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Hyogo : Himeji
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Himeji Castle

Himeji (姫路) is a small town at the western edge of the Kansai region of Japan.

Get in

By train

Himeji is along the Sanyo shinkansen line from Osaka (30 min) and Kobe (20 min) to Okayama and Hiroshima. A much cheaper option is to take one of the frequent commuter expresses (新快速 shinkaisoku), which charges only the price of a local train and takes 40 minutes from Kobe or one hour from Osaka.

Get around

It's easy enough to walk along Otemae-dōri from the station to the castle and back, but buses will also cover the distance in 5 minutes.

See

  • Himeji Castle (姫路城 Himeji-jō). [1]. Dating to 1609 and also graced with the name "White Egret Castle" (白鷺城 Shirasagi-jō), this striking white edifice is generally considered the most beautiful of Japan's castles and is one of the few that has escaped the ravages of civil war, earthquakes and firebombings. The castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Admission ¥600, open 9 AM to 4 PM daily; a free guided tour in English is included if a guide happens to be free (no reservations possible). The castle is an easy 10-minute walk north from the station.

Do

Himeji Castle is particularly striking (and crowded) in cherry blossom season in April, when all the trees planted in and around the castle burst burst into white splendor.

Buy, Eat and Drink

All your eating, drinking and souvenir needs will be eagerly met by the gauntlet of vendors that graces the well-trod street between station and castle.

Sleep

As you only need half a day at most to visit the castle, few visitors stay overnight.

Get out

  • To see Himeji's evil twin, the brooding black Crow Castle, hop on a train 50 kilometers west to Okayama.

External links

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