Living in the Kansai Region allows for some great sightseeing opportunities. I definitely wasn’t going to pass up my chance to see Japan’s most beautiful castle: Himeji Castle.
Located in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan and standing tall and proud is this majestic castle. As soon as you exit the Himeji Station you are greeted with your first sight of this dazzling white beauty.
From this point you are tasked with the option of making your way to this hypnotizing white tower on foot or jumping on bus #6 for a quick ride.
As I jumped off the bus I was immediately approached and greeted by the rickshaw jockeys. These guys are typically found at every major sightseeing landmark so get use to seeing them in their short-shorts if you are traveling through Japan!
Once inside the site grounds you can patrol the area and position yourself to get the best snapshot of majestic white or make your way inside.
Like all of the popular sightseeing sites in Japan there is an entrance fee required upon entering. After paying the 400円 fee and approaching the castle you’ll get a real good look at its true size. And you’ll discover why Himeji Castle is the largest and most visited castle in all of Japan.
To go inside you will have to remove your shoes and carry them with you in a bag. And slowly ascend the structure by walking through the guided areas as you learn interesting bits about the castle’s history. Be forewarned however, as the stair steps are strangely shaped, slippery and the headroom seems to decrease with each passing floor you ascend. The view from the top is okay. If you listen closely you may hear the sounds of the howling monkeys in the small zoo next door or maybe catch a glimpse at the Koko-en Garden located next door.
After descending from the top and exiting the castle you can either snap some more pictures, head over to the Himeji Zoo, or the Koko-en Garden or be a cheapskate like me call it good, and walk back to train station!
All in all I think this place is a must for any Kansai Region traveler. You will agree with why Himeji Castle truly is Japan’s premier castle after your visit.
Expect to spend about 1.5 hrs to 2 hrs for this visit. There isn’t much more to do here aside from this main attraction so how about getting some grub in Chinatown, Kobe! Happy Travels!