Known as the “White heron castle” and renowned as one of the most beautiful castles in Japan, a visit to Himeji Castle should be on any history buff’s itinerary of western Japan.

The Castle is huge, imposing, beautiful, and somehow it managed to escape the fiery fate of most of its contemporaries. The six-storied, wedding cake–like main keep rises to a height of 46 meters, with extensive views of the surrounding city and countryside.

Steps and a gate leading to Himeji Castle main keep
The winding approach paths | Photo by Gregory Lane

Himeji Castle is very much on the beaten track as far as tourists are concerned. When coronavirus counter measures allow, it will likely once again see huge crowds of both Japanese and international tourists.

View from the top floor of Himeji Castle along a wide avenue towards Himeji Station. In the foreground is part of the castle roof while in the middle foreground is the green expanse of Himeji Park.
The view back towards Himeji Station | Photo by Gregory Lane

The castle has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is also officially designated as a Japanese national treasure.

Other Himeji Attractions