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姫路城 Himeji Castle

姫路城 Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle has a history of more than 600 years. Designated as a national treasure of Japan, it was also a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. The Dai Tenshu of Himeji-jo Castle has been undergoing restoration since 2009, which means a part of the castle will not be available for tours till 2015 but one can witness the repairwork carried out by the skilled craftsmen. Tours are available from 9am but may change according to seasons, hence visitors are recommended to check the timings in advance.

Himeji Castle is a Japanese-style castle built in 1601, and it is one of the few castles that still retain their original, beautiful form.
This large castle stands on a vast site of about 130,000 square meters, and the large castle keep (castle at the center) is 46 meters high. (At its height, as many as 4,000 samurai worked in the castle) It took about eight years and 24,000 people to build the castle

Himeji Castle

This shows how powerful the local lord Terumasa Ikeda was at the time, considering the amount of money and people he could employ. Because the building has been well preserved, it is a designated National Treasure and Important Cultural Asset, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. By the way, try guessing how many floors the large castle keep has. Most people say five floors. It looks like a five-story building from the outside. But, once inside, you’ll find that it’s a seven-story building with six stories above ground and one below. There are sections not visible from the outside, in case they needed to hole up in the castle during battle. Admission to the impressive castle filled with such setups is 400 yen. You might feel like a samurai, looking out from inside the castle. Unfortunately, Himeji Castle is currently under renovation (scheduled for completion in March 2015). But, there’s good news for those who wanted to see a Japanese castle up close. Visitors can tour the repair work that is being done for 200 yen during the renovation period. It’s a great opportunity to see the castle structure up close.