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Himeji Castle

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About | Access | Hotels & Lodging | Hours & Fees | Images | Videos | Comments

Himeji Castle in the evening [Corpse Reviver|https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Himeji_Castle_on_time_in_evening.jpg|Wikipedia GNU Free]

Himeji Castle in the evening copyright Corpse Reviver (License)

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About

Japanese Name: Himeji Castle 姫路城

Original Year Built: 1601

Condition: Original

Founder: Ikeda Terumasa (Daimyo)

Himeji Castle [Bernard Gagnon|https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himeji_Castle#/media/File:Ch%C3%A2teau_de_Himeji01.jpg|Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported]

Himeji Castle copyright Bernard Gagnon (License)

Himeji Castle (in Japanese; Himemji Jyou 姫路城) is one of the top 3 premier castles in Japan along with Matsumoto Castle and Kumamoto Castle.  It was designated as one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Japan in 1993. Himeji Castle is also the largest and most visited castles in Japan.

Brief History

Himeji Castle in the evening [Corpse Reviver|https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Himeji_Castle_on_time_in_evening.jpg|Wikipedia GNU Free]

Himeji Castle in the evening copyright Corpse Reviver (License)

Himeji Castle has a long and interesting history.  Although there were never any serious/major assaults against the castle (how could they, the castle is way too strong), it has survived many possibly disastrous events to remain as one of the "original" standing castles in Japan.  In the early 1300's a warlord named Akamatsu Norimura built a fort on the hill where the current Himeji Castle stands.  His son then destroyed that fort and built "Himeyama Castle" in 1346.  The castle went through a couple more renovations and additions, named changed to "Himeji Castle", until Tokugawa Ieyasu awarded Ikeda Terumasu the castle for his alliance and help in the Battle of Sekigahara. Ikeda completely rebuilt the castle from 1601 to 1609 into a huge Castle Stronghold.  Further warlords who ruled the castle added buildings to the complex in the 1600's also to the castle you see today.

Survival

Himeji Castle from the outer wall [Ludovic Lubeigt|https://www.flickr.com/photos/127339305@N05/15298907969|Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic]

Himeji Castle from the outer wall copyright Ludovic Lubeigt (License)

During the Meiji Restoration the Meiji Government ordered the destruction of most all castles in Japan. Himeji Castle was on the list to be destroyed but an army colonel named Nakamura Shigeto pleaded with the government to spare the castle.  He was successful in his efforts and Himeji Castle was spared.  Maintaining castles is a costly affair and even though the castle was saved, the government wanted no part in maintaining it so they put it up for auction.  In 1871 a local Himeji resident bought Himeji Castle for 23 yen (about $2,500 US dollars as of 2015).  He planned on destroying the castle and develop the land into something profitable but after getting and estimate and realizing it would be too costly to destroy the castle, he left it abandoned.  During WW2 Himeji was bombed extensively by the US with firebombs.  There was no effort to "preserve" Himeji castle by the US Air Force and fire bombs were dropped relentlessly on the city.  A fire bomb even landed in the upper floors of the castle but never exploded.  Himeji Castle survived WW2 with very little damage.  Finally in 1995 there was a huge earthquake, the Great Hanshin Earthquake, and Himeji Castle survived virtually undamaged once again!

 

Access

Closest Train Station: Himeji

68 Honmachi Himeji, Hyogo. 670-0012

🏣670-0012 兵庫 姫路市 本町68

Tel: 079-285-1146

Walk: from Himeji Station (Main Staion, Bullet Train Stop) about 15 minutes.

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Hotels & Lodging

View a full list of Hotels and Lodging in or nearby Himeji Castle.

 

Hours & Fees

Summer (April 27-August 31): 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (Last entry at 5:30 p.m.)
Winter: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Last entry at 4:30 p.m.)

(Hours & Fees may fluctuate. Please confirm before planning your visit. Call: 079-285-1146. Visit the Official Website. )

 

Images

SnapJapan.com

Cherry Blossoms around Himeji Castle [Lukas|https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Himeji_Castle_2.jpg|Attribution 2.0 Generic]

Cherry Blossoms around Himeji Castle copyright Lukas (License)

Himeji Castle [Bernard Gagnon|https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himeji_Castle#/media/File:Ch%C3%A2teau_de_Himeji01.jpg|Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported]

Himeji Castle copyright Bernard Gagnon (License)

Himeji Castle in the evening [Corpse Reviver|https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Himeji_Castle_on_time_in_evening.jpg|Wikipedia GNU Free]

Himeji Castle in the evening copyright Corpse Reviver (License)

Himeji Castle from the outer wall [Ludovic Lubeigt|https://www.flickr.com/photos/127339305@N05/15298907969|Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic]

Himeji Castle from the outer wall copyright Ludovic Lubeigt (License)

 

Videos

SnapJapan.com

 

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