Himeji Castle (Himeji-jo) is the largest, most perfectly designed original castle that remains in Japan. It was also called the Egret Castle as the shape of the castles layout centered on the five-tiered donjon resembled an egret about to take flight. It is known as the castle that the world recognizes as the symbol of Japan. Its predecessor was a castle built in the 14th century, but it reached its final (present) form in the beginning of the 17th century under the daimyo Ikeda Terumasa. His construction took eight years and required the labor of over 24,300,000 men. The donjon is about 31.5 m in height, over 46 m including the stone wall, and is designated a National Treasure along with other buildings. The interior of the donjon is of a practical construction and there are holes set in the walls for defenders to fire guns and arrows. Furthermore, 74 buildings such as turrets that held drums for announcing time have been designated Important Cultural Properties.
Restoration of Himeji Castle Main Keep <2009-2015>
After a lapse of more than 45 years since the major restoration in 1950's - 1960's,Himeji Castle is undergoing a full-scale restoration.This five-year project is focusing on re-plastering damaged and grimy plaster walls and replacing the roofing tiles on the main keep.During the renovation work,it is covered by a roofed scaffold structure,but Himeji Castle is not only the main keep.Visitors can enjoy more than 70 buildings designated as Important Cultural Properties of Japan as well as many interesting devices intended for attackers on the way to the main keep.
For about three years from March 26,2011,you can go up to the top floor of the roofed scaffold structure by the elevators and get a look at the repair process and also enjoy a magnificent panoramic view from a height of 50 meters above the ground.
The scaffolding will be removed by spring 2015.
Address: 68 Honmachi, Himeji-shi, Hyogo
Admission Fee: 600 yen(400yen April 12,2010 - March 2015)
200 yen is required for the facility to observe restoration.(March 26,2011-)
Closed: Dec. 29 to 30(scheduled)
[Walk]JR Himeji Station/On foot/15 min.