First built as a fort in 1333 on top of a hill, Himeji Castle had several different owners throughout history. Many of these owners have rebuilt, renovated and added to the castle significantly, and today Himeji Castle is a network of 83 building, and is one of the finest examples of Japanese castle design. For over 400 years Himeji Castle has survived wars and natural disasters, becoming the largest and most visited castle in Japan. In 1993, Himeji Castle was chosen as Japan's first UNESCO World Heritage Site, reflecting it enduring appeal and outstanding condition.
Himeji Castle is sometimes known as Shirasagi-jō, or "White Heron Castle", because the walls of the castle are a white colour, and the shape makes it look like a heron taking flight. But over the years, the castle had built up dirt and grime. The castle was closed to the public for several years, only reopening to the public in March, 2015. The walls and roof of the castle have been restored to the original colours, and it's a sparkling, spectacular sight.
|Approaching the castle at night...
|At night the lit up castle is very imposing
|Unfortunately the weather wasn't great.
|The castle is very imposing up close.
|The view from the top of the castle is incredible.