5 treasures to find in Himeji
Himeji is located in the western part of southern Hyogo, and is the second largest city of Hyogo (with a population of 530 thousand). The Chugoku Mountains are located to the north, and the Inner Sea of Japan is located to the south. The region has been an important location for transport through a long time and is a city full of nature and historical culture.
The tourist activities in Himeji are diverse, such as the famous “Himeji Castle” and Shoshazan Engyoji. Not to mention the delicious selection of “seafood” combined with local Himeji cuisine that will no doubt leave you with a huge smile on your face.
Access to Himeji City is about 2 hours and 15 minutes by bus from Kansai Airport. The flights are 3 hours from Tokyo, 1h30 minutes from Nagoya, 30 minutes from Shin Osaka. Coming by JR Shinkansen takes 1 hour from Hiroshima.
Himeji Castle can be seen from JR Himeji Station, taking only 15 minutes on foot!
This Japanese garden was inaugurated in 1992 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the city of Himeji. It consists of 9 gardens of varying sizes, using as divisions between spaces the ruins of the housing which belonged to the samurais and allies. The location is also often used to shoot historical dramas themes for its strong Edo period atmosphere. More than that, the seasonal flowers are beautiful and the tea ceremony experience is also very popular.
Address: 68 Honmachi, Himeji-shi 670-0012
Schedule: from 9h to 17h (admission until 16h30), closes 1 hour later from 27 April to August 31st.
Fee: ¥ 300 for adults; ¥ 150 for high school and high school students. Discounts are available for a group of more than 30 people.
Closed: December 29th and 30th.
Access: 15 minutes walk from JR station and Sanyo Dentetsu Himeji Castle
2. Nagoyama Stupa
A modern park and cemetery located on a hill about 1 km northeast of Himeji Castle.
The symbolic building, a 38 meter high stupa, was a gift from India’s Prime Minister Nehru with a desire for eternal peace and happiness for humans. He consecrates the ashes of Buddha and the statue of Shakasanzon and the ten principal disciples. With a pure and solemn environment, the park is rich in nature and is great for sightseeing. In early April, the cherry blossoms are beautiful and in mid-April, azaleas on the mountain in red, white and pink are stunning. The view from the observation deck simply is breathtaking so don’t miss it when you’re there!
Address: 14-1 Nagoyamacho, Himeji-shi 670-0051
Hours: 8h40 to 16h30.
Rate: ¥ 200 for adults (13 years and over), ¥ 100 for children (over 5 years old up to 13 years old). Discounts are available for a group of more than 30 people
Closed: December 29th through December 31st.
Access: About 15 minutes by bus Shinki (Imajuku route) from JR station and Sanyo Dentetsu Himeji. Get off at Kurumasaki or “Nagoyama kitaguchi” (Yokozeki route)
3. Himeji City Aquarium
Also known as the “mountain aquarium” with many exhibits where you can “see, hear and touch”. And since it is located close to where the old Tegarayama station used to be, one of the oldest trains of the city of Himeji can be seen there in an exhibition room that shows the platform and the old train that was implemented in 1966 during the Showa period.
Address: 440 Nishinobusue, Himeji-shi 670-0971
Hours: 9h to 17h (last entry: 16h30)
Fee: ¥ 200 for elementary and high school students; ¥ 500 for adults.
Closed: Tuesday, December 29th until January 1st (if Tuesday is a holiday, it will be closed the next day).
Access: About 10 minutes from JR station and Sanyo Dentetsu Himeji. Exit at “Himeji-shi bunka center mae”.
4. Shoshazan Engyoji
With over 1000 years of history, it is one of three great main halls for the Tendai sect, along with Hiezan and Daisen. There are many important cultural elements on the mountain. People have gathered there to worship since ancient times and it is a popular training place for monks. It was also used for the Hollywood film “The Last Samurai” and several other films and dramas for its beautiful natural scenery. It takes about 4 minutes by cable car to reach the top.
* The Mt. Shosha cable car does not operate from December 7th to December 27th, due to annual inspection and maintenance.
Address: 2968 Shosha, Himeji-shi 671-2201
Hours: 8h30 to 17h; During the winter from 8h30 to 18h. During the spring the autumn can be extended on Sundays and holidays.
Fee: ¥ 500
Days closed: None, but the cable car will be closed for periodic inspection in December (about a week),
Access: About 25 minutes by bus Shinki from JR station and Sanyo Dentetsu Himeji. Exit at the last stop, “Shosha Ropeway”, take the Sanchoku Shoshazan Ropeway station to Sanjo station. The destination will be about 20 minutes walk from Maniden (main temple).
5. Himeji Castle
With a majestic 400 years of history. It is recognized by the world as a castle truly preserved as an original building among all other Japanese castles. In 1993 it was registered as World Heritage together with Horyuji for the first time in Japan. The graceful white building is also called “White Heron Castle” creating beautiful scenery throughout the year during different seasons.
Address: 68 Honmachi Himeji 670-0012
Hours: September 1st to April 26th: from 9h to 16h (Gate closes at 17h); April 27th to August 31st: from 9h to 17h (Gate closes at 18h); Closed days 29th and 30th of December.
Rate: ¥ 1,000 for adults (over 18 years); ¥ 300 for primary school and high school students; Free for children before primary school. (20% discount for a group of more than 30 people)
Access: 15 minutes walk from JR station and Sanyo Dentetsu Himeji