Himeji Things to Do

  • Engyoji's Maniden
    Engyoji's Maniden
    by Rabbityama
  • Engyoji's Daikodo
    Engyoji's Daikodo
    by Rabbityama
  • Engyoji's Gohodo
    Engyoji's Gohodo
    by Rabbityama

Most Recent Things to Do in Himeji

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    Engyoji Temple

    by Rabbityama Written Apr 23, 2012
    Engyoji's Daikodo
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    Engyoji Temple is the name of the large temple complex that sits atop Mount Shosha. It is the 27th temple along the Saigoku 33 Temple Pilgrimage. The complex was built in 966 after the priest Shoku was said to have spoken to Monju (the God of Wisdom) and was told that anyone who ascends this mountain will be spiritually cleansed.

    The experience of Engyoji is similar to that of the temples on the more well-known Mount Hiei and Mount Koya. Although you are visiting one temple, it is comprised of many buildings isolated atop a mountain, so the entire mountain and everything on it is part of the experience which I always enjoy.

    The Daikodo, the main temple building, dates back to the 15th century (major restoration work occurred in 1956 but it remains all-original). It's impressive and you can actually enter the Jikido beside it, which surprisingly houses some impressive Buddhist sculptures on the second floor and offers nice views of the Daikodo.

    The other most famous and impressive building is the Maniden, which had to be rebuilt in 1932. It is raised high in the forest, similar to Kiyomizu Temple, so it's very impressive to view from below. There are a variety of other structures scattered throughout the mountain, most of them dating back to the 17th century or earlier.

    It costs 500 yen. After paying, you can go everywhere. There are no special fees at any of the buildings. If you come from Himeji Station, you can also factor in the combined bus and ropeway tickets to reach the area, which costs 1300 yen round-trip.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Himeji Castle still well worth a visit

    by DutchW Written Sep 15, 2011

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    Under reconstruction

    Himeji Castle still well worth a visit

    Himeji castle is under reconstruction until 2014. In summer 2011, visitors could view the extensive grounds and outer parts of the castle at a reduced entrance fee, good enough to go there. The "womens' quarters" give a good impression of the size of the outer castle and tell the romantic (sad) story of 17th century princess Sen.
    Besides, the main keep's restauration works can be viewed from airconditioned[!] temporary rooms, reachable by elevator (additional fee). There is a good (presumably temporary) museum around the restauration works as well, showing information about the castle's history and structure, previous restaurantions and the current one. Much of the information is also available in English.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Museum Visits

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    Exploring Himeji Castle

    by Restless-in-kl Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Entrance to castle grounds

    Take your time to explore Himeji Castle. At the entrance, pay US$5.10 for entrance fee per person and make sure you get a leaflet. There's lotsa of interesting info that entails the castle history and architecture.

    Go from section to section so that you don't miss anything out. Pace yourself and drink loads of water as castle grounds is huge and there are many stairs to climb!

    Inside the tower, it's all wood floors. You'll need to remove your shoes (and your socks if you want to as it's very slippery) and put shoes in a plastic bag which will be provided. Slippers are provided which was too big for me which made it more slippery. Better to go barefoot. Get ready for the pong that comes from everybody's socks once shoes are removed, phew!!!!!

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
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    Himeji Castle

    by yukisanto Updated Jan 30, 2011

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    At the bottom of the castle grounds, inner bailey
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    Interesting. I guess if you want to see one castle, this is it. At least it's authentic. Better than the osaka castle, which was actually a museum with a castle-like exterior. See my page on Himeji on what to expect in the castle. Oh, and do prepare to do some climbing of steps after steps in the castle, and the long walk to the castle inner grounds from the main gate. You'll also need to take off your shoes before you enter, so wear shoes that are easy to put on/off.

    Cost: 600yen
    Opens from 9-4pm daily

    NOTE: Himeiji Castle is closed for renovation until 2015.

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    The castle is under renovation!

    by stamporama Written Jul 27, 2010

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    But business as usual

    As of July 2010, the Himeji castle is under renovation which began last year and is scheduled to be completed by 2014. Restoration is focused on replastering the walls and replacing roof tiles on the main keep.

    When we visited, there were cranes and scaffolding beside the keep (see photo) and visitors may not enter the keep, except to view the ongoing repairs from a designated area.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces

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    Senhime Shrine and Ishitorii

    by Rabbityama Written Dec 8, 2009

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    Ishitorii
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    Senhime Shrine and Ishitorii are located on Mount Otokoyama. The shrine itself is not so impressive however, the view of Himeji Castle from Otokoyama makes it worth the visit. It's also free, so there's nothing to lose.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Budget Travel

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    Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History

    by Rabbityama Updated Dec 7, 2009

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    Toys by Decade in Hyogo Prefectural Museum
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    The Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History is quite a nice museum. The permanent exhibits feature replicas of all 12 original castles from throughout Japan, a nice recreation of a festival, Japanese toys and games from each decade, some historical artifacts, and more. It is fun, although the displays are not related much to Hyogo Prefecture, if that is what you are interested in.

    The special exhibits make it a real treat, depending on what the exhibit is. I was lucky to see exhibits of artwork of monsters. There were many famous and recognizable pieces. These paintings are also very fun and interesting to look at. I was very glad to come and see them! Japanese monster art and hell scrolls are two of their most popular historical genres! Of course, I cannot predict what the exhibit will be when you visit, but they always try to make it interesting.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Museum Visits

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    Kokoen Garden

    by Rabbityama Written Nov 29, 2009

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    Scenery in Kokoen Garden
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    Just to the left of the entrance to Himeji Castle is the Kokoen Garden. Although the garden has no real history (it was built in the 1990s), it features 9 different areas meant to represent different landscaping styles of the Edo Period. The first area is probably the nicest, with beautiful waterfalls and a large lake. Each of the nine areas are confined so that it is obvious that you are walking into a different garden when you come across them, and if it's not too crowded, the separation may also allow you to take refuge in one garden as if it were your own private garden. It's quite nice. The vibrant yellow bamboo in one of the gardens is quite pretty (see pictures).

    Entrance is 300 yen.

    Related to:
    • Women's Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Road Trip

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    Himeji Castle

    by Rabbityama Written Nov 24, 2009

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    Himeji Castle
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    It would be quite odd to visit Himeji without going to Himeji Castle!

    Himeji Castle, dating back to 1609, is considered by most visitors to Japan to be among the best sites in the nation, and there is no denying that Himeji Castle truly is impressive! It is the largest of all the remaining original castles and reconstructed castles. It is said to rival even the most famous European castles in its size, architecture, and aesthetic beauty.

    The castle grounds are quite large and pleasant to walk around in. Inside the castle, there are some artifacts and artwork. Do take the time to look out the windows at other parts of the castle, as well as the views of the city. The architecture is amazing and a great example of the style used in making many Japanese castles. Be sure to give yourself at least 2 hours to view the castle. If you plan to thoroughly explore the castle grounds, you may want to budget even more time.

    Entrance is 600 yen.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

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    Himeji castle

    by xaver Written Oct 16, 2009

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    Himeji castle
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    The castle has been built in the early17th century and it rapresents the highest achievement in Japanese castle architecture.
    This castle has been designated as national treasure in 1931 and registred as world cultural heritage in 1993 as the first site in Japan.
    The building is really very well maintained and it's possible to climb up to the top of the castle to enjoy the view.
    The castle is opened since 9 am untill 4 pm and the entrance fee is 600 yen.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Architecture

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    Kokoen

    by salisbury3933 Written Jan 4, 2009

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    This is a nice garden right next to the garden. As the castle area was full of people when we visited, it was a nice tranquil and quiet contrast.

    If you do visit, get the combined ticket with the castle, 720 yen for adults.

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    Kokoen-small beautiful garden

    by bebejepang Written Aug 6, 2008

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    Kokoen garden

    If you have time, please visit Kokoen. The garden is small, but beautiful.

    You can get discount if you buy ticket for both castle and Kokoen. Only castle is 600 yen, Kokoen park is 300 yen, the pass ticket for both is 750 yen. There is vending machine for the pass ticket in front of Kokoen (I am not sure you can buy the pass ticket at the Himeji castle or not).

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    The old interior castle

    by bebejepang Updated Aug 6, 2008

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    inside the castle
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    Do not miss Himeji Castle. When you enter the castle, you will feel that you have back to the old century. Not only the castle exterior, but the castle interior also describe the original Japanese castle.

    It is about 90 min for looking arround the castle. If you still have time, please visit Kokoen, small beautifull garden outside of the castle.

    You can get discount if you buy ticket for both castle and Kokoen. Only castle is 600 yen, Kokoen park is 300 yen, the pass ticket for both is 750 yen. There is vending machine for the pass ticket in front of Kokoen (I am not sure you can buy the pass ticket at the Himeji castle or not).

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  • Free bike rent - biking around Himeji castle

    by r_aussie Written Jul 10, 2008

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    One thing that is often overlooked is that you can get a free bike rental from the Tourist Information Center. You first go to the Tourist Information Center in the JR Station, and then they will give you a key and you will pick up your bike somewhere on your way to the castle. You can ride your bike to the outer part of the castle area, right before the ticketed entrance, but you are not allowed to park there. The nearest parking spot one is right around the restaurants opposite the castle's entrance. The best biking route is to around the Himeji castle, following the river/canal(?) that surrounds the castle area. I did that route right after entering the castle itself. It was a very peaceful and scenic route, very green so it's not too hot even in summer, and you can see the castle from all the surrounding directions. It doesn't take very long too, only about 15 minutes ride.

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    Himeji-jo

    by yumyum Updated Dec 26, 2007

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    Himeji-jo
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    Himeji-jo or Himeji castle is the attraction here to visit. It's a UNESCO world heritage site. This white castle is also called "white egret" and you can actually see it from the bullet train if you pass by.

    I made a 3 hours stop here in Himeji which was sufficient to see the vast castle grounds and the castle interior.

    Himeji-jo is one of the few castles in Japan that survived in the original form and hasn't been rebuilt in concrete. It was originally built from 1333 when Norimura Akamatsu needed a fort. Over the centuries it expanded. What you see nowadays is the shape from the final construction in 1609.

    The castle is opened daily except for the last 3 days of the year. With your ticket you get a leaflet in English.

    Related to:
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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