Himeji Castle
Himeji Castle
4.5
Historic SitesPoints of Interest & LandmarksCastlesScenic Walking Areas
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Built in the beginning of the 17th century when Japan's unique castle architectural techniques had reached their peak, Himeji Castle was the first in Japan to be registered as a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage in 1993 as well as designated as a National Treasure in 1951. It is called "Hakuro-jo" (White Heron Castle) because of its brilliant white exterior and supposed resemblance to a white heron taking flight. Q1. Can I use a credit card? A1. Yes, you can. We accept major credit cards like VISA, MasterCard, AMEX, Diners and JCB. Q2. Do you have a coin operated locker? A2. Yes we do, but the number and kind of them are limited, so you had better use the ones in Himeji station. The biggest size is 1135H x 350W x 640D(mm). Q3. When is peak season? A3. Our peak is usually around late March to early April for cherry blossoms, late April to early May for Japanese Holiday Season so called 'Golden Week', and October and November for travel season for Japanese. Q4. When do I have to arrive to avoid congestion? A4. 15 to 30 minutes prior to opening time (9am (8am-8:30am for peak season)). Q5. How long does it take to walk around the castle? A5. Normally, it takes at least 90 minutes to explore the castle, but you can try to go up and down with no stop in 45 minutes.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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  • Stefanie H
    Lincoln, Nebraska1,664 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great castle
    The Himeji castle is definitely worth a trip from Osaka or on the way to Hiroshima! It is much nicer and larger than Osaka castle and easy to get to from the train station. You can either take a bus or just walk - you can see it from the exit of the train station. We bought a combination ticket for the castle and Koko-en, the gardens next door. There are lockers to store your belongings right before you enter the castle grounds, as well as restrooms and vending machines for one last drink of water. There is a steep walk up to the entrance of the castle, and then you will walk up steep flights of stairs to get to the top. It's totally doable and totally worth it for the views. You will need to take off your shoes and put them into a bag, so wear or brings socks. We had very few other people there when we visited, so ew got to see everything without obstruction. There is a small shrine at the top, and there are also information displays in English on each floor to tell you the highlights of the building. Highly recommend if you are in the area!
    Visited June 2023
    Written July 3, 2023
  • Patricia G
    12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Time At Himeji Castle
    n 6/26/2023 my girlfriend and I visited Himeji Castle. We walked 1/2 hour from the train station along the main road which was lined with beautiful and interesting statues. At the end of the road was the beautiful and imposing Himeji Castle. We purchased tickets at 9am and an English speaking volunteer tour guide, Isamu Takumi, offered us a tour of the Castle. For about 1 1/2 hours he gave us a wonderful tour that brought the castle to life. We heard that a Ninja and Bond Movie had been filmed here and learned about the architecture, history and construction of the castle. It is a very impressive place and it is very beautiful and well maintained. Himeji Castle is well worth a visit and the guided tour provided so much information and relatable stories. We visited the Gardens too and enjoyed the blooming hydrangea.
    Visited June 2023
    Written July 21, 2023
  • Ricochan
    New York376 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wow - The Original Castle that Survived The War
    While I waited for my guide to arrive, I observed every tourist walked through the main gate. Most of them said "Wow!" or something similar as they entered the castle ground. Himeji Castle truly was an impressive castle. Most of the castles in Japan had been burnt or destroyed by war, but Himeji Castle survived WWII bombings and stood still. This large castle is in the original state, and it is magnificent. You can see it from the Himeji train station, but when you are inside of the gate, you will find yourself finding many photo opportunities. I cannot imagine how fabulous it would be to have a cherry blossom viewing party here! I made a reservation for a free tour with the Himeji Castle English Speaking Guide Group a month ahead. Our guide grew up in Himeji, and we learnt a lot about the castle and surrounding area. I also reserved luggage storage in the station area, but it seems that there were a plenty of large lockers. I used ecbo cloak because I wanted to be sure that I had a place to store my luggage before I arrived. Don't give up on visiting Himeji because of your luggage storage requirement. To be honest, Himeji Castle was not on the list of places to visit during my recent trip. I needed to meet a friend of mine in Osaka after visiting Hiroshima, and Himeji happened to be in between. I am glad that we visited Himeji Castle and requested for a guide. I will remember my visit to Himeji Castle for the rest of my life.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 27, 2023
  • AlTraveler
    Satellite Beach, Florida305 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of the top 10 things to see in Japan.
    Himeji is an engineering and defensive marvel. The castle is one of the more impressive pieces of architecture in Japan. The outside is breathtaking. The inside was built as a defensive stronghold, so it is mostly empty tiers. One of the top 10 things to see in Japan.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 16, 2023
  • tim r
    137 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very busy, but still definitely worth the effort to get inside
    The good bit is that this is a really impressive original castle, looks beautiful, and feels very authentic. The bad bit is that lots of people think the same, not unreasonably, and so if you want to go inside it is a fairly fast-moving continuous queue before, during and after, a large part of which is in your socks on slippery wooden floors and staircases. I imagine more people have been killed falling down the stairs than ever were shot with an arrow from the battlements. But you can peel off in a couple of places and breathe/look at the amazing wooodwork inside and the impressive views outside. Very easy to get to from the station, but we should have allowed a bit more time ( we were en route from Kyoto to Kumamoto). Probably a couple of hours would be comfortable. As always, compared to the UK, very reasonable entrance fee
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 10, 2023
  • WestyTweedValley
    Hobart, Australia637 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well worth the effort
    Very popular visitor attraction, around ¥1000 for entry. You'll need some stamina, a couple of hours, and patience. Well worth the climb of 5 floors of steep, narrow old timber stairs, you can see not only the historical castle - the home of samurai, ninjas, and warlords - but also the adjoining gardens. Dating back to 1346, this is a UNESCO site.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written October 14, 2023
  • Norm the Nomad
    Australia1,224 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent.
    Catching the JR ‘rapid train’ we travelled ~100km south of Osaka to the township of Himeji; famous for the “Hakuroju” (White Heron Castle) - because of its brilliant white exterior and supposed resemblance to a white heron taking flight. Dating back to circa 1613, it is world heritage listed - and was worth the trip. Well preserved, it is famous for its (5 storey) central Keep; Moats; Passage ways and surrounding Gardens. We spent quite a few hours exploring. Was really good.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 23, 2023
  • Martina1888
    Inverness, United Kingdom508 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    White Heron Castle
    A very impressive castle and if you visit you'll understand why it is so popular. At the entrance you can take a free "Himeji Castle Concierge Book" which is an excellent guide on your tour through the grounds. The stairs in the keep are not as steep and narrow as in other castles I've been to. You can also enter the bailey which houses enlightening exhibitions. There will be crowds but it is definitely worth your visit. Make sure to set aside enough time for your visit and get a combination ticket which gives you entrance to nearby Koko-en.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written November 2, 2023
  • napavalleygal
    Napa, California177 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Must see
    Our wonderful tour guide, Nobu, led and informed us thru the Himeji Castle. This moderate high activity included a long trek across the field, climbing the irregular stone steps and high wooden thresholds, then ascending the short, narrow step ladders to reach the top 8th floor. What a view from the top. Our ticket included visiting the beautiful Himeji Koko-en garden "next door".
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written November 7, 2023
  • eppikureeus
    Salt Lake City, Utah404 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Spectacular Castle
    Five friends visited on a day trip from Kyoto in early November. Phenomenal castle, easily one of the most impressive and well-kept structures that we saw on our 10 day Japan tour. Definitely worth a visit.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written November 11, 2023
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CommunicateJapan
Aomori Prefecture, Japan10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019
After 4 1/2 years, I finally visited Himeji Castle for the second time, and it was even more stunning than the first time. I even caught a rainbow in the morning with a perfectly clear sky. Himeji is one of the largest castles I've been to in japan, and the most expensive one, too, if you go inside. However, the walk around inside the castle is worth it to get a feel for what it was like in those years when the castle was used as a defense. Enjoy climbing steep staircases on dimly lit floors to admire the the holes in the walls for arrows and shotguns. The grounds themselves are also fun to wander around, so budget some time to really soak in the experience. You can also admire the castle for free from different angles and get some great photo shots. Try the bridge on the way to the entrance, the main grounds in front of the castle, and the Shiromidai Park just a short walk southeast of the castle on a street corner. Also, don't forget to explore the city a bit on your way to and from the castle from the station. There is a nice covered shopping street you can check for souvenirs and other goods on your way to the castle.
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andy
Australia5 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Family
The castle provides a window back in time and is a popular place to visit. Be prepared to climb pathways and reasonably steep stairs inside the castle (carrying your shoes - slippers are provided). Great views from the top and you get a good appreciation of the engineering/construction necessary to build it.
Buy the combination ticket for the gardens (300 mtrs away) as they are definitely also worth a visit with great examples of water features and detailed layout.
Castle is about 1km walk up the main street from the Himeji Station or a short taxi ride.
Written January 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JJoseph54
Hillsborough, CA12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We went to Himeji on a day trip from Kyoto via Shinkansen, and found it an incredibly worthwhile experience. The castle is stunning, sitting high on a hill at the end of a long boulevard, that leads from the train station. At the tail-end of the Japanese New Year's celebration, we were concerned about the crowds, but the hour, or so wait, as we wound up the narrow road to the castle, was itself enjoyable, and climbing through the castle itself a great lesson in history and craftmanship. It has been on my 40-year long Japan bucket list, and I was very happy I went..
Written January 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

weenechia
Singapore, Singapore166 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
It was already awesome looking the time we came out of the station. The walk on the road to Himeji castle from the station was about 15 mins or 20 mins slow walk. Along the road you can find lots of yummy food like the udon, ramen, gyoza and shopping streets, so it’s never boring to walk. Posted on the food in a separate post.

In the himeji castle compound there was a small zoo which we didn’t go as that was not the highlight. Besides the castle, there are other structural compound at the site that u can visit first if the castle gets crowded.

The stairway within the castle and buildings are steep, so if you are bringing young kids or elderly, it may be a challenge if you decide to go all the way up to the top of the castle. See one of the photo. For tall folks, be aware of your head as the beam at the entrance/exit of the stairway may be too low for u.

Everyone will have to change to their slippers. They have it in big, medium and kids size. As I have slim feet, the slippers keeps falling off so for safety reasons, i walked bare footed while climbing up and down the stairs. I do see some kids having the slippers falling off too.

At the top of the castle , the windows are with bars so it was hard taking gd views at the top. Anyhow, if u hv experienced a castle in japan before, the interior is more or less the same I guess.

Another thing my sis noticed while going up and down the castle was that it was slighted slanted to one side which was true when we read one of the narratives. We went in winter and it was awesome already. Can’t imagine when it’s during cherry blossom. But still I prefer lesser crowd.
Written March 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dilbertfan
Surrey, UK443 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
Claimed to be the most beautiful castle in Japan, it really is stunningly beautiful on a sunny day with a blue sky background. The inside visit was disappointing: there are very little artefacts and furniture inside, and the inevitable crowds make it all rather fraught as you shuffle round, up steep and slippery wooden stairs into the narrowing floors as you go to the top, then back down again for relief from the confined and crowded spaces. Don't miss the adjacent Kokoen gardens, which are a blaze of colours in the autumn.
Written January 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GClife
Gold Coast, Australia1,595 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
I wasn’t sure if it was worth visiting, but I can assure you that it is. Firstly there are really good photo opportunities once inside castle walls. The castle is extensive, and you really appreciate the workmanship and incredible defensive arrangements it has by visiting the main castle. Be warned there are lots of steps, and you need to take off your shoes and wear slippers, I found these difficult to climb steps in, so finished off taking them off, so wear a good pair of socks. At each level there are small signage boards describing particular aspects of castle
Written February 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vince Mak
San Francisco, CA46 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
My brothers and I came here the day after New Year's and the place was packed as expected. It was a great day trip choice for us coming from Osaka. The exterior park grounds are nice to take a leisurely stroll in. Once we were inside the castle keep, we were impressed with how everything is meticulously maintained over the years. There are great photo opportunities around every nook and cranny and you can get amazing landscape pictures of the surrounding cityscape. I can definitely see why it was one of the first Japanese UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I'll be sure to revisit this place in the future with the rest of my family.
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barossa-Epicure
Bowden, Australia313 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019
Still well worth a visit despite the title of my review. We only walked around the castle and its surrounds rather than climbing up the steps or venturing further. Radiant white on a gloomy day it demanded to have numerous photos taken of it with statues, vegetation and the red bridge sharing the limelight. While you are there, try to make time to also visit the Koko-en gardens next door.
Written February 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Zimminaroundtheworld
Okinawa Prefecture, Japan1,947 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
If you have time to see one Castle while in Japan make sure it's Himeji Castle. I've seen many castles in Japan and Himeji has been the most impressive so far. The complex and castle itself is gigantic. At first when walking through the gate, you get a great view of the castle. There is an open field here, makes for great photos. I came here at 9am to tour the castle and highly recommend paying the entrance fee to visit. Visiting the main keep was amazing, the size of the castle was impressive and seeing the inside was very neat. Not a whole lot of decorations or anything, actually there is nothing inside the castle, but the wood work inside is nice. After viewing the main keep, head toward the long hall to see more of the castle and grounds. You can easily spend a few hours here. When getting your ticket you can do a combination ticket for the gardens next door, it's an extra 50 yen, so well worth seeing both the castle and the gardens.
Written October 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Princess Night
Zilina, Slovakia25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019
When we came to Himeji, on the road to the castle we found next to station big naturally looks restaurant with cascade levels for sitting. At the every level was tree, bourn. Few steps closer to castle we found Sega club, yes, its Japan´s game club, you can play just for 0,10Y, front of club they have many toys of Pokemons. When we came to castle, we saw many of Koi fishses in river under temple, walk through the park to castle was amazing, we didnt catch the time for visit it, we came little late for last visit, becouse we made stop in every corner, we only walk around, its really big area park, quietly and perfect for relax. I recommend this so much!
Written January 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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