Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle: Hours, Address, Himeji Castle Reviews: 4.5/5

Himeji Castle
Historic Sites • Points of Interest & Landmarks • Castles • Scenic Walking Areas
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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5,330 reviews
Very good

22 contributions
Amazing place!
Jan 2021
All I can say is WOW! Amazing place. There are a lot of steep stairs to climb so it's not for everyone. Incredible to think that this was built in the 1600's. A truly amazing place.
Written 4 February 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Okinawa Prefecture, Japan1,700 contributions
An Incredible Castle
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 26 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Barcelona, Spain646 contributions
Impressive castle
Jul 2019
Himeji Castle is an impressive castle. It's huge, with lots of alleys, towers, small rivers and vegetation. It wasn't really touched by bombs during WWII. Even though, they reconstructed it and it is astonishing. However, from the inside it's quite empty. There are not many memories of what it used to be from the inside. Everything is quite new.
It's one of the main reasons to visit Himeji and you won't be disapointed.
Written 13 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Harald Gracholski
Cologne, Germany6,786 contributions
The most spectacular castle we got to witness!
Nov 2019
When talk is Japanese castles, Himeji is definitely part of that conversation and rightfully so. It is among the best preserved monuments and still a breathtaking sight from near or far. Don't expect to see fancy stuff inside, Japanese castles are not about that, but the eperience in total is very much worth the time spent here!
Written 31 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Manchester, UK1,496 contributions
The White Heron Castle - largely original and wholly impressive
Apr 2019 • Couples
We visited Himeji (White Heron) Castle by train from Osaka, choosing to go from there on our trip to Japan purely because it was closer than Kyoto and we travelled independently instead of booking a tour because it was so easy using Japan’s excellent transport system and gave us the freedom to go early before the bulk of the castle’s daily visitors arrived, timing it so that we had about 20 minutes to wait unti, it opened. On arrival at JR Himeji station head straight out of the main entrance and take the good walk straight up Otemae Dori and as you get to the last stretch the Castle comes into clear view. Then when you reach the T junction at the top, cross over heading diagonally to your left to enter the park and ignoring the zoo on your right follow the curving road around to the left up to the castle entrance.
If you get there early to avoid the crowds I would suggest you forego a guide for the visit because that will leave you with growing numbers filling your photos. For the same reason it’s probably bette to do as we did and head straight to the top of the Dai-tenshu or main keep first, the route being pretty obvious once you are in and gradually following steps up and around to the right initially. The interiors is on 6 floors (a 7th is below ground and we didn’t see any access to it) and the route is via a series of steep wooden steps. There is little to see on each floor and the interiors is unfurnished and undecorated though there are occasional displays of roof tiles and text detailing the castle’s history. The weapon racks on the walls along the way also remind that this was a defensive structure and not merely for display, it was a military and political centre in it’s day. Take time too to enjoy the views outside as you ascend and to admire the structure itself as you get to stare out across 5e rooftops and over to the Nishi-no-Maru Bailey from where you will be able to look back and capture some photos of the keep hopefully with cherry blossom in shot. To admire the sheer bulk of the keep you can stand too directly below it in the large open space that is the Bizen-Maru bailey. The square San-goku-bori moat and outer buildings give plenty more to see on leaving the keep and once outside the castle heading back out to the road and turning right will bring you to Koko-en gardens which are well worth a visit and where you can enjoy a Japanese tea ceremony.
We enjoyed our visit and owing the castle is original and not wholly reconstructed as so many were following WWII or subsequent fires only added to the sense of history.
In summary then we found it really useful to visit independently by train instead of booking a tour, visited early to arrive shortly before the opening time. We also self guided and headed directly to the big point of the main keep, ahead of the growing number of visitors and avoiding queuing for the stairs while getting photos largely empty of other visitors. If you have any mobility problems though be aware that the stairs are steep and it’s a long way up to the top with the stairs narrowing as you go.
Hope you enjoy your visit as much as we enjoyed ours.
Written 23 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Eric F
Fort Myers, FL131 contributions
Fantastic Architecture
Jul 2019
I came to Himeji Castle and I wasn't sure what to expect. I had seen many castles in Europe, but nothing like this. The unique designs and colors certainly rival Europe's finest palaces. There are also many gardens surrounding the castle along with a zoo and theme park, but I only went to the castle. The castle tour is fun. You walk at your own speed up many stairs. You have to take off shoes, however, to keep the castle tidy. The exterior is fantastic and a wonder to behold, but the interior does lack some of the flair of the outside. This contrast does keep the castle from earning five stars, but it's worth visiting if you're not too far.
Written 12 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Karla L
Clover, SC4 contributions
A whole new culture
Aug 2019
We visited about 3 years ago, it is an amazing cultural tour. It's a lot of walking and steps, I'd recommend for +12 yrs old. Quite an unexpected experience.
Written 9 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

cool nurse
London, UK10 contributions
Apr 2019 • Friends
Beautiful place to visit. Definitely recommend this place. Hundreds of steps though, so not suitable for everyone.
Written 7 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dr Christopher Hertzog
Arona, Spain101 contributions
Himeji Castle, Japan.
Apr 2019
This fairy tale castle is always at its most spectacular in Spring, when all the blossom is out. The castle itself is spectacularly situated on a hill, approached through extensive gardens, some 2 km from the mainline station, and features prominently on many promotional posters and advertising for Japanese tourism. Easy reach from Osaka, this is an absolute must-see venue for visitors to Western Honchu!
Written 7 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Singapore, Singapore118 contributions
A Must visit castle
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 6 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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