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Himeji Castle is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site and one of the best preserved Japanese castles. In this tour you will visit Himeji city to explore the beautiful castle and the impressive Japanese style garden Kokoen.
- Visit one of Japan's first UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Sites
- See the renovated Himeji Castle, considered one of the best in Japan
- Stroll the beautiful Japanese style garden Kokoen
- Enjoy seasonal flowers and blossoming sakura trees in spring
Himeji Castle is located in Hyogo prefecture, just an hour away by train from Osaka. The city is best known for its picturesque Himeji Castle, widely considered one of the three best castles in Japan (others being Kumamoto and Nagoya Castles). It was built in 1609, during the first years of the Edo period, and is currently one of the very few castles in Japan which survived through fires, earthquakes, wars without ever being destroyed. Due to its well-preserved shape and cultural legacy, Himeji Castle was one of the first places in Japan to be announced a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1993.
The castle was recently renovated in long-running renovation works which spanned for 5 years and caused the entire building to be covered completely by a scaffold structure. Minor construction works of the interior continue until Himeji Castle's grand reopening on March 27, 2015. The castle will once again impress visitors with its beautiful building surrounded by plenty of blossoming sakura cherry trees.
This half-day guided tour will begin at 9:00 (for the morning tour option) or at 13:00 (for the afternoon tour option) at JR Himeji Station which can be easily reached by an one-hour JR train from Osaka Station or a 90-minute direct train from Kyoto Station. Alternatively, you can reach Himeji in about 30 minutes with the Shinkansen bullet train.
Your guide will show you around Himeji Castle and the beautiful park. Another interesting place you will visit is the Kokoen Garden, located just beside the castle. This Japanese-style garden is relatively new, constructed in 1992 on the grounds of a former samurai residence. It has a picturesque pond, waterfalls, flower gardens and a tea room where you can try good-quality green tea.
Optional: You can also choose to book the additional option of a visit to Mt Shosha's scenic Engyoji Temple located in the hills near Himeji city. This old temple impresses with its traditional atmosphere, beautiful wild nature and lack of any modern facilities which makes it a popular choice as a filming location. The famous Hollywood movie "The Last Samurai" was also shot here. The total duration of the tour if you book the add-on will be 8 hours.
To see a sakura forecast and more cherry blossom tours in Japan, please check here: www.govoyagin.com/pages/japan_cherry_blossom
JR Himeji Station
What you need to bring