• Profile

    Himeji Castle is the best example of a Japanese castle as it has never been destroyed or even damaged in war. Himeji Castle was completed in 1609, but a fort existed on the site as early as 1333. In 1992 Himeji Castle was recognised by UNESCO as a building of world significance and was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its own listing. The (tower or keep) of Himeji Castle is an excellent example of the traditional wooden architecture and its stone walls with their white plastered walls.

    Himeji Castle Donjon

    Himeji Castle Donjon

    Himeji Castle History

    In 1333 Norimura Akamatsu, the ruler of Harima District, built a fort where the Himeji Castle now stands. In 1346 his son, Sadanori further expanded the fort.

    In the 16th century the fort was removed and a three story castle was built in its place by Hideyoshi Hasiba. This is the basic structure that is seen today. In 1601 Terumasa Ikeda started digging three moats around the castle building and completed the whole castle complex as it is in 1609. The outer moat is just north of where J.R. Himeji train station is today. After the Ikedas, Tadamasa Honda added some buildings in West Bailey.

    Steep and high inner walls of Himeji Castle

    Steep and high inner walls of Himeji Castle

    Main Tower with the smaller towers and corridors connecting these towers have been registered as national treasures. The Cosmetic Tower, 27 ‘yagura’, 15 gates, and 1,000 meter long earthen walls have been registered as important cultural treasures. A part of the middle moat, and the whole inner moat retained as they were In the feudal times. The area inside the middle moat has been registered as a special historical site.

    It is difficult in the pictures to really project how steep and imposing the structure is.

    Himeji Castle Fan Walls

    Himeji Castle Fan Walls

    In the foreground of the picture above you can see the shape and angle of the “fan curve” at the base of the wall. This shape provides significantly greater strength and stability to the base of the walls. This shape is effectively half an inverted arch.

    Himeji Castle inner moat and wall

    Himeji Castle inner moat and wall

    Here already within the Himeji Castle structure is another moat to provide a further level of protection. Beyond the moat is another wall and then many more levels to reach the donjon (main castle tower). It really is layer upon layer of defenses.

    Japanese Garden within Himeji Castle

    Japanese Garden within Himeji Castle

  • Photo
  • Map

    No Records Found

    Sorry, no record were found. Please adjust your search criteria and try again.

    Google Map Not Loaded

    Sorry, unable to load Google Maps API.

  • Reviews
    Overall Rating:
    rating iconrating iconrating iconrating iconrating icon

    1 Review on “Himeji Castle”

    1. Profile photo of Craig FryerCraig Fryer Post authorHimeji Castle
      rating iconrating iconrating iconrating iconrating icon

      The best time to see Himeji Castle is obviously on a clear day in cherry blossom season, however you will find it is incredibly busy. I would recommend visiting at least one other Japanese castle before you see Himeji Castle. This way you will appreciate how much better Himeji Castle is and why.

    Leave a Review

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Rate this Place (overall):
    • rating icon
    • rating icon
    • rating icon
    • rating icon
    • rating icon
     

    Drop files to upload


    Please drag & drop the images to rearrange the order