The fortified city of West Kansai
Himeji is a town in Hyogo Prefecture, best known for its castle. Himeji Castle is one of the oldest medieval castles still to be found in Japan, but also the largest castle in Japan. It is the most visited castle in the country! Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and labelled as the Cultural Treasure of Japan, it is one of the few that has been preserved rather well. In particular, we can observe the wooden dungeons of the time, as well as a large part of the walls that are still intact. A characteristic that has earned him a place in many historical films, including the Japanese television series Shôgun, still has fictions such as James Bond. For the record, Himeji Castle is twinned with Chantilly Castle in France!
To learn more about the rich history of the Himeji region, it is advisable to visit the Hyogo Prefecture History Museum.
Just next to Himeji Castle is the Japanese garden of Koko-en. Spread over 3.5 hectares, this park is home to no less than 9 different gardens. There is a tea garden, where you can attend a tea ceremony in the Soju-an house.
Nature lovers will also enjoy a hike on Mount Shosha. The best view of the city can be observed from Nagoyama Cemetery, perched on a hill northeast of Himeji Station.
Himeji hosts many events, including Nada no Kenka Matsuri, Japan’s largest fighting festival.
As for gastronomy, Himeji is famous for its Oden, a broth filled with eggs, simmered vegetables, kamaboko (fish quenelles) and tofu. Sake is also produced there.
To connect Tokyo to Himeji, you must take the Tokaido/Sanyo line from Shinkansen. The journey takes between 3 hours and 3 hours and a half. From Kyoto or Osaka, you can reach Himeji in less than an hour, and the journey is direct.
In japanese : 姫路
Region : Kansai
Prefecture : Hyogo
Population : 531,500 inhabitants
Density : 1,000 inhab/km²
Link : Official Website