Himeji Castle – Keeping the same appearance since the Edo Period

Himeji Castle
- Keeping the same appearance since the Edo Period

The castle situated at a key location in Sanyo

There are four castles that are designated as National Treasures: Matsumoto Castle in Nagano, Hikone Castle in Shiga, Inuyama Castle in Aichi, and Himeji Castle here in Hyogo. Himeji Castle was constructed in the period of the Northern and Southern Courts in the 14th century, and not during the Period of the Warring States.
The beginning of the castle is believed to be a fort that Norimura Akamatsu built on Mt. Hime while advancing his troops to Kyoto under the order of Prince Moriyoshi in 1333.

Located on Sanyo-do Road, Himeji Castle played a major role as an important base for the states in western Japan throughout the Muromachi Period, Period of the Warring States, and the Edo Periods. During the Period of the Warring States, Hideyoshi Hashiba (Toyotomi) lived in the castle to conquer the Chugoku region. In Edo Period, many hereditary ”daimyos” stayed there as domain administrative headquarters of Himeji Domain, such as the Ikedas and the Hondas.

Registered as a World Heritage site

Himeji Castle is also called Shirasagi-jo (meaning ”white egret castle”) because of its appearance of having white-painted walls that look like a flying egret. The current appearance was completed soon after the Tokugawa Shogunate was set up. Terumasa Ikeda drastically refurbished Himeji Castle after being allowed to move into the castle in return for his contribution in the Battle of Sekigahara. There are only 12 castles that still keep the castle tower constructed in Edo Period.
Himeji Castle is one of the precious castles that preserves the original castle tower while having never been involved in large-scale battles. It was bombed during World War II, but miraculously the incendiary bombs failed to explode.

Himeji Castle currently welcomes a large number of domestic and international visitors, having been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The castle overlooks the world of today while maintaining the same appearance since the Edo Period. The sight of the beautiful figure against a backdrop of wide open blue sky is breathtaking.


Himeji Castle
68 Honmachi, Himeji-shi, Hyogo
URL http://www.city.himeji.lg.jp/guide/castle/