While I was staying in Hiroshima I did a day trip out to Himeji to check out the city’s castle. It would have been better if I had visited Himeji from Osaka since Himeji is closer to Osaka than to Hiroshima, but I had run out of time in Osaka and thus had to shift this day trip to Hiroshima. Thankfully, because Himeji is on the shinkansen line that connects Hiroshima and Osaka this wasn’t a real problem.
Himeji Castle is visible right when you step out of Himeji Station’s north exit and the street outside the station leads straight to it. You can take a bus from the train station to the castle but it’s really not that far of a walk and I enjoyed the slow approach on foot. Himeji Castle is also known as White Heron Castle because of its bright white exterior and it is widely considered the best surviving castle in Japan. The castle has never been destroyed by natural disasters and during World War 2 the castle somehow emerged almost unscathed even though much of the town of Himeji was destroyed.
When you enter the paid part of Himeji Castle there are a few different paths you can take to explore the fortress but eventually you’ll be heading up to the main keep. The interior of the castle keep is mostly unfurnished but on the plus side this allows you a better view of the castle’s architecture. On the top floor of the main keep is a small shrine and you can look out the windows to get a view of the castle grounds and the surrounding city.