Finest Japanese Castle
Himeji Castle, also known as Shirasagijo (White Heron Castle) is one of the best preserved castles in Japan and one of the few that still remain. The castle was founded in 1346 by Akamatsu Sadanori. But it did not received its final shape until after 1601 when Ikeda Terumasa gained control. Ikeda Terumasa embarked on a 9 year construction project that brought Himeji Castle to it’s modern day form included a five-storied tenshu and a middle and outer moat. It is said that this project took over 25 million man days to complete.
The castle ownership has changed hands over the years but the castle was never actually part of a battle which is one reason it has remained in pristine condition for over 300 years. Of course it was built for war and you will see many details in it’s design that can be used for war. One of the most obvious is its location on a hill overlooking the surrounding plain. The castle was also surrounded by 3 moats which slowed advancing attacks. You will also see many details including strategically placed small beveled windows that archers or gunmen could use. There are also openings for throwing scalding water or stones at the attackers. If the enemy got past these defenses they would then be confronted with wandering passageways designed to confuse. The 84 gates were also very heavily armored and guarded. The above mentioned defenses may have deterred would be attackers and helped to preserve this castle to modern times.
Himeji is an easy day trip from either Osaka or Kyoto. Travelers will pass through Kobe which is a great opportunity to have a Kobe Beef dinner or lunch. Ask your Japan travel expert to make reservations for you.
In 1931 it was designated as a national treasure and then was painstakingly restoration from 1956 to 1964. In 1993 it was designated a UNESCO World Cultural and Heritage Sites.
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It was our first trip to Japan. Working with Jeff was a pleasure. His knowledge of the country and local contacts were very helpful. Choice...
Working with Jeff at Rediscover Tours was a wonderful experience. He helped me plan a 10 day trip of a lifetime to Japan with my mother...
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Our team of Japan experts have all lived in Japan for years and know its the hidden treasures. Our team is here to answer all your questions and to build your tour just the way you want it.
Jeff was born in a south suburb of Chicago named South Holland and lived in Japan for 14 years. He now lives in Commerce Township, Michigan with his wife Yoshimi, son Shota, and daughter Mina. He enjoys playing with his kids, volunteering with his daughter’s marching band, cycling and training and teaching Aikido.
Michiyo was born in Noboribetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture though currently lives in Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. Her main passions in life is traveling all around the world and enjoying their cultures.
Izumi has spent most of her life in the Kansai region, except for the 10 years that she enjoyed in the UK. Living abroad has made her appreciate her own culture and local beauty even more. She currently lives in Osaka with her family, including two cats and two dogs.
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