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Japan (2013) Day 4: Himeji Castle & Kokoen Garden

Date Visited: 13th October 2013

Rise and shine! Without realised, it's the fourth day we're in Japan. And today our travel adventures are going to be a long day cause we are covering two different cities in a day - Himeji and Kobe. For this post, I will specially cover on Himeji first.

Using the 3 Days JR Kansai Area Pass we bought earlier, it will be more worth to cover more underlying destinations including Himeji with unlimited travel on local JR trains. One of the plus points of using this pass is that JR trains to Himeji are considerably faster than those non-JR trains. 

Japan - Himeji Signboard
#1: The journey from Shin-Osaka to Himeji took 67 minutes using JR trains. Upon reaching Himeji station, heading to Central Exit

What is Himeji popular with? Non other than the its prestigious and notable hilltop Himeji Castle. A symbol of Japan, Himeji Castle is the first example of Japanese historical architecture to be registered as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in the country back in 1993. Unfortunately by the time we visited, the castle's Main Keep was all covered up due to underwent extensive renovation works for several years and was fully re-opened to the public in March this year. Despite that, other area of Himeji Castle was still open to the public as usual.

Japan - Himeji Castle 05
#2: Also known as White Heron Castle for its elegant and brilliant white extension 

Japan - Himeji Castle 08
#3: From JR Himeji station, it takes 15-20 minutes walk to the castle down the broad Otemae-dori street

Admission fee for Himeji Castle is 1,000 yen (approx. to RM30) but we bought the combine ticket of Himeji Castle and Kokoen Garden for 1,040 yen. 

Japan - Himeji Castle 01
#4: Walking towards Diamond Gate, the most important defensive gate

Japan - Himeji Castle 02
#5: What a sunny day in Himeji

Japan - Himeji Castle 03
#6: Most structures have been well preserved for more than 400 years

Japan - Himeji Castle 04
#7: Extensive renovation works

Japan - Himeji Castle 06
#8: Overlooking of Himeji city taking from the above 

Japan - Himeji Castle 07

Before we ended our tour marvelling around Himeji Castle, we stumbled upon something which we didn't expect we will see during the mid autumn season - Japanese cherry blossom which commonly known as "sakura". Awfully blessed and grateful cause finally we saw real sakura. 

Japan - Himeji Sakura 01
#10: Japanese cherry blossom aka sakura in autumn. It's so beautiful I'm gonna die

Japan - Himeji Sakura 02
#11: Sakura tree behind me

Right after Himeji Castle tour, we continue with another visit of Kokoen Garden, a Japanese style garden created in 1992 to commemorate Himeji's 100th anniversary. Kokoen Garden features a pond with a waterfall, a tea garden where visitors can enjoy green tea in a tea ceremony house, a pine tree garden, a bamboo garden and a flower garden. I personally think it's really worth to pay a visit to this serene and peaceful garden.  

Japan - Himeji Kokoen Garden
#12: Kokoen Garden, a short walk from Himeji Castle 

Japan - Himeji Castle Mascot
#13: Himeji Castle mascot and memento 

And that's the end of our Himeji trip. Next, Kobe!

How To Get To Himeji Castle & Kokoen Garden
From JR Himeji station, it takes 15-20 minutes walk from the Central Exit down the broad Otemae-dori street. 

Admission Fee: Himeji Castle (1,000 yen)
                             Kokoen Garden (300 yen)
                             Himeji Castle & Kokoen Garden (1,040 yen)
Opening Hours: 9 am until 5 pm

Shin Osaka to Himeji

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Next Post >>> Day 4: Part II - Kitano-cho of Kobe 


  1. This Himeji Castle is really unique and nice. I will definitely note this place for my next Osaka trip again and I see the need to visit many places in that Kansai region which we didn't manage to cover.
    This November, I will visit Tokyo and its surrounding places.

  2. Photo num 6 very beautiful . what a lucky break to see Sakura flower :)

  3. Ah Himeji castle! I skipped it the last time because of the massive restoration work. Guess it is time to go back for a visit! ^^

  4. So nice. Didn't expect that there'd be so many things to see in the Kobe area - it's not really firmly on the tourist trail.

    P.S. Found your blog via your wonderful IG page!


  5. The ever famous Himeji Castle is so beautiful. I should give you credit for sharing your itinerary. It's been really helpful.

  6. Woah the himeji castle is very beautiful *O* I want to go there someday soon


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