Best Spots to Spend Your Time in Himeji
Himeji known for its majestic white castle resting on a hilltop and its lushful mountains. Not far form Himeji port, you can reside on Ieshima Island and enjoy the beautiful sea life. Himeji is truly the place of tranquility if you’re trying to find some inner peace.
Himeji Castle is a hilltop Japanese castle complex situated in the city of Himeji also known as Hakuro-jō or Shirasagi-jō meaning “White Egret Castle” or “White Heron Castle” as the white exterior resembling to a bird taking flight. Himeji Castle is one of Japan’s three premier castles.
Serves as a classic example of Japanese castle architecture, having been designated a national treasure in 1931 the castle is one of the finest surviving historical monument of prototypical Japanese castle architecture, comprising a network of 83 rooms with advanced defensive systems during the feudal period. 74 of them are designated as Important Cultural Assets: 11 corridors, 16 turrets, 15 gates, and 32 earthen walls.
Koko-en is a Japanese garden located next to Himeji Castle opened in 1992 on the former site of the feudal lord’s west residence. It was constructed in to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Himeji municipality in 1992 sizing about 3.5 hectares that create a historical atmosphere with the majestic view of Himeji Castle.
There are 9 different gardens built on the archaeologically excavated site of samurai houses and roads which features a pond with a waterfall, a pine tree garden, a bamboo garden and a flower garden. There is also a tea house in the garden where visitors can enjoy sips of matcha tea while enjoying the serene of the beautiful landscape.
Mount Shosha is at the northern edge of Himeji City and is home to Engyoji temple that has a history over 1000 years old. A lot of filming has been done here as it is untouched by the modern world.
You can get up to the mountain by taking Mt Sosha Ropeway, a cable car that takes you 15 minutes walk away to Engyoji Temple, if you’re feeling adventurous, take a hike of 45 minutes and enjoy the nature surrounding it.
The Shoshazan Engyō-ji is a temple of the Tendai sect in Himeji, Hyōgo founded by Shoku Shonin in 966. It served as the backdrop for the movie Last Samurai. The complex of buildings is at the top of Mt Shosha approximately 25 minutes by bus from Himeji Station. It is not crowded unlike other temples in Hyogo away from the modern city life. Up reaching on the mountain you need to pay 500 yen to enter the temple.
The complex of buildings is at the top of Mt Shosha approximately 25 minutes by bus from Himeji Station. It takes 1 hour to hike up and 30 mins to go down from the foot of Mt. Shosha.
Himeji Central Park
The Himeji Central Park is a safari park in Himeji, Hyōgo, Japan. The park opened in March 1984, and is the one and only safari park in Kansai region. It has a “sister park” agreement with Nairobi National Park, Kenya.
There are lots of things to enjoy in the safari park. The drive-through safari goes through 8 zones, the walking safari has another 8 zones. There is also a sky safari that you may ride a gondola up through to see the park from a bird’s eye view.
There are a few rides and attractions you can enjoy at the amusement park. Some attractions are available on certain season such as the ice rink during winter and swimming pool during summer.
The Taiyo Park features many famous landmarks from all over the world. The Neuschwanstein Castle greets you to the park in the Castle Area location with its enormous size that is two thirds the size of the actual castle in Germany, the Terracotta Army from China and much more. You are free to explore the castle within and even take photos. This is the best place to see world-famous monuments in a place.
In the Stone Area, you can observe the replica of the First Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang’s massive stone army. Prepare to be overwhelmed from the sheer amount of the 1,000 stone replicas that are on display.
After visiting the park, shop around the Taiyo Park Market for souvenirs or other items for sale. Only up to 13 visitors are allowed to be in the park at a time so make sure to book your tickets ahead and be on time!
Shojin Gohan Ya Karin
Enjoy traditional Japanese style Shojin with Vegan menu in a lovely space that combines traditional Japanese architecture with an open, modern design. Using vegetables that grown locally, and the soup is made carefully with selected kelp and dried shiitake mushrooms to bring out the umami
Offers two set meal options, one with coffee or tea and one without. You get four small plates, rice and a miso soup. The drinks are all organic but be aware that the restaurant also serves craft beer and wine.
Ieshima” means “Home Island.” After waiting out a storm in the safety of Ieshima’s harbors around 600 BCE, Japan’s legendary first Emperor Jimmu described the islands as being, “So quiet it feels like home.” It actually is a group of 44 small islands. Only 4 main inhabited ones and 40 smaller uninhabited islands. Ieshima is one of the big islands but the name Ieshima is also used to refer to the entire chain of Islands. They are famous for their white sand beaches and clear sea water.
The island is famous for the quality of the fish found in their waters, the stones from their quarries used in the construction of Osaka Castle.
Ieshima is host to the annual Open Water Swim Competition which has been rapidly gaining fame as one of the most popular open water swim competitions in Japan. The race takes place between the islands of Tangajima and Ieshima. Ieshima can be reached by a 35-minute boat ride from Himeji Port.