Himeji is most famous for it’s castle, which became a World Heritage Site in 1995.  It’s a great place to check out on the journey from Osaka to Hiroshima.

Budget travel tips

  • If you reserve a week in advance, you can get a free English language guided tour of Himeji Castle.  Contact the information centre (link below).
  • Get a combined Himeji Castle and Kokoen Garden pass for 1040 yen, just 40 yen more than the castle ticket. Can be purchased from either location.
  • You can access the two main attractions on foot. It is an easy 10-15 minute walk up the shopping street north of the station.

Places of interest

Himeji Castle

A real must-see if you are in Japan.  Everyone you meet who has been here will say it’s the grandest castle in Japan. Himeji Castle is a huge complex surrounded by some nice garden, so it’s also great for the cherry blossom season.

Open: 9:00 to 16:00, 9:00 to 17:00 (April 27th – Aug 31st)

Price: Adults 1000 yen (1040 yen with garden), Children 300 yen

Kokoen Garden

A Japanese garden located right next to the castle, offering 9 unique gardens divided by traditional fortress like walls. It was constructed at the site of the old lord’s residence.

Open: 9:00 to 17:00, until 18:00 in summer (closed Dec. 29th,30th)

Price: Adults 300 yen (1040 yen with castle), Children 150 yen

How to get there

With the Japan Rail Pass

From Kyoto station, take the Shinkansen (JR bullet train) to Himeji station (45 mins).

From Osaka station, take the Shinkansen (JR bullet train) to Himeji station (30 mins).

From Tokyo station, take the Shinkansen (JR bullet train) to Himeji station (3 hours).

Without the Japan Rail Pass

From Kyoto station, first take the JR Special Rapid Service (JR line) to Osaka station (2,210 yen, 90 mins to Himeji).

From Osaka station, take the JR Special Rapid (JR line) to Himeji station ( 1,450 yen, 1 hour).

From Tokyo, get an overnight bus with Willer Express (click link at the top for English) or use the Japan Bus Pass.


Recommended Hostels and Cheap Hotels

Himeji 588 Guesthouse

A friendly guesthouse, walking distance from the castle. Check prices at Booking.com.

Compare prices at Booking.com

Volunteer Guides

Himeji Goodwill Guide Kashinoki-kai – himejitourkashinoki@gmail.com

Volunteer Guide Association of Himeji Castle – t.kurose@sirius.ocn.ne.jp


Hyogo Tourism Guide

Published by Matthew Baxter

Japan travel writer and onsen addict