Summary of contents of this post
In our super route through Japan, Himeji had a very important place 🙂 When we planned our visit to this city, we knew that it would be an essential stop on our way from Hiroshima to Osaka. In fact, at first we had planned to visit Okayama and Kobe (I leave you here the map with all the points of interest of both sites), but finally good sense appeared and we decided that we would focus only on Himeji. So in this video-post we want to talk about what to see in Himeji in one day 😉
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If you feel like reading more information related to our super trip through Japan you can find it here in all these articles: complete guide to Japan, what to see in Tokyo in 5 days, what to see in Kyoto in 3 days, what to see in Osaka in two days, map of Japan, how to find cheap flights to Japan, how to pack, tips for traveling to Japan from Spain, visa for Japan, plugs in Japan, the best excursions and activities to do in Japan, the best travel insurance for Japan …
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If instead of reading you are more than being told, we have also made this video-guide in which we talked about what to see in Himeji in a day, but a little more visual and entertaining 😉
Is it possible to see Himeji in one day?
Yes, it’s all right. In fact, you can see him in the middle if you go with just enough time to reach your next destination, which in our case was Osaka. If so, ideally you should get up early in the morning and dedicate a morning to it, because the most important points of interest close between 4 and 5 pm.
What to see in Himeji: Himeji Castle
After visiting everything you need to see in Himeji, you can eat at one of its restaurants and head back to the station to continue on your way (in case you don’t stay there). That’s what we did: we left Hiroshima very early, spent time in Himeji until lunchtime and then went to Osaka to spend the afternoon.
And what do I do with the suitcases if I’m in Himeji by the way?
One important thing you should know if you are going to follow the same plan as us, is what to do with the suitcases while visiting the city, which is actually something that will happen to you not only in Himeji (if you are as restless an ass as we are).
Don’t worry, at every train station in Japan you’ll find lockers of various sizes in which to leave your belongings. In our opinion it is not a cheap service (it depends on the size of your suitcases), but the reality is that it makes you feel better and allows you to get rid of your suitcases no matter how heavy they may be. In this case, we had to make use of the biggest lockers that cost us 700 JPY for the whole day (from 11:00 to 19:00). If you spend too much time nothing happens, when you arrive, you put the necessary money according to the time of more than you have been and ready.
Lockers at Himeji Station
In addition to this option, there is another very interesting one that consists of sending your suitcases from origin to destination with a kind of courier company. This service is very common in Japan, but the truth is that we don’t use it.
How to get to Himeji
You know that it depends a lot on where you travel from, but almost always the right answer is the train, and this time it was not going to be any different. It takes just under two hours to get there from Hiroshima and half an hour to get there from Osaka, which are the two nearest major cities.
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How to move around Himeji
Our recommendation is to move on foot, because all points of interest are very close to each other, but if you prefer, is at your disposal the Himeji Castle Loop Bus, a circular bus that brings you everywhere from the Himeji train station. It leaves there every half hour from 9:00 to 16:30 (less and less on weekends).
What to see in Himeji: Otemae Street
Each bus ride costs 100 JPY, but if you want, there is also a Day Pass available for 300 JPY per person.
You also have the option of renting a bike at the station, but as I said, we believe it is not necessary.
What to see in Himeji
If you ask us what to see in Himeji, no doubt these would be the places that we recommend and that you can not miss. To make it easier for you, we have compiled them all on this map, including also several cool places where you can stop to eat.
Himeji is by no means one of the places with the most points of interest in Japan, but even if it only stands out for two things… What two things! 🙂 Without any doubt, the visit to Himeji is completely worthwhile.
The visit to Himeji Castle, built in 1580, is undoubtedly one of the most interesting and recommended in Japan because in addition to being the tallest wooden building in Japan and UNESCO World Heritage of the country, it is really impressive to get lost in the bowels of this defensive giant.
What to see in Himeji: Himeji CastleWhat to see in Himeji: Himeji CastleWhat to see in Himeji: Himeji Castle
There is no doubt that the most striking thing about Himeji Castle is the color of its exterior, a pristine white. A very unusual color in this type of buildings in the West and makes it almost magical.
What you normally see in the photos of Himeji Castle is its main tower, which had mainly a defensive function, but the castle enclosure is huge and includes numerous rooms of all kinds. Although it is true, that the funniest part of the visit is going up (and almost climbing in some cases) by the different plants, seeing the secrets that awaits each one of them and flipping with how the next one is narrower than the previous one.
What to see in Himeji: Himeji Castle map
In addition, the views from the top floor are really impressive. However, it is very likely that you will have to give a couple of elbows (in a figurative sense) in order to be able to lean out of one of the windows.
What to see in Himeji: views from Himeji CastleWhat to see in Himeji: views from Himeji Castle
According to the guides and the posters of the castle itself, the recommended time for the complete visit is one and a half hours, but the truth is that we do not agree. We believe it takes at least two hours to see and appreciate it calmly.
The castle is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (until 5:00 p.m. from April to August), but our recommendation is that you go first thing in the morning, because in high season you have to form impressive queues to enter. In fact, when there are a lot of people, they close some parts of the castle to avoid crowding (there are areas that are quite small and a lot of people accumulate), especially in the upper part.
What to see in Himeji: Himeji Castle interiorWhat to see in Himeji: Himeji Castle interiorWhat to see in Himeji: Himeji Castle interiorWhat to see in Himeji: Himeji Castle interiorWhat to see in Himeji: Himeji Castle interior
The entrance to Himeji Castle costs 1,000 JPY per person, but if you want to buy the combined ticket for the Koko-en gardens right next door, you can do it for 1,040 JPY (this is the option we choose).
*Keep in mind that during the visit to the interior of the castle you will have to take off your shoes, so our recommendation is that you take some socks in your backpack to avoid going barefoot or freezing your feet.
About 5 minutes walk from the castle are these beautiful gardens that surprised us very much for good. They are located on old samurai reconstructed residences and there are waterfalls, ponds, trees, flowers and plants of many kinds, in addition to a classic tea room.
What to see in Himeji: Koko-en GardensWhat to see in Himeji: Koko-en GardensWhat to see in Himeji: Koko-en Gardens
The gardens are made up of 9 different gardens, each with its own peculiarities.
What to see in Himeji: Koko-en GardensWhat to see in Himeji: Koko-en GardensWhat to see in Himeji: Koko-en GardensWhat to see in Himeji: Koko-en GardensWhat to see in Himeji: Koko-en GardensWhat to see in Himeji: Koko-en GardensWhat to see in Himeji: Koko-en Gardens
The Koko-en gardens are open from 9:00 to 17:00 and the entrance fee is 300 JPY per person, but as I was telling you a little bit earlier, if you buy the combined ticket with the castle ticket, it will only cost you 40 JPY.
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What to see in Himeji if you have plenty of time
Mount Shosha and Shoshazan Engyo-ji Temple. After taking a cable car, you can reach this beautiful natural environment that houses a large set of temples more than 100 years old. It’s about half an hour from downtown Himeji and we’ve read that it’s quite worth it.
Where to Eat in Himeji
As in the rest of Japan, eating well in Himeji is going to be VERY easy, because in the main street of the city (the one that goes from the train station to the castle) you will find a lot of restaurants of all types and with all varieties of food: udon, sushi, ramen, etc. …
Where to Eat in Himeji: Menme
After our visit to the Koko-en gardens and the castle, we went to Menme, a very small but charming restaurant specializing in udon and located in second place of more than 3,000 restaurants in Himeji. We each ate a variety of udon (both delicious) for 1,350 JPY in total.
Where to Eat in Himeji: MenmeWhere to Eat in Himeji: Menme
Other interesting options to eat in Himeji are the following:
Where to sleep in Himeji
As you can imagine from what we told you during the post, we didn’t stay in Himeji, because we ended the day in Osaka, but still, we want to make a small selection of hotels with the three ‘b’s if you want to sleep there.
What to see in Himeji: Otemae Street
Here are some superbly scored accommodation options in Booking in Himeji:
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