About an hour and forty minutes by local train from Osaka Station by local train, Himeji is a medium-sized castle city with a relative coziness about it that makes it a popular destination.
The wide boulevard in front of Himeji Station not only leads to the castle but is the main artery from which shop-laden side streets branch out into a maze of possibilities for exploration.
Visiting UNESCO recognized world heritage sites is a travel trend that continues to pick up speed, and Himeji is fortunate in that its castle is on this prestigious list. Himeji Castle sits atop a hill and completely dominates the landscape. The interior of the castle is every bit as complex and elegant as its exterior, with a labyrinth of rooms with some relics that tell the story of feudal Japan.
Next to the castle is Himeji Zoo and Kokoen Garden, both of which are nice places to have a walk or just a bit of rest.
Mt. Shosha Engyoji Temple is an over 1,000 year old Buddhist complex that sits on a mountain top at the northern tip of the city. The main building was actually featured in the Hollywood film “The Last Samurai”. Access is possible by bus and a ropeway that runs up Mt. Shosha.
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