Himeji Castle is one of only twelve remaining original castles in Japan, and really is the most magnificent of all of them. It was recently renovated over several years and re-opened in 2015. It is truly deserving of its World Heritage status:
On a short break we took the Shinkansen down to Himeji, in Hyogo just outside Osaka, to see the castle which had recently been cleaned and so was back to a bright white colour – hence its nickname “White Egret Castle”. The castle, a World Heritage site and the largest castle in Japan, dates back to a hill-fort built in 1333 and the castle seen today was built in 1601-1609. In 1871 it was bought at auction for 23 yen (about US$2,258 today)!
This is the castle seen along the main drag from the station:
Sculpture along the street:
The castle with the bridge across the moat and main gate: