Cherry Blossom at Himeji Castle

First built as a fort in 1933, Himeji Castle has gone through several major constructions and expansion throughout several hundred years, including surviving the Second World War in 1945. In 1581, the famous warrior Hashiba Hideyoshi built a 3-storied keep in Himeji Castle. The current 5-storied, 7-floored Main Keep was completed in 1609. In 1934, the Main Keep of Himeji Castle was designated as National Treasure. In 1993, Himeji Castle was registered as Japan’s first UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

A major maintenance and repair work of the Main Keep began in 2009 and completed in 2015 which was just one year ago. In my recent visit for the cherry blossom, part of the structure is still covered with scaffolding.

Himeji Castle 姬路城
I think this is so far the only castle in Japan that I could see from a distance as soon as I get out the Himeji JR Station. Many photographers gathered on the second floor of the JR station and use a super long-range lens to take photos of the castle. I took this picture outside the castle.
我相信姬路城是我暫時在日本看過唯一可以一出 JR 站就可以遠遠看到的城堡。不少攝影發燒友就在火車站上層用超長鏡頭拍照。這張是我在城外拍的照片。
Himeji Castle 姬路城
You may get a boat ride on the moat which is only available since March 2016. It costs ¥1,000 per adult and everyone is given a traditional bamboo hat of the old days to wear. Look interesting from a onlooker’s point of view.
Himeji Castle 姬路城
This is the front gate (Ote Mon).
Himeji Castle 姬路城
After entering the front gate, there is a vast space in the middle (San-no-Maru) surrounded by cherry trees. It is a very popular park. There are lots of people sitting and walking around the park.
Himeji Castle 姬路城
Simply walk along the cherry trees on the left, you will get to the admission gate of the Main Keep.
Himeji Castle 姬路城
A single ticket to the Main Keep costs ¥1,000 but a combined ticket including the entrance to Koko-en next door is only ¥1,040. So why not.
Himeji Castle 姬路城
There are many cherry trees in the paid area, beautiful.
Himeji Castle 姬路城
Himeji Castle is one of the 10 best castles in Japan. Its 32 mud walls are designated as Important Cultural Properties, the 8 Keeps are designated as National Treasures, the premises within the inner moats are designated as Special Historic Sites, and the Main Keep designated as National Treasure and registered on the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage.
Himeji Castle 姬路城
The beautiful Main Keep of Himeji Castle with white plaster is also known as the White Egret Castle.
Himeji Castle 姬路城
This highly regarded castle has attracted a lot of tourists at the weekend. It takes more than one hour just to queue up to the Main Keep. My main objective was to see cherry blossom in this trip. So I turned back even after I’ve bought the ticket, and continue to visit other park area.
Himeji Castle 姬路城
The sky started to clear up after 4pm. The castle looks so beautiful and spectacular!
Himeji Castle 姬路城
You may capture the whole castle with full blossom cherry trees from the outside. Very nice!
Himeji Castle 姬路城
Transportation : simply take JR train to Himeji station. It takes about 1 hour from Osaka station direct. Then walk about 20 minutes.

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