The city of Himeji and its surroundings will show you yet another side of the rich Japanese culture and history: an insight into the Japanese feudal age.
Himeji is mostly famous for its castle. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993, the ‘White Heron castle’, as it is called, is truly one of the best preserved feudal castles in Japan and certainly one of the main sights in the Kansai area.
However famous the castle may be, Himeji offers a lot of other treasures, less explored by the masses. One of these is the temple complex Mount Shosha. Its beautiful setting and spiritual atmosphere made it to become one of the main locations for the film ‘The Last Samurai’.
Another known, but less explored spot in the Himeji area is Ieshima, an island on the coast of Himeji. Sparsely populated, this relaxing island offers you a real taste of island life in Japan: friendly locals, great seafood, marine sports and a small fishing port.
Note: Himeji Castle is currently under renovations and will be until 2014. Generally you will be able to tour inside the castle though entrance will be limited or denied when workers need access to a certain area. Views of the outside will be obscured by a structure designed to protect the castle while the repairs are taking place. For details please see:
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