If I had to choose the most memorable place in all of our Japan 2017 trip, it would be this – Himeji Castle. I learned about Himeji Castle from my favorite blogger, Tricia Gosingtian. She had the most amazing photos of the castle and it was a no-brainer when choosing the places we’d visit.
Himeji Castle (姫路城, Himejijō), also known as White Heron Castle (Shirasagijo) due to its elegant, white appearance, is widely considered as Japan’s most spectacular castle for its imposing size and beauty and its well preserved, complex castle grounds. The castle is both a national treasure and a world heritage site. Unlike many other Japanese castles, it was never destroyed by war, earthquake or fire and survives to this day as one of the country’s twelve original castles. –Japan Guide
From the JR train station, it was a 10-15 minute walk to the castle grounds. The avenue leading to the castle is filled with shops, restaurants, and cute little statues. It was very picturesque!
Himeji Castle, Japan’s preeminent wooden structure, is a building of unparalleled beauty. Seen from the outside, the Main Keep appears to have five stories but the interior reveals a seven-floored structure with six floors above and one in the basement.
One of the many reasons why I fell in love with Himeji Caste is because of the story of Princess Sen. Princess Sen was the granddaughter of Tokugawa Ieyasu. At the age of 7, she married Toyotomi Hideyori. However, he committed suicide in Osaka Summer Battle waged by Ieyasu. At the age of 20, she remarried Honda Tadatoki, son of the lord of Himeji Castle. She spent the best ten years of her life with her husband, son Kochiyo and daughter Katsu. However, Kochiyo died of disease at the age of 3. While Tadatoki died at the age of 31. Princess Sen has then become a Buddhist nun and has spent the rest of her life mourning the loss of her husband and son.
Himeji Castle is easily one of the best places I’ve visited during our stay. I wish I can tell you the wonderful story about its history (but no matter how hard I try, words seem to fail me) but since I can’t I’m overflowing this posts with pictures. It is really a sight to see.