城の楽しみ方 How to enjoy

How to Enjoy Himeji Castle

“The Application Software for the Great Discovery of Himeji Castle”― Check out New Highlights

The Application Software for the Great Discovery of Himeji Castle
In Himeji Castle, a new exhibition and explanation system has just started, effectively using AR (Augmented Reality) and CG (Computer Graphics).
The dedicated free application software needs to be downloaded onto a smartphone or a tablet through the App Store or Google Play.
Detailed information with videos and photos will appear when the smartphone or the tablet is trained at the AR Markers.

 

Please see the following site for more detailed information.

Tour Routes

The following is an illustration guide map for Himeji Castle.
There are some routes in Himeji Castle: the direct route to the Main Keep, the Nishi-no-maru Bailey route through Nishi-no-maru Bailey and Kesho-yagura Tower associated with Princess Sen, and Okiku-ido route which passes by the legendary “Okiku-ido Well”.
Please tour all the routes and enjoy Himeji Castle fully.

illustration guide map for Himeji Castle

Introductions of Each Spot

  • Hishi-no-mon Gate

    Hishi-no-mon Gate

    Hishi-no-mon Gate is named after wooden curved diamond crests on a cross bar between both pillars. This gate is Yagura-mon Gate: a gate with a turret on top and usually magnificent and impressive. This is the important defensive barrier to Ni-no-maru Bailey.
    The entire gate retains its style form from the Azuchi Momoyama period (around 1573-1603). It is the largest gate in the castle.

  • Nishi-no-maru Bailey

    Nishi-no-maru Bailey

    The Japanese garden of Nishi-no-maru Bailey has a clear view of the west side of the castle. Also near the south gate, there is Musha-damari, the Warrior’s Square, where soldiers gathered before battles to organize their defense.

  • Nishi-no-maru Nagatsubone (Hyakken Long Corridor)

    Nishi-no-maru Nagatsubone (Hyakken Long Corridor)

    This is the residence of the ladies-in-waiting for Princess Sen. She is said to have prayed to Otoko-yama Mountain from this corridor every morning.

  • Kesho-yagura Tower

    Kesho-yagura Tower

    This tower is called the Cosmetic Room, or the Cosmetic Tower, as Princess Sen used this place to rest and relax after she prayed to Otoko-yama Mountain.

  • Inui-ko-tenshu Small Keep

    Inui-ko-tenshu Small Keep

    Inui-ko-tenshu is located at the corner of the northwest (the direction of Inui) and is bigger than the other two small keeps, Higashi-ko-tenshu (the East Small Keep) and Nishi-ko-tenshu (the West Small Keep). Inui-ko-tenshu appears to have 3 floors; however, it actually has 3 floors above ground and 1 underground.

  • Dai-tenshu (The Main Keep)

    Dai-tenshu (The Main Keep)

    Dai-tenshu is built on the southeast corner of the foundation of the castle tower.
    Externally, the main keep appears to have 5 floors; however, it actually has a 7-floor configuration consisting of six internal floors and a basement.
    On both edges of the top roof, 2 figures of the mythical ocean beast Shachihoko (a fish with a tiger’s head and spines on the back) are decorated. The combination of Chidori-hafu (triangular shaped gables), O-chidori-hafu (great triangular shaped gables) and Kara-hafu (undulating gables) make Himeji Castle extremely harmonious and beautiful.

  • Karamete-guchi Gate

    Karamete-guchi Gate

    Himeji Castle’s Karamete-guchi, the back gate, refers to Kisai-mon Gate, and, on the other hand, the front gate is called Sakura-mon Gate. The steep geographical feature from Kisai-mon Gate to Hime-yama Hill is utilized as the impregnable defense structures containing winding paths and many gates.

  • Bizen-maru Bailey

    Bizen-maru Bailey

    Bizen-maru was part of Hon-maru (the main building of the castle complex). The castle lord, Ikeda Terumasa, lived there and also received visitors. However, this was destroyed by fire in 1882 (Meiji 15th yr).

  • Obi-no-yagura Tower

    Obi-no-yagura Tower

    The stone walls of this tower is the tallest in this castle complex: approximately 23 m in the vertical direction. The complex structure of Mono-mi-yagura (a watch tower) and a tea-ceremony room was built on the stone wall. It is said that the steam-releasing drain board in the watch tower is the evidence of a tea-ceremony room.

  • Okiku-ido Well

    Okiku-ido Well

    The legend says that the heroine of a famous ghost story, “Banshu Sara-yashiki”, was killed and her body was thrown into the well. Originally, this well was called Tsurube-tori Well.

  • Ogi-no-kobai (Fan Curve of Stone Wall)

    Ogi-no-kobai (Fan Curve of Stone Wall)

    With a history stretching 400 years into the past, Himeji Castle was never exceptionally involved in battles and survived even wars in recent times. Therefore, Himeji Castle is an extremely valuable cultural heritage including unique remains such as the keeps, turrets and gates which are all in good preservation.
    The stone wall’s contour is called “fan curve” due to its resemblance of a folding fan. The incline gets steeper as it goes up, making it difficult to climb.

  • Ni-no-maru Bailey

    Ni-no-maru Bailey

    Many towers and gates including Hishi-no-mon Gate were arranged in Ni-no-maru Bailey to prevent intruders. Even if intruders managed to break through the defense line, they were driven into the narrow lanes or small divisions for warriors to attack them easily.

  • Ru-no-mon Gate

    Ru-no-mon Gate

    This gate, a shortcut to the main keep, was built in the form of Ko-mon Gate. As this gate was built at the point just shifted to the side of the castle, it is not seen from Hishi-no-mon Gate. The road through Ru-no-mon Gate is called Kan-do (a side road).

  • Sangoku-bori Moat

    Sangoku-bori Moat

    Sangoku-bori Moat, which is located just inside Hishi-no-mon Gate, plays an important defensive role along the main and side roads which lead to Ni-no-maru Bailey. This moat is said to have been Kara-bori Moat (dry moat) while Hashiba Hideyoshi was the lord of the castle.