Himeji Castle Walking Tour is a 2.9 mile loop trail located near Himeji, Hyōgo, Japan. The trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for hiking, walking, and scenic driving.
Also known as Shirasagijo - the White Heron Castle. Himeji-jo is a hilltop castle, as opposed to a flatland or mountain complex and comprises of 83 wooden buildings that are recognized as either "National Treasures" or "Important Cultural Properties." It is also listed as a "UNESCO World Heritage Site". The castle is occasionally known as "Hakurojo" (White Egret Castle) or "Shirasagijo" (White Heron Castle) because of it's brilliant white exterior and it's supposed resemblance to a bird taking flight. Himejo-jo dates back to 1333, when Akamatsu Norimura (a Samurai and Clan leader) built a fort atop of Himeyama (Mt Hime), but, in 1346, the fort was dismantled and rebuilt as Himeyama-jo. Then, two-centuries later, the castle was remodeled and renamed Himeji-jo. In 1581, Toyotomi Hideyoshi (a Daimyo or territorial Lord) significantly remodeled the castle and added a 3-story castle keep. From 1601 to 1603 the castle was completely rebuilt, expanding it into a large castle complex, then,from 1617 to 1618, several more buildings were added to the complex. For more than 400-years, Himeji-jo has remained intact, even throughout the extensive bombings of Himeji, during World War II, Natural Disasters,such as the 1995 "Great Hanshin Earthquake", and various typhoons. Today Himeji-jo still survives in it's original form.