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Himeji Castle
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Himeji Castle Tour

(Approximately 3 hours)

->JR Himeji Station

Experience present-day Himeji on the way to the castle.

->Hishi-no-mon (Diamond Gate)
This gate is the biggest of all the gates in Himeji Castle and a beautiful example of a Momoyama Era (1568-1600) structure. You will see different kinds of defensive devices at each gate. Understand the obstacles to deter attacks on the castle.

->Nishi-no-maru (West Quarter)
You will walk through the Hyakken-Rohka (Long Corridor Building) that can be used as a warehouse or a fortress in case of war. However, it is said that many court ladies and their maids lived there.

->Kesho-yagura (Cosmetic Tower)
This tower and the Hyakken-Rohka (Long Corridor Building) was built with the dowry of Princess Sen who was a granddaughter of Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first Shogun in the Edo Era. You will learn about Princess Sen’s tragic life.

->Ha-no-mon (Ha Gate) and Ni-no-mon (Ni Gate)
The pathways you use forms a zigzag maze. The course is two and a half times as long as the direct distance (130 meters) between Diamond Gate and the Main Tower. You will see other defensive devices along the way.

->Ubagaishi (Old Widow’s Stone)
The most essential materials in building the castle are stones and wood. You will see a hand mill and a coffin used in the construction of the wall.

->Buzen-maru (Bizen Quarter)
This is where the residence of Lord Ikeda (the first lord of the current castle structure) was located. You will hear the story of Genbei Sakurai, the master carpenter of the castle.

->Basement of the Main Tower
You will see the kitchen and other facilities to be used in case of war. Also, the lower part of two main pillars, which sustain this 5000-ton building, can be seen.

->Top Floor of the Main Tower
You will be at 92 meter above sea level. You can see how big the castle is and you can imagine how complex it was to build it in 8 years. There is a legend about Musashi Miyamoto, a great samurai, who killed a monster that lived on this floor.

->Hara-kiri-maru (Suicide Quarter)
The wooden floor appears to be a place to commit suicide, and the well in the yard would be used to wash the severed head.

->Okiku-ido (Okiku Well)
This well is famous for the legend of Banshu Sara Yashiki. It is said that a sad voice counting dishes can be heard from the well’s depths.

->QuickTime Interactive Movie Links:
Himeji Castle (Yasuhiro Fujimoto)
World Heritage - Himeji Castle (STUDIO LOOPS)

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sansen-ya, co.
1-15-29 Yashiro-Honcho, Himeji 670-0874 Japan
phone: 079-285-1327 - fax: 079-285-1328
email: tuchiyama@sansenya.com
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