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Himeji Castle & Spiritual Shoshazan Engyoji Temple 1-Day Private Tour

8 hours
up to 6 people
English ( License )
Private tour (only you and your guide)

We'll visit three places, rich in Japan's history and culture. Firstly, Himeji Castle designated as Japan's first World Heritage Site in 1993, and ranked 7th as a place to visit in 2019 by NY Times. And Kokoen Japanese Style Garden nearby. Finally, Engyoji Temple, ranked 20th by TripAdviser in 2019 as a representative spiritual spot in Japan. Himeji is 1-hour away by the Shinkansen from Kyoto.


Feel free to personalize this offer with Shogo.

  • Visit Himeji Castle and walk up to the top floor of its castle tower
  • Stroll in Kokoen Japanese Style Garden near the castle
  • Enjoy local dishes such as udon white noodle, ramen, oden hot pot dish, takoyaki, or whatever
  • Take 25-minute bus ride to Engyoji Temple on Mt. Shosha
  • Take a 40-minute walk in forests and feel overflowing healing energy
  • Visit Okunoin, most sacred place, in Shoshazan Engyoji Temple

Want to personalize this tour?

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What to Expect

Getting off at JR Himeji Station, you will be astonished by the breathtaking view of Himeji Castle. It is often called "white heron castle" with its image of a white heron spreading it wings to take off. Let's walk through the main street to the Castle about 1 km away from the train station.
Now you are at the main castle gate. Behind you is the beautiful castle tower. You can walk up to the top. You will enjoy its beautiful scenery like feudal lords and princesses did in the 16th century. Now you are a samurai lord or an elegant princess. After the castle you will visit traditional Kokoen nearby. It is famous for its Japanese style garden and samurai residences.
Now you may be starving. Why don't you try Japanese dishes such as sushi, tempura, and Chinese style noodles?
After lunch, off we go to healing Shoshazan Engyoji Temple, about 25-minute ride away. Shoshazan Engyoji Temple is the 27th temple of the 33 temples appointed as pilgrimage sites in Western Japan. Back in the day, a bunch of people including aristocrats visited here from across Japan to pray for peace and get peace of mind. It's still retaining the very quiet atmosphere of the 10th century. Today it is noted as a shooting place for samurai TV dramas and films like "The Last Samurai" played by Tom Cruise.

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Departure & Return

Depart From Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, Kobe, Himeji
Starting time 09:00 AM ( recommended )   Flexible
Meeting Point At JR Himeji Station, or at your hotel in Himeji
Ending Point At JR Himeji Station, or at your hotel in Himeji

Inclusions & Exclusions

What‘s included

guide fee

What‘s not included

transportation fee to and from JR Himeji Station (you only), transportation and ropeway fees in Himeji area (about 2,000 JPY per person, you ond guide), entrance fee (1,600 JPY per person, you only), lunch (you only)


I can also guide you in Hiroshima (Peace Memorial Park, Miyajima), 1-day tour. My transportation fees to/from Hiroshima cost about 20,000 JPY, return.

1 Since this tour includes Shoshazan Engyoji Temple, the very spiritual pilgrimage site, I recommend this tour to those who are interested deep in Japanese culture like austere beauty and refinement, not just tourist sites.
2 Himeji Castle has rather steep stairs up to the castle tower. No elevators. And on Mt Shosha, we will walk 30 minutes (over 1 hour if we don't use a mini-bus) in the temple complex. So if you have lovely infants on your tour, please ask him or her to wait for the next chance.
3 After visiting Himeji Castle and Kokoen Landscape Garden, we'll head for Shoshazan Engyoji Temple by local bus and ropeway.
4 Shoshazan Engyoji Temple is located on the hilltop about 1,000 feet high. Temperature will be a little lower than the Castle area.
5 After visiting the temple, we will again take a ropeway and local bus back to JR Himeji Station.
6 This is a one-day tour starting/ending at JR Himeji Station.
7 We are asked to take off our shoes when entering Himeji Castle tower and the main building of Shoshazan Engyoji Temple. read more

Cancellation Policy

  • Free cancellation - 30 days prior to meeting date
  • 50% Refund - 15 to 29 days prior to meeting date
  • No Refund - Within 14 day(s) prior to meeting date

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make changes after I book?

Yes! If you need to make changes such as removing or adding someone to your booking or changing the date or time of your tour, contact us by phone or email

Starting and ending points of the tour.

After you secure your booking, the starting and ending points of your tour can be customized to your convenience (ex.: your hotel, nearby stations, etc.). Don't worry, we will take care of you! Some tours may have an extra fee for this service, make sure to check the tour page.

What happens after I book a tour?

After booking a tour, the guide will accept (or decline) your booking within 24 hours. Then you will be noticed by email from Triplelights.

Is the price per person or per group?

The price is charged per group. Which means that you make a one-time payment for your entire group and the price will not change if it is less or more people.

Can I add more people to my booking?

Some guides accept extra people (more than the specified number) for an extra charge. Please check for the extras on the tour or booking page, or contact your guide directly to clarify.

Will there be other tourists in my tour?

No. Your tour is private, only for you and your family or friends, there will be no other group of tourists together in your tour.

Can the guide pickup me at the airport?

Yes, but there will be additional charge for that and it is not by car. The guide will go pick you up using public transportations. For further details, please contact your guide directly.

I'm travelling alone. Can I book this tour?

Yes, you can and you may be able to get a discount if you are traveling alone. Price depends on which guide you choose.

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Reviews ( 25 )
4.8 (25) Reviews
Very Good
Tami Tami United States ( Couple )
4 weeks ago

“ Osaka/Nara/Kyoto Tours ”

If you're looking for a tour guide then look no further! My husband and I had the pleasure of having Shogo as our guide for 2 days. We have booked other guides on Triplelights in the past, and Shogo is one of the best: he's easy going, flexible, and knowledgeable. We highly recommend and would definitely book him again! Thank you Shogo for the photos, and also for going above and beyond on our Kyoto tour. We had a lot of fun, and hoping to see you again in the near future.


Dear Tami, Thank you for your rave review of our tours for two days. You and your husband were so friendly and lovely a couple to me, looking very much like on your "Honeymoon," that I felt as if I were much younger in my thirties with my old close friends. Actually I found tour guiding real rewarding. Thank you Tami for giving me pleasant days. Best regards, Shogo

Patrick Patrick New Zealand ( Family with kids )
1 month ago

“ Day trip to Kyoto & Narra ”

We found Shogo to be very knowledgeable, friendly and he made our day trip special. My son especially enjoyed the Sushi, Deer in Narra and the monkeys in Kyoto.


Dear Patrick, I am so much grateful to your nice review of our Kyoto & Nara 1-day-tour. It's always my great pleasure to guide such a nice family trying to explore things Japanese to the fullest. I'm very glad to hear that you enjoyed the sushi at Arashiyama, Kyoto. Maybe you found some differences between Japan's sushi and Kiwi sushi, because fish for the sushi might be a little different. Since all of your family are sport lovers, I sincerely hope you'll visit Japan again. See you, Patrick. Best regards, Shogo

Dermot Dermot Ireland ( Couple )
Very Good
1 month ago

“ Kyoto and Himeji highlights ”

Shogo was our guide for 2 days. He is very good company and his knowledge about all of the sites was interesting. On the trip around Kyoto he took us on local transport including the tram which was a great way to travel around the city. Overall we recommend Shogo as the perfect English speaking guide.


Dear Dermot, Thank you so much for your nice review of our tours. I hope you enjoyed strolling in Kyoto plus Himeji. Also I assume that you had a great time watching Rugby World Cup in Japan. Hopefully you will come back for the next World Cup expected in Japan in future. So again, Go Ireland!!! Best regards, Shogo

Polly Polly United States ( Family )
2 months ago

“ Thank you! ”

Great experience, Shogo is a lovely and very accommodating guide!


Dear Polly, Thank you very much for your nice feedback of our tour in Himeji, including Himeji Castle, Kokoen Japanese Garden and Shoshazan Engyoji Temple. I sincerely hope that you all have got nice and long-lasting memories from Japan. Of course please keep enjoying Rugby World Cup 2019 to the fullest.!!:) Many thanks to you, Polly and your lovely family. From Shogo

Angelina & Nick Angelina United States ( Family )
5 months ago

“ Quiet Nara and Kobe Tour ”

Shogo is the best Tour Guide we had during our Circle To Japan 13-day Cruise. Shogo is highly organized and he planned our trip real well. He handed each and everyone one of us the JR pass, the timeline of our trip, and the other relevant information of our tour. We had a very memorable tour and enjoyed Shogo ‘s patience with us. I will highly recommend Shogo to everyone. All the best to sn excellent guide!


Dear Angelina, I am so much grateful to your hearty review. Your tour group of 3 couples from Kobe cruise ship pier were so warm-hearted and cheerful that our 1-day-Nara & Kobe tour was super memorable. I'm like "You all are "Gone With the Ship!" Anyway, time flies. So please remain to be lovely Tourmates forever. Thanks for everthing, Angelina. You are a super tour leader. Best regards, Shogo

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