What to Expect
Himeji is the second largest city of Hyogo Prefecture after Kobe. You can go to Himeji in 40 minutes by express Train from Kobe. It is a good location to visit Himeji for one day as an optional tour from Kobe.
Ok, then I will show the plan.
First, we will meet at Himeji Station or I can go to your hotel to pick up if it is close to Himeji station.
Then, we can walk to Himeji Castle. It takes only for 15 minutes from the station to the castle. You can see a lot of shops walking. As you may know, Himeji Castle was registered in 1993 as one of the first world heritage sites in Japan. The castle is the largest, most beautiful and most visited in Japan. The castle was renovated over 5 years and was fully re-opened to the public in March 2015. It is more beautiful now. You really need to see this castle!! You may see people with Ninja costume or armored group there. You can take pictures with them if you want.
Estimate time is 90 minutes. We can move to the next place around 11:00.
After visiting Himeji Castle, we will walk to Kokoen. It is a beautiful Japanese garden next to the Castle. It is only 5 minute walk from the castle. This old Japanese garden makes you feel like you have time traveled to Edo period. You see a lot of seasonal flowers and if you want, you can have tea ceremony experience there. You can enjoy Japanese style tea ceremony. After enjoying walking in the garden, we will have lunch there. There is a nice Japanese restaurant in Kokoen. You can enjoy Japanese food like soba noodle, Temura and Sashimi and so on. Estimate time is 90 minutes.
Optionally, If you have a child, we can add or change a plan to Himeji Zoo next to the Castle. I often visit this zoo. This zoo is not big but there are about 110 kinds of animals including popular animals such as lions, tiger, hippo, giraffe, elephant, kangaroo, red panda, polar bears, zebra and penguins. Also there is a petting zoo. You can touch and play with small animals such as rabbit, pig, gunie pig, and goat. For mall kids, there are rides.. It is very good place to stop by. You can enjoy views from the zoo. Amazingly, the entrance fee is very reasonable. It is 200 yen ( less than $2 USD ) for adults and 30 yen ( 30 cents) for kids.
After lunch, we can move to the next beautiful spot, Mt. Shosha.
We will take a bus to Mt. Shosha, we call Shoshazan ,for 30 minutes. Then we will take a ropeway like a cable car to the top of the mountain. You can see the whole Himeji City from the rope way. It is an impressed view!! I would like you to see the view!!! Then we walk to Engyoji temple with a history of over 1000 years. This old temple is also a world heritage site. Some scenes from “the Last Samurai” (2003) were filmed here. It is worth to visiting there!! Estimate time is about 3 hours.
After visiting the temple, we take the bus to Himeji Station.