What to Expect
First, I would like to introduce you to the most famous castle in Japan.
In 1993, Himeji Castle was designated as the first World Cultural Heritage site in Japan. Because of its striking beauty and elegance, it is popularly known as the "White Egret castle", but in fact it was an impregnable fortress.
The entire castle is protected by massive walls of stones and the individual stones of all sizes are fitted together with superb skill. The path leading to the base of donjon is narrow, winding and runs uphill. As the crow flies, the distance from the first gate to the tower is about 130 meters, but attackers would have to climb a route at least three times longer. This woud confuse the attackers, leaving them exhausted or demoralizes.
Himeji Castle is one of the few castles that still has some of its original parts while other castles were destroyed during World War Ⅱ. In fact Himeji Castle had been in repair since 2009. The restoration work has finished and the restoration facilities are now being dismantled. The Castle will be open to the public on March 27th 2015 (this year!). . . Don't miss it !!
Next, I would like to introduce you Engyoji Temple, where the movie "Last Samurai" starring Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe was shot. The temple is located about 6 kilometers northwest from the Castle. We can take a bus and a ropeway from Himeji station to the Temple, taking about an hour. The precinct has a large Maniden, a big Lecture Hall, Jikido, or which was used in the Last Samurai, and other buildings. You can see a panoramic view of the entire city of Himeji.
Why don't you visit Himeji Castle and Engyoji Temple with me?