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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Himeji Fort 姫路城 • Simply One Cookbook

Uncover the wealthy historical past and cultural significance of Himeji Fort, also called the White Heron Fort. It’s the largest, most famed fortress and one of many 12 authentic castles nonetheless left in Japan.

Himeji CastleHimeji Castle

Our household loves visiting Japanese Castles. Every time we go to a brand new one, we get the chance to study extra about every fortress’s wealthy historical past and interesting tales. As we have a look at these awe-inspiring constructions, we will solely think about what it was like through the feudal occasions when the lords and shoguns lived there. Prepared to take a look at Himeji Fort? Let’s go!

Remaining Unique Japanese Castles

Nearly all the 200 castles you see in Japan right now are replicas. Quite a few originals fell sufferer to fires, battle, or earthquakes. Remarkably, solely 12 authentic castles stay standing in Japan to at the present time and they’re:

Of the unique castles, the grandest of all of them is the Himeji Fort in Hyōgo Prefecture. It’s thought-about one among Japan’s three premiere castles together with Matsumoto Fort and Kumamoto Fort.

Otemon Entrance gate to Himeji CastleOtemon Entrance gate to Himeji Castle

The right way to get to Himeji Fort 

Himeji Fort, positioned in Himeji Metropolis, is definitely accessible by both Shinkansen or Shinkaisoku 新快速 (Particular Fast Service Practice). In case you are already within the Kansai space, you will get to Himeji Station in 40 minutes from Kobe, one hour from Osaka Station utilizing the Shinkaisoku, and one hour and quarter-hour from Kyoto Station. It’s shut sufficient for a day journey if Himeji Fort is in your itinerary. When you take the Shinkansen, Himeji Station is barely 30 min from Shin-kobe station.

Once you arrive, you possibly can see the majestic fortress simply down the street from the prepare station. You possibly can both stroll to the fortress in about quarter-hour or take the bus. Buses depart each 5-7 min from the prepare station that can conveniently cease close to the fortress.

Himeji CastleHimeji Castle

Historical past Of Himeji Fort

Courting again to the early 1600s, the present construction of Himeji Fort underwent in depth renovation and restoration, resulting in its reopening to the general public in 2015. The positioning by which Himeji Fort lies dates again to 1333 when it served as a seat of energy for rulers.

Apart from being the most important and most visited fortress, additionally it is one of many first Japanese UNESCO World Heritage Websites. Additionally it is an instance of conventional Japanese fortress structure and incorporates many superior defensive programs and options from the Feudal Interval (1185-1603).

As you cross Sakuramon Bridge (桜門橋) via Otemon Gate (大手門), you possibly can get pleasure from strolling across the fortress grounds without charge.

Himeji Fort Nickname

Himeji Fort is also called Shirasagijo (白鷺城) “White Heron Fort” as a consequence of its white exterior and resemblance to a fowl flying. Its elegant look and grand stature appeal to hundreds of thousands of tourists yearly, with the height season being throughout cherry blossom season. From late March to mid-April, over 1,000 ephemeral cherry blossom bushes encompass the fortress complicated, in a tapestry of pink and white, making a magical-esque scene.

Photospot of Himeji CastlePhotospot of Himeji Castle

Tour of Himeji Fort

Earlier than getting into Himeji Fort, you will want to buy tickets from the merchandising machines. Entrance charges are ¥1,000 for adults and ¥300 for all faculty kids (costs in 2024).

Himeji Fort is constructed on a hilltop (Himeyama) so there may be fairly a little bit of climbing because the fortress’s stairs are fairly steep – A phrase of warning to those that might need hassle climbing or strolling for lengthy intervals.

Himeji Castle walkway with tower defnse systems visibleHimeji Castle walkway with tower defnse systems visible

The paths and walkways as much as the fortress are deliberately designed like a maze, supposed to confuse the enemy throughout assaults. Along with the complexity, these paths are very slender and steep, making them even tougher to assault.

As you possibly can see within the photograph beneath, many gates resulting in Himeji Fort Tower are tiny. It could be tough for quite a lot of adults (or a military) to enter shortly, enhancing the fortress’s defensibility.

Himeji castle stone walls and narrow gatesHimeji castle stone walls and narrow gates

The assorted gates act as boundaries and the excessive stone partitions make it tough for any potential invader to go via earlier than reaching the primary maintain.

Himeji Castle gateHimeji Castle gate

All through the tour, plaques clarify the needs of particular architectural traits. On this instance, it explains the historical past of the Oil Wall.

Oil wall structure information boardOil wall structure information board

The oil wall is a mud wall made utilizing a rammed-earth development methodology, leading to very robust partitions. This explicit wall is the one rammed-earth wall remaining on the fortress and was initially coated in white lime plaster.

Mud Wall in Himeji Castle using rammed-earth constructionMud Wall in Himeji Castle using rammed-earth construction

The Himeji Fort Tower

The Tenshukkaku or main keep in Himeji CastleThe Tenshukkaku or main keep in Himeji Castle
The Tenshukkaku (天守閣), means the primary maintain, or the tallest tower of a Japanese fortress.

After getting into the primary maintain, there’s a mannequin depicting the Himeji Fort and the encompassing space through the feudal days on the primary ground.

Guests can study concerning the historical past of the fortress and the in depth repairs executed over time. Earlier than 2009, the earlier main restoration was accomplished in 1964. The more moderen restoration targeted on the substitute of roof tiles and partitions of the primary maintain.

Different shows embrace a mannequin of the picket skeleton that helps the fortress, demonstrating its resilience towards numerous pure disasters, together with the Nice Hanshin Earthquake.

Apart from the primary ground, there aren’t too many artifacts or fortress data on show on the opposite flooring. Guests are guided via every of the flooring via boundaries. As a phrase of warning, there isn’t any restroom contained in the precise fortress so bear in mind to go earlier than getting into; in any other case it’s a good distance down.

As guests tour every ground, there’s a lighted ground plan on show and a quick clarification of the particular options on that ground.

2nd floor map of Himeji Castle2nd floor map of Himeji Castle

One of many attention-grabbing architectural options that stood out to us had been the 2 huge pillars that assist the fortress, one on the east and one other on the west.

Every ground will get progressively smaller as you go increased up. Although the fortress seems prefer it’s 5 tales from the outside, it’s truly 6 tales and has a basement ground.

After touring the fortress towers, we walked across the fortress grounds. One of many attention-grabbing options was the Okiku Ido effectively.

Okiku Ido wellOkiku Ido well

It has been there for the reason that 1500s, and there’s a narrative of homicide and betrayal linked to it. In case you are within the story, learn extra right here.

Native Specialty Meals at Himeji: Sea Eel Sashimi

Anago or Sea Eel local specialty food in HImejiAnago or Sea Eel local specialty food in HImeji

What is that this sea creature you may ask? Earlier than visiting Himeji Fort, we shortly grabbed a chunk on the prepare station. At most massive prepare stations in Japan, you could find all kinds of eating places and outlets close by. We visited a seafood store that had reside sea eel (anago 穴子), a neighborhood specialty we had by no means skilled earlier than.

The anago sashimi (I did say recent!) is thinly sliced into uzusukuri (薄造り) and its texture and taste are just like hirame (halibut/flounder). It was accompanied by ponzu and it was fairly scrumptious; nevertheless, there have been numerous small bones we needed to pull out.

I hope you loved this fast tour of Himeji Fort. When you haven’t visited an authentic Japanese Fort, we extremely advocate Himeji Fort, Matsumoto Fort, and Matsuyama Fort to your future Japan journey.

101 Places to Visit in Tokyo ebook101 Places to Visit in Tokyo ebook

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