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It is the best preserved and most visually striking castle in Japan.
The building sits on a small hill, commanding the skyline and overlooking the town of Himeji below.
History in brief
In the 14th century, the castle replaced a fort, then grew in space and height over time. Finally, in the early 17th century, it reached the state we see today. During that 400-year period, it miraculously remained relatively unscathed by fires, earthquakes, and military attacks (including Second World War bombings).
Himeji Castle has many built-in defense systems, including the maze-like pathways and numerous courtyard gates to confuse attackers.
The stronghold picked up its popular "White Heron Castle" nickname because of its bright white plaster exterior and its vague resemblance to a bird with outstretched wings.
Location in Japan