Things to do things to do tours and activities Japan > Hyogo (prefecture) > Himeji

Top 9 Things To Do In Himeji, Japan

Top 9 Things To Do In Himeji, Japan
Amber
Updated Sep 04, 2019

Himeji is a vibrant city located in the Kansai region of Japan, between Okayama and Osaka. The city is perhaps best known for Himeji Castle, which is one of the few intact castles from the feudal period remaining in Japan, and it’s definitely a place worthy of a visit while there. There are additional castle ruins to explore in Himeji, as well as animals to visit at the zoo and aquarium, all after feasting on the city’s signature dish, oden. For more information on these points of interest and more, be sure to read on to learn about the top things to do while in Himeji, Japan.

1. Tour the beautiful Himeji Castle

Perched atop Himeyama Hill and overlooking all of the towns, the Himeji Castle is a wonderful remnant of Japanese architecture from centuries past. The castle was constructed all the way back in 1333 and went through several significant remodels and name changes, until finally landing on the current layout which was finalized in 1618. It boasts a total of 83 rooms. Himeji Castle is a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is open daily to the public for tours; be sure to stop by and check out the castle that withstood the bombings of WWII and the earthquakes to which the region is prone.

Himeji Castle

Address: 68 Honmachi, Himeji, Hyogo 670-0012, Japan

Opening hours: 9am - 4pm (daily)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Himeji and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Himeji

2. Participate in a tea ceremony at Koko-en Garden

The Koko-en Gardens are located right next to the Himeji Castle, making them a great place to stop by after you’ve toured the castle. There are a total of nine different gardens, which were built in honor of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Himeji municipality. Within the grounds, there is a tea house where you can experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony; the ceremonies are available earlier in the day, so be sure to plan your trip accordingly if you would like to participate. Teas available include sweet and powdered green tea.

Koko-en Garden

Address: 68, 本町 Himeji, Hyogo 670-0025, Japan

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

Price: From 2.85 USD

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Himeji and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Himeji

3. Visit the animals at Himeji City Zoo

Source: 高橋 樂

Wild animals live within the heart of Himeji, and they are waiting for you to stop in for a visit. The zoo is located a short distance from Himeji Castle and has been welcoming visitors since 1951. Some of the animals you’ll get to see during your visit include pink flamingos, Arabian camels, and red kangaroos. There is a small amusement park within the zoo as well, making for a great place to take your kids while in Himeji.

Himeji City Zoo

Address: 68 Honmachi, Himeji, Hyogo 670-0012, Japan

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 1.9 USD

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Himeji and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Himeji

4. Indulge in Himeji's famous oden

Would any trip to a place new and different to you be complete without trying what is considered the city’s signature dish? (Hint: the answer is no!) Oden is said to be Himeji’s representative dish, thought of by many to be Japanese soul food. The dish starts off as a veritable hodgepodge of ingredients, including eggs, tofu and fish cakes, which are then boiled for quite a while in a soy-flavored broth. The flavor is said to be mild but distinct, with the plentiful amount of ginger in the broth being a key part of the dish’s flavor. Many consider oden to be more of a winter dish, but you’ll find restaurants serve it year-round, so fret not if you’re traveling during the summer months!

Himeji Sake and Oden

Address: Japan, 〒670-0914 Hyogo, Himeji, Ekimaecho

Opening hours: 11am - 9:30pm (daily)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Himeji and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Himeji

5. Visit the iconic temple Shoshazan Engyo-ji

Source: 桜 小町

A visit to Shoshazan Engyo-ji is a must when traveling to Himeji, as it has both a historical and pop-culture significance. The temple, which was of the Tendai sect, sits perched atop Mt. Shosha and was constructed many centuries ago in the year 966. The historical significance becomes obvious when you think about how old the temple is, but have you guessed where it is featured in pop culture? If you haven’t, you’ll be interested to know that Shoshazan Engyo-ji temple was the filming location of the popular movie, The Last Samurai. Talk about a win-win attraction!

Shoshazan Engyo-ji

Address: 2968 Shosha, Himeji, Hyogo 671-2201, Japan

Website: Shoshazan Engyo-ji

Price: 4.74 USD

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Himeji and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Himeji

6. Take a tour of the world at Taiyo Park

If you want to see some of the most fascinating places in the world, including France’s Arc de Triomphe and the pyramids of Egypt, but you haven’t been able to make the trip yet, you can check them out while in Himeji. While that may sound wild, Taiyo Park features replicas of many of the world’s most well-known attractions, allowing visitors a glimpse of what these places are like without having to leave Japan. The park was created by a philanthropist with the desire to help people with travel difficulties feel like they too can see the world, while at the same time raising money and awareness for those with disabilities.

Taiyo Park

Address: 1342-6 Uchikoshi, Himeji, Hyogo 671-2246, Japan

Website: Taiyo Park

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 12.33 USD

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Himeji and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Himeji

7. Interact with fish at Himeji City Aquarium

The Himeji City Aquarium is a fun place to check out a variety of aquatic species. Some of the animals you’ll get to see during your visit include sea turtles, penguins, and jellyfish. If you’re traveling as a family, your kids are sure to delight in the splash pool, as well as the exhibits where you can pet some of the wildlife. Be sure to pack a lunch as you’ll find lovely sitting areas available, and the aquarium doesn’t currently offer any dining or other food options on-site.

Himeji City Aquarium

Address: Japan, 〒670-0971 Hyogo, Himeji, Nishinobusue

Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 9am - 5pm (closed on Tue)

Price: 4.84 USD

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Himeji and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Himeji

8. Enjoy the tranquility of Hiromine Shrine

The Hiromine Shrine is an excellent place to enjoy a moment of quiet during a busy trip to Himeji. Construction began on the shrine in 733, with additional areas being added up until the 1400s. When you visit the temple, you’ll see that it is dedicated to the Gods of the calendar, and you are encouraged to visit the area at the back where the Nine Holes is situated. Each hole represents a star in the yin-yang calendar, and a person’s star is determined by the year in which he or she is born. If you would like, you can offer the gods money and whisper a wish of yours into the appropriate star-hole.

Hiromine Shrine

Address: 52 Hiromineyama, Himeji, Hyogo 670-0891, Japan

Website: Hiromine Shrine

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Himeji and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Himeji

9. Discover the ruins of Gochaku Castle

Stopping by the ruins of Gochaku Castle is a great way to see a bit of history while in Himeji. Gochaku Castle was constructed in 1519 by the Kodera clan, and today sits in the heart of Himeji. Most of what remains today is the stone monument of the castle, which happens to be very near the Himeji City Hall. Behind the hall, you’ll find the tomb where the Kuroda clan was laid to rest centuries ago, as well as the old stone bridge that is in remarkable shape for the number of years it has been standing.

Gochaku Castle

Address: Mikuninocho Gochaku, Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Himeji and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Himeji

Plan your getaway to fantastic Himeji

Himeji has a great number of interesting places to visit, guaranteeing your days are full of adventure during your trip. Use these fun ideas as a jumping-off point for deciding what things you’ll do when you travel to Himeji, Japan.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Tour the breathtaking himeji castle
Still Need Travel Insurance?

You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101

*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.

Amber has enjoyed being an office manager at a geotechnical engineering firm for seven years and has a Bachelor's degree from Tarleton State University in Marketing. When not working or wrangling...Read more

Top 3 activities to book in Himeji

Have a question? Ask fellow travellers and travel experts here.
Explore Himeji
Good things are meant to be shared!