On April 4, 2019, I visited Himeji. Himeji is a city in Japan that has a gorgeous Japanese castle. I wanted to see the amazing castle that everyone was talking about. In this article, I’ll share a video tour showing you how Himeji Castle looks from both outside and inside. I also captured videos of the Japanese gardens and nice cherry blossom views.
Himeji Castle Video Tour
Here is the video at Himeji Castle and the surrounding areas around the castle. If you want to know more about Himeji, visit the Himeji page and continue reading this post. I share more information about things related to the things you’ve seen in the video. So you get more understanding of what to expect once you arrive there.
Best View in Cherry Blossom Peak Season
I delayed my trip to Himeji because I wanted to do it in the time of cherry blossom. Why is that? because I saw images of the place with cherry blossom trees. Those pretty pictures that I’ve seen were a good enough incentive for me to hold the trip. As I said, on April 4th I went to Himeji.
I took the direct train from Osaka train station to Himeji city, which is around an hour ride, maybe slightly longer. The castle can be seen from far because of its lofty location and size. It’s a large complex with the main 7-floor castle overlooking the entire area from above.
Around the entrance and the castle, beautiful cherry blossom trees. It wasn’t full efflorescence yet. It gave me the opportunity to capture beautiful pictures of cherry blossom near Himeji Castle.
Another reason I went to Himeji is that the weather forecast mentioned a clear day. I didn’t want to experience the castle as Count Dracula castle in a bad cloudy day LOL.
Beautiful View from the Top Floor
I need to inform you about getting to the top floor. It’s not that accessible. There are some big steps that feel like climbing a hill than climbing regular stairs. You can go around the castle and not enter it. However, you kind of miss how it looks from the inside. And there is a beautiful panoramic view of Himeji from the top floor.
Around Himeji Castle
As you can see in the video, I also walked around the castle, followed the lake. I entered the nearby Japanese gardens which were a great experience as well.
The cherry blossom view was marvelous around the castle. Plenty of trees showing beautiful blossoms in different colors. This, alongside beautiful weather, created a very pleasing and relaxing Hanami experience. I also show the panoramic view from Hegret Himeji building.
The lake around the castle has cute little ducks swimming and a tourist boat that circulates the castle, allowing you to enjoy the blossom and the castle views from within the lake itself. I didn’t try it, but it seems like an enjoyable experience.
Nearby Japanese Gardens
There is also a garden with a beautiful little hill full of flowers in different colors. It overlooks the castle with cherry blossom trees and it produced a splendid view (Minute 16:18 in the video).
A 2-minute walk from there you have several Japanese gardens waiting to be explored.
TIP: When you purchase a ticket to enter the castle from the machine, take the one that includes the Japanese gardens as well. It’s more affordable that way and the gardens are well worth touring. As I said, it’s also near the castle, so you won’t need to walk a lot to get there.
Anything to do at night in Himeji?
Well, the main attraction is the castle. I’ve searched but didn’t find anything of real interest to me. That being said, the view of the castle at night is unforgettable. You must stay until the evening to see how the castle looks at night. When I was there, it was lit up and there was a lighting show in a nearby area outside the castle.
That light show was for the Spring season I believe. Soothing music was playing and that created a one-of-a-kind atmosphere that you’ll never forget. It’s kind of euphoric feeling being there.
Experience Himeji Castle using Augmented Reality
Sometimes it’s just hard to embrace what’s in front of your eyes. This is why I hope that Augmented Reality will be used to further enhance those viewing experience. By that I mean, adding virtual content to make the place look at how it was centuries ago, so you can relive those moments in history. It’s like taking a time machine and see how the place felt like hundreds of years ago.
We will get there, once AR glasses are here and I’m sure it will be an amazing experience. I remember when I left the place, there was a virtual reality (VR) experience there. I didn’t try it because I left already. But virtual reality is different, it put you in a completely virtual place. I am talking about a mixed reality experience. You see the castle but with added virtual content.
For example, Samurais walking around the castle, seeing how rituals took place around the castle, etc.
Anyway, some sweet thoughts of how future technologies can further enhance the experience when visiting these type of places.
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This is it. I hope you enjoyed the video and it convinced you to visit Himeji Castle on your next trip to Japan. Don’t forget to check all the social channels in the footer and subscribe or follow them. I’ve set up accounts on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as well. I’ll share content and updates there over time.