Himeji Castle is a Japanese castle complex. It is located in the city of Himeji, Hyogo, Japan. This castle is the finest surviving example of early 17th-century Japanese castle architecture. It comprises of 83 buildings which have highly developed systems of defence and ingenious protection devices.
These protection systems date back to the beginning of the Shogun period. The hilltop, on which this castle is located, was the place of a sacred shrine.
Quick Facts: –
- The Himeji Castle was built in the 17th century. Its full history spans nearly the entirety of the shogunate era.
- This castle has never experienced severe damage, from either natural forces or those of man.
- It has survived both the bombing of Himeji during World War II and the Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995.
- Other names of this castle include ‘Shirasagijo Castle’, or the ‘White Egret Castle’.
- Initially it was named Himeyama Castle but was changed during the rule of Kuroda Shigetaka in the mid-16th century.
- The Himeji Castle was designated a national treasure in 1931.
- The castle covers a total area of 233 hectares. Stone and wood are the main materials used in construction.
- The highest wall of this complex is measured 26 meters in height.
- Originally, there were total 84 gates in the castle but at present only 21 of them remain intact.
- There is a confusing maze of paths leading to the castle’s keep. It is one of the most important defensive elements.