Getting there & away
The best way to reach Himeji from Kyoto, Osaka or Kōbe is by a shinkaisoku on the JR Tōkaidō line. Fares and times include: Kyoto (¥2210, 91 minutes); Osaka (¥1450, 61 minutes); and Kōbe (¥950, 37 minutes). From Okayama, to the west, a tokkyū JR train on the San-yō line takes 81 minutes and costs ¥1450. You can also reach Himeji from these cities via the Tōkaidō/San-yō shinkansen line, and this is a good option for Japan Rail Pass holders.
On the way to Himeji, take a look out the train window at the newly constructed Akashi Kaikyō Suspension Bridge. Its 3910m span links the island of Honshū with Awaji-shima, making it the longest suspension bridge in the world. It comes into view on the southern side of the train approximately 10km west of Kōbe.