Top things to do in Himeji

Top Choice Castle in Himeji


Himeji-jō is Japan's most magnificent castle, built in 1580 by general Toyotomi Hideyoshi and one of only a few original castles from that era (most are modern concrete reconstructions). Its white-plaster facade (an…
Cultural in Himeji

Nada-no-Kenka Matsuri

At most matsuri, mikoshi (portable shrines) are paraded through town; here, three competing teams of loincloth-clad men batter their mikoshi at one another until only one (the winner) is left intact. (These are ligh…
Bar in Himeji


It's all about local sake at this modern, sophisticated standing bar, which stocks 270 varieties from Hyōgo, Himeji's prefecture. Touch screens let you search and order in English by taste, price and grade (search W…
Cafe in Himeji

Hanamoto Coffee

Both locals and out-of-towners agree that this cafe (running since 1975) is the place for coffee (freshly ground and siphon brewed, from ¥430) in Himeji. Come before 11am and your drink order will arrive with a hard…
Shokudo in Himeji

Nadagiku Kappa-tei

A local sake brewery runs this casual spot specialising in oden (stew comprising fishcakes, tofu, vegetables and eggs simmered in kelp-flavoured broth), and other dishes that naturally pair well with sake. Choose a …
Sushi in Himeji


This reliably good local conveyor-belt sushi chain has a huge selection (including many non-sushi items): choose what catches your eye as it goes round or order directly via a multilingual iPad Mini at your seat.
Gardens in Himeji


This is a modern recreation of an Edo-era samurai residence, with a lovely strolling garden complete with a central pond (filled with koi) and a teahouse (matcha ¥500). The layout and building design were based on a…
Japanese in Himeji


A reliable restaurant for set meals including local specialities, like anago (conger eel), Fukutei is big enough that you can usually get a table.
Museum in Himeji

Himeji City Museum of Art

The permanent collection here includes painting, sculpture and crafts by Japanese and international artists, particularly Belgians such as René Magritte and Paul Delvaux, as well as Pablo Picasso and Auguste Rodin.
Noodles in Himeji


Popular spot for homemade noodles at very reasonable prices, on the main street a few minutes' walk from the castle. Look for the white noren (door curtains).