Top things to do

Top Choice Castle in Himeji

Himeji-jō

Japan's most magnificent castle, Himeji-jō, is a Unesco World Heritage Site, national treasure and one of only a handful of original castles remaining (most are modern concrete reconstructions). It's nicknamed Shira…
Top Choice Gardens in Himeji

Kōkō-en

Across Himeji Castle's western moat is this stunning reconstruction of the former samurai quarters. Nine Edo period–style homes boast gardens with various combinations of waterfalls, koi ponds, intricately pruned tr…
Top Choice Bar in Himeji

Kokoromi

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

Fukutei

This approachable contemporary restaurant of Japanese stucco walls and marble floors is a great choice for a civilised experience. The speciality are the set menus: a little sashimi, some tempura and the usual nibbl…
Festival in Himeji

Nada-no-Kenka Matsuri

Nada-no-Kenka involves a battle between three mikoshi (palanquins), which are battered against each other until one smashes. Try to go on the second day, when the festival reaches its peak (around noon). It is held …
Sushi in Himeji

Rikimaru

This regional chain of conveyor-belt sushi restaurants is spotless, modern and fun and specialises in sushi from local waters. Choose plates off the conveyor belt in front of you (like the famous aurora salmon), or …
Cafe in Himeji

Nagomi Cafe

Across from the station, this bright, modernist cafe with indoor-outdoor seating does great coffee and cake and a 'morning set' of flavoured toasts, salad and a drink; try the almond butter toast, a local speciality…
Shokudo in Himeji

Nadagiku Kappa-tei

Ceramic sake bottles line the walls of this workmanlike eatery owned by a local sake brewery. Sit on a drum at a woodblock table and try the daily lunch teishoku (set meal) including the signature oden (fish cake an…
Noodles in Himeji

Menme

They make their own noodles at this homey, cheerful little joint on the main street a few minutes' walk from the castle. It's not fancy, but it serves an honest, tasty bowl of udon with your choice of toppings to po…
Museum in Himeji

Himeji City Museum of Art

The permanent collection here includes painting, sculpture and crafts by Japanese and international artists, particularly Belgians like Magritte and Delvaux, as well as Picasso and Rodin.