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Road to Himeji Castle. From Himeji Station, the main road leads to the castle which can be seen in the distance.
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Road to Himeji Castle. Otemae Boulevard (Symbol Road). 大手前通り
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Uchibori Inner Moat
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Castle moat
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Path to Otemon Gate, the main gate to the castle. 大手門
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Otemon Gate, Main gate to castle. Reconstructed in 1937. 大手門
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World Heritage Site marker. 世界遺産 姫路城
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World Heritage Site marker. 世界遺産 姫路城
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San no Maru. This area is ringed by cherry trees. 三の丸広場
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Special Historical Place marker
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San no Maru cherry trees. The stone marker says that Himeji Castle is one of Japan's 100 Best Cherry Blossom Sites.
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Castle view from San no Maru.
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Main castle tower (donjon), called Tenshu. 大天守
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Himeji Castle tower, a National Treasure. 大天守
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Castle tower closeup. 大天守
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Castle tower, a National Treasure. 大天守
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Castle ticket office and entrance. Admission is 600 yen for adults. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (September through May) or 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.(June through August).
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Path to Hishi Gate. 菱門
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Hishi Gate, Important Cultural Property. Pass though this large gate to proceed to the Ni no Maru compound. 菱門1 comments
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View from the right of Hishi Gate
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View from the right of Hishi Gate
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Ni no Maru. After passing through Hishi Gate, this is what you see.
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Sangoku Moat in Ni no Maru, 三国堀
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I-no-mon Gate (Important Cultural Asset) いの門
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Ro-no-mon Gate (Important Cultural Asset) ろの門
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Path to Ha-no-mon Gate はの門
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Path to Ni-no-mon Gate
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Ni-no-mon Gate (Important Cultural Asset) にの門
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Inside Ni-no-mon Gate. A bottleneck gate designed so not many enemy soldiers can pass through at one time.
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Ho-no-mon Gate (lower left)
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Mizu-no-ichi Gate, Important Cultural Property.
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Mizu-no-ni Gate, Important Cultural Property
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Mizu-no-san Gate
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Castle roof underside
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Storehouse
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Koshi no Kuruwa storehouse for rice and salt
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Inside storehouse
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Family crest on roof tiles. The family crest of the resident warlords who repaired the castle remain on the roof.
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The family crest of the resident warlords who repaired the castle are displayed. The warlords include Hashiba (later Toyotomi) Hideyoshi, Ikeda Terumasa, Honda Tadamasa, Matsudaira Tadaaki, Matsudaira Naomoto, Sakakibara Tadatsugu, and Sakai Tadazumi.
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The family crest of the resident warlords who repaired the castle remain on the roof.
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Koshi Kuruwa storehouse (Waist Quarter) for salt and rice.
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Inside storehouse
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He-no-mon Gate への門
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View from He-no-mon Gate
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Chi-no-mon Gate in the distance. On the left partially hidden is To-no-ichi Gate. ちの門
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To-no-ichi Gate との一問
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One end of To-no-ichi Gate
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View of castle tower from Chi-no-mon Gate
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He-no-mon Gate in the distance. As seen from Chi-no-mon Gate.
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Chi-no-mon Gate (after passing through)
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Well Turret sign. The turret is to defend the rear of the castle. It has three rooms, one of which has a 16-meter deep well. 井郭櫓
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Well Turret. The well is 16 meters deep with water 1 meter deep.
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Bizen Gate entrance to Honmaru, also called Bizen-maru. Notice the coffin stone on the right of the gate. (Important Cultural Property) 備前門
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Stone coffins at Bizen Gate. Due to a shortage of stones during the castle's construction, many stone coffins unearthed from the tumulus on the hill of the castle were used in the rock walls. The stone coffins were replaced by real stones during the cDue to a shortage of stones during the castle's construction, many stone coffins unearthed from the tumulus on the hill of the castle were used in the rock walls. The stone coffins were replaced by real stones during the castle restoration in the 1960s.
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"Sama" hole for dropping stones, throwing spears, etc.
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Castle tower viewed from Bizen Maru (Honmaru). 大天守
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Castle tower viewed from Bizen Maru (Honmaru) 大天守
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Castle tower stone foundation
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Castle tower 大天守
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Path to castle tower entrance
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Mizu-no-go Gate. 水五門
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Mizu-no-go Gate door
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Mizu-no-roku Gate
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Inside Mizu-no-roku Gate
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Mizu-no-roku Gate door
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Take off your shoes before entering.
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First flight of stairs
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First floor
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Sword exhibit
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To second floor
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Weapon racks called bugukake. 武具掛
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Weapon racks called bugukake. 武具掛
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Sign for bugukake weapon racks. Most explanatory signs are also in English.
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Gun racks called bugukake. 武具掛
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Warrior armor displayed on second floor of Himeji Castle tower
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View of Honmaru
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To top floor
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Fifth floor
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Top floor of castle tower
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Osakabe Shrine on top floor of Himeji Castle. This shrine was already on the hill before the castle was built. The shrine was moved when the castle was built, but it was brought into the castle after some "curses" occurred.
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View of Honmaru (Bizen Maru), main road to Himeji Station, and Nishi-no-Maru
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Nishi no Maru and Sangoku Moat in foreground
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Nishi no Maru and Hishi Gate (lower right)
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View of Honmaru (Bizen Maru) and shachihoko roof ornament. The shachihoko ornament on the roof ridge guards against fire and natural disasters. Eleven of these are atop the castle.
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View of Honmaru and main road to Himeji Station, Otemae Boulevard (Symbol Road). 大手前通り
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View of Shirotopia Memorial Park. Site of the Shirotopia Expo held in 1989 to celebrate Himeji city's centennial. シロトピア記念公園
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View looking east
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Going back down
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Going down
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Weapons racks called bugukake. 武具掛
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Wooden framework of castle tower
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More exhibits
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Model of castle
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Path to Harakiri (belly-slitting) Maru on the left or to Ri-no-mon Gate straight ahead.
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Harakiki Maru. Square where the samurai committed harakiri or seppuku. The well seen in the upper right may have been where the head was washed. The building on the right was actually a defensive post.
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Okiku's Well. Subject of a famous ghost story called "Banshu Sara Yashiki," about a castle servant named Okiku.
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Nu-no-mon Gate (Important Cultural Property). This is the way out.
     
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