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If you're venturing around Japan, you'll likely be going by train as it is by far the most efficient way to get around Japan. Buying a Japan Rail Pass will make it even more efficient and far cheaper. Click here to pick one up from the official vendor.
Himeji is a nice little city in the Kansai region, just west of Kobe. I particularly like Himeji for its chilled slow pace of life.
However, the main draw of Himeji is the castle, which is probably the most impressive and beautiful in all of Japan. It is one of the last remaining original great castles of the feudal era of Japan. It has an impressive 6 floors and amazing walls and keep. The history of the castle is long and complicated but came to what it is now by Tokugawa Iyesi who was the most powerful Shogun in Japan's history and awarded the castle to Ikeda Terumasa in 1600 for his help in the battle of Sekigahara, who was the Daimyo (lord) of Himeji. He then built it into the 6 story castle as it is today. The castle is the biggest original castles in Japan and is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is highly worth visiting Himeji for this.
►Admission: 1000 yen
One of the prettiest and biggest gardens in Kansai, Koko-en was built in 1992 to commemorate 100 year anniversary of the establishment of the Himeji municipality. Koko-en garden actually has 9 different gardens inside the area, all of which are different and have their own themes.
►Admission: 300 yen