Himeji (姫路市 Himeji-shi) is a citylocated in Hyōgo Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan.
Himeji (姫路) is most famous for its magnificent castle, Himeji Castle, widely considered to be Japan’s most beautiful surviving feudal castle. The castle is designated both a national treasure and a UNESCO world heritage site. At one point in the late 1500’s, it was the biggest castle in all of Asia.
The city has been featured in a series of Japanese and foreign films due to its picturesque old-Japan look. Himeji also has the forested, Tendai sect Engyo-ji Temple that featured in the movie, The Last Samurai, on the summit of Mount Shosha. Nature-oriented attractions include the 900m-high Mount Seppiko, Himeji Central Park, the Himeji City Tegarayama Botanical Garden in Tegarayama Central Park, and the Koko-en Garden, which is part of Himeji Castle.
Himeji is almost as famous for its local traditional fast foods, such as gujayaki savory pancake and takoyaki octopus dumplings, as it is for its castle.
With half a million inhabitants, Himeji is the second largest city of Hyogo Prefecture after Kobe. It can be reached in less than one hour from Osaka or Kyoto and is also a popular stopover on journeys along the Sanyo Shinkansen.