Getting to Himeji Castle was a breeze. A return ticket costs around 4000 Yen, but you can buy a 1 day Japan Rail pass for the area for just 2000 Yen. An express train runs every 20 minutes from Kyoto straight to Himeji (it takes 90 minutes and has a really nice route along the coast) and from there it’s about 1km to walk to get to the castle.
I was keen to visit the castle because there are so few castles left in Japan. Also it looked stunning from the photos I’d seen.
Unfortunately, the castle itself was being renovated and won’t be ready until 2016. For now, the main castle is covered in tarpaulin.
In any case, visitors are able to visit the grounds of the castle and the battlements. In one of the guardhouses was an exhibition of samurai armour. I was also able to make some new friends in the gardens: