[Himeji City] A museum you’ll want to visit together “Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History”

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The Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History has reopened on April 8, 2023, marking the 40th anniversary of its opening. We have updated aging equipment such as air conditioning and piping, installed Wi-Fi in the exhibition area, introduced audio guides using smartphones, and installed an AR kimono dress...

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Let's go to Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History

The Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History, nicknamed "Rekihaku," is located northeast of Himeji Castle, a world cultural heritage site and national treasure. It is located within the Himeji Castle ruins, a special historic site with Himeji City Museum of Art and Shirotopia Memorial Park nearby.

The basic design of the building was done by architect Kenzo Tange (1913-2005). The design is suitable for the Himeji Castle ruins and makes you feel like you are inside a kuruwa.

In particular, the reflection of Himeji Castle on the mirrored windows is a sight that tourists will want to be proud of.

The main changes made during the renovation include extending the lifespan of the facility's facilities, updating equipment, and switching to LED lighting. There are no major changes to the layout of the exhibition room, but we have introduced free Wi-Fi throughout the exhibition area, audio guides, and a kimono dressing experience using AR technology.

The Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History has approximately 300,000 items in its collection. As a bridge to passing on Hyogo Prefecture's historical and cultural heritage to the future, such as the Irie Collection (children's cultural history materials) and the Takahashi Hideyoshi Collection (lifestyle culture materials centered on Himeji), we entertain with permanent exhibitions and other attractive projects. I'll give it to you.

As a special exhibition commemorating the 40th anniversary of the museum's opening, "HISTORY OF MUSEUM - Rekihaku's 'Past' and 'Future' -" will be held until Sunday, June 18, 2023.

Posters of special exhibitions and special exhibitions held so far<br>
Posters of special exhibitions and special exhibitions held so far

Permanent exhibits you should see before going to Himeji Castle

The Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History has several Himeji Castles.

1/15 scale Himeji Castle model<br>
1/15 scale Himeji Castle model

The first thing you'll see as soon as you enter the lobby is a 1/15 scale Himeji Castle model. It's located next to the escalator leading to the paid exhibits on the second floor, so it's nice to be able to see it from above.

Shiromi Lounge<br>
Shiromi Lounge

At the top of the escalator is the Shiromi Lounge. The area that was previously used mostly as a passageway has been named the ``Castle Viewing Lounge,'' and benches have been installed on the wall so that you can enjoy the view to the fullest.

Himeji Castle seen from a newly built bench (unfortunately it was raining that day)<br>
Himeji Castle seen from a newly built bench (unfortunately it was raining that day)

There is a museum cafe in the back, and you can see Himeji Castle from there as well. No other cafe in the city offers such a close-up view of Himeji Castle's castle tower through such wide-open windows. Together with the "Castle Viewing Lounge", this is a special seat with a view of Himeji Castle.

Glasswork Himeji Castle<br>
Glasswork Himeji Castle

At the back of the lobby is the ``Glasswork Himeji Castle.'' This was a gift from Kansas State University in the United States to Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress (at that time, The Emperor and Empress) and was given to them in 1992.

The free exhibition zone on the first floor is divided into four areas. One of them, ``Himeji Castle Grand Anatomy,'' is a place you should visit before sightseeing in Himeji Castle. The ``root part of the main east pillar of the main tower,'' which was replaced during the major repairs in the Showa era, is on display.

This is a valuable exhibit that allows you to see what it looked like after the renovations that took place during the Edo period.

Theater located in the free exhibition zone on the 1st floor<br>
Theater located in the free exhibition zone on the 1st floor

There are also other exhibits such as the Shachihoko that was the basis for the restoration during the major renovations in the Showa era, and there is also a ``theater'' where valuable recorded footage that can only be seen here is played. When taking friends from far away to sightsee Himeji Castle, you'll want to start with Rekihaku.

Free exhibition zone that even small children can enjoy

The first floor is a free exhibition zone. Minna no Ie is also recommended for families with small children. With nostalgic exhibits from the past, this is a place where everyone can have fun.

The ``AR Ancient Costume Shop'' has replaced the dressing area where you can dress up as a warlord or princess that existed before the renovation. You can enjoy virtual kimono dressing using a smartphone app, transforming yourself into ``Junihitoe'', ``Ooyoroi'', or ``Kabuto''.

AR photo with helmet. Automatically recognizes faces and can take selfies (Photo provided by: Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History)<br>
AR photo with helmet. Automatically recognizes faces and can take selfies (Photo provided by: Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History)

At the hands-on exhibit, you can experience things you can't understand unless you touch it, such as ringing a bronze bell (a replica) or lifting a senryo box (an imitation).

There are plans to expand in the future, so I'm looking forward to seeing what will be on display.

In addition, ``Hyogo Arts and Crafts'' exhibits Buddhist culture, paintings, and crafts related to Hyogo Prefecture. "Old Life" exhibits everyday tools used from the Edo period to the Showa period.

Permanent exhibition zone where you can learn about the history and culture of Hyogo Prefecture (charges apply)

The second floor is a special exhibition room where special exhibitions and planned exhibitions are held, and a paid zone for permanent exhibitions. Although there is a fee, it costs 200 yen per person. It's 100 yen for university students and free for high school students and younger, so it's easy to use. (During the period of the special exhibition/planned exhibition, the special exhibition/planned exhibition fee will be charged)

History of Hyogo Gokoku<br>
History of Hyogo Gokoku

The exhibit will introduce the history of the five countries that formed the basis of Hyogo Prefecture (Settsu, Harima, Tajima, Tanba, and Awaji) from ancient times to modern times, as well as the history of the five countries that formed the basis of Hyogo Prefecture. I am.

For those who love nostalgic things, we recommend ``Kodomo Hakubutsu-kun.'' The exhibition introducing children's culture from the Edo period to the present day is filled with toys and other items. Many people may feel nostalgic about the corner where you can look back at the amusement parks that opened in Hyogo Prefecture.

For those who love castles, ``Japanese Castle Encyclopedia'' is for you. The ``12 existing castle towers'' reproduced on 1/50 scale are a must-see. Himeji Castle fans will be a little jealous of the 1/50 scale size of the ``Edo Castle Tenshu'' built by the third shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu, placed in the same room.

1/50 scale Edo Castle in the back<br>
1/50 scale Edo Castle in the back

There are also many models and panels on display, making the exhibits a delight for castle and history buffs.

Danjiri and food stalls appearing at Himeji festivals<br>
Danjiri and food stalls appearing at Himeji festivals

``Hyogo no Matsuri'' introduces festivals and folk performing arts through materials, models, videos, and more. The exhibit allows you to see up close the impressiveness of the stalls and the beauty of the lion dance at the ``Fighting Festival.''

For information about Hyogo and Himeji, visit the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History.

Although there have been no major changes to the exhibits themselves, the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History has new facilities and other areas that cannot be seen.However, it is now brighter with LED lighting, the Castle Viewing Lounge has been improved, and a free exhibition guide app for smartphones (to prevent sound leakage) has been added. The exhibits incorporate the perspective of universal design, including interactive displays (we recommend bringing your own earphones) and touchable exhibits. If you want to learn about Himeji Castle and other things about Hyogo, we recommend the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History.

(Writer Takashi Tsukamoto)

*This article is information as of April 2023. Prices include tax. Product contents and prices may change.

how to access

Approximately 25 minutes walk from Himeji Station on JR and Sanyo Railways. Approximately 8 minutes by Shinki Bus [via Himeji Medical Center], get off at Himeyama Koen Kita/Hakubutsukan-mae bus stop. Alternatively, take the castle area sightseeing loop bus for about 8 minutes and get off at Hakubutsukan-mae.

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This mobile bus ticket not only allows you to ride unlimited Shinki Bus routes for 1,000 yen a day, but also allows you to ride on Kobe's City Loop and Port Loop. *Limited to foreign visitors tourists visiting Japan

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basic information

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History

Address: 68 Honmachi, Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture

Phone number: 079-288-9011

Business hours: 10:00-17:00 (Admission until 16:30)

Admission fee: Free on the 1st floor, permanent exhibition on the 2nd floor: General 200 yen, University students 150 yen, Free for high school students and younger, Special charges apply when special exhibitions are held Closed: Every Monday (If Monday is a public holiday, the museum will be open. The following day) (Closed on weekdays), year-end and New Year holidays (December 29th to January 3rd), and other special closings.

Parking: None (use nearby paid parking lots)

Official site here

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What are good things and good experiences? There are many characteristics such as having a story to tell, overflowing with the thoughts of the creator, having a history, and being loved by the locals. Have you ever come across a special thing or experience that made you want to tell someone about it? And as a result of telling, someone new leads to something. We think that's what "good" is all about. In order to deliver such encounters to our customers, we discover Hyogo's good things based on the concept of "talk, communicate, and connect", and provide information that will shorten the emotional distance between customers and the region of Hyogo Prefecture.

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