Translated by Hilary Keyes
Writer, translator, designer, weirdo.
Himeji is a city in Hyogo prefecture's southwestern region and is a day trip spot from Osaka and Kyoto. Here are the best routes from Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto to Himeji and information on souvenirs from Himeji Station.
Himeji is a city located in the Harima region, the former name for the southwestern part of Hyogo prefecture. A popular tourist area, Himeji is well-known for being a great day trip location from Osaka and Kyoto.
Other than the popular sightseeing spots, the World Heritage site Himeji Castle, and Engyoji Temple, Himeji is also known for its traditional handicrafts, such as the popular Myochin-hibashi (special metal tongs for sacred fires and braziers), and Himeji Koma, a type of spinning top. First, let's take a look at how to reach Himeji.
When traveling from Tokyo to Himeji, it is best to either take the shinkansen, or to fly.
From Tokyo Station, board the Tokaido/Sanyo Nozomi shinkansen bound for Hiroshima; you will arrive at Himeji without having any transfers. It will take about three hours and ten minutes, and cost 15,120 yen.
To learn more about the shinkansen, take a look at: Fast, Clean, And Punctual: How To Buy Shinkansen Tickets.
If you would prefer to fly, then board a flight from Haneda Airport to Kobe Airport, from there you will have to travel to Himeji by train. There are about nine flights a day from Haneda to Kobe, run by All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Sky Mark (SKY). The departure times of these flights vary; tickets cost from 10,000-30,000 yen, and the flight itself takes about 70 minutes.
From Kobe Airport, take the Kobe New Transport Port Island Line train bound for Sannomiya and get off at the last stop, Sannomiya. From there, take the JR Kobe Limited Express train bound for Himeji to its last stop of Himeji Station. It will take about an hour, and cost 1300 yen.
Traveling from Osaka to Himeji is best accomplished by either train or car.
From Osaka Station, take the JR Kobe Limited Express train bound for Himeji. There are eight stations between the two, and it will take about an hour to reach Himeji. This route will cost 1490 yen.
With a rental car, you can take the Sanyo Expressway from Osaka and reach Himeji city in about an hour and 20 minutes. If you have your own car, sightseeing and traveling around the Himeji area will be very easy and a lot of fun too.
To learn more about renting a car in Japan, see All You Need To Know About Renting A Car In Japan.
There are only 11 stations that separate Kyoto Station from Himeji Station on the JR Kyoto Limited Express bound for Himeji. It will cost 2270 yen and take an hour and 30 minutes to reach your destination.
When visiting Himeji from Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto, first head to JR Himeji Station.
As a hub station, Himeji Station has four main train lines as well as the Sanyo shinkansen: the Harimashingu/Sayo bound Kishin Line; the JR Kobe Line (limited express and local) bound for Kakogawa/Sannomiya/Osaka; the Sanyo Main Line (limited express and local) for Aioi/Banshuako/Kamigori/Okayama; and the Bantan Line for Teramae/Wadayama.
From Himeji Station you can easily head to numerous cities in the Kansai and Chubu regions such as Osaka, Kyoto, Sannomiya and Okayama, and furthermore, you can also travel quite smoothly towards both Tokyo and Kagoshima via the shinkansen.
One of the attractive points of Himeji Station is Piole Himeji, the station building which a rich variety of stores to choose from.
Piole Himeji is divided by floor and according to the features of the shops themselves; the main building has various goods and fashion stores, the restaurant and cafe 'Gochiso' floor, the Himeji specific souvenir floor, the youth-oriented 'Young' floor where you will find trendy fashions. This is the perfect place if you would like to see a wide variety of different items all in one place.
We recommend checking out the souvenir corner.
Here you can find the famous Himeji Han Goyoukashi Tamatsubaki, a camellia flower based mochi dumpling, and Himeji Karinto, a fried dough cake, as well as branch stores of many of Himeji's most famous restaurants. Himeji oden (various foods stewed in a soy-sauce stock) and Himeji tamagoyaki (rolled egg omelet), as well as other local delicacies are great dishes you must try here.
Address: Hyogo, Himeji, Ekimaecho 188-1(JR Himeji Station building)
Hours: 10:00-21:00 (souvenir shop from 8:30-20:00)
** Information in this article was provided by various transportation companies and is subject to change.