Himeji Station to Himeji Castle from Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe
1. Getting from Himeji Station to Himeji Castle
» Bus from Himeji Station to Himeji Castle
» Himeji Train Station Lockers and Luggage Storage
» Himeji Station Train Lines
» Types of Shinkansen at Himeji Station
2. How to Get to Himeji Castle from Osaka?
» Trains from Osaka to Himeji Castle
⦿ Shin-Osaka Station to Himeji Station
⦿ Osaka Station to Himeji Station
⦿ Namba Station to Himeji Station
3. How to Get to Himeji Castle from Kyoto?
⦿ Kyoto Station to Himeji Station
4. How to Get to Himeji Castle from Kobe?
⦿ Stations from Kobe to Himeji Station / San-yo-Himeji Station
5. What to do Around Himeji Castle?
You can get to Himeji Station from Himeji Castle from Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe with Shinkansen bullet train or JR train. Shinkansen is faster and more expensive. JR trains can save you half the train fare but takes a longer time to reach Himeji. If you have a JR Pass, you can catch both types of train. Why visit Himeji?
Himeji Castle, situated in the city Himeji is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has a long-standing history backdated in 1333. The first large-scale construction of the castle started in 1346 on Himeyama Hill by Akamatsu Sadanori. Its name was Himeyama Castle at that time.
It is considered one of Japan’s three renowned castles along with Matsumoto Castle in Nagano Prefecture and Kumamoto Castle in the Kumamoto Prefecture. However, it is the only one that is registered in the UNESCO in 1993.
Also known as the “White Heron Castle” or “White Egret Castle”, Himeji Castle is the largest and most visited castle in Japan. Therefore, if you are overwhelmed by more than 100 castles to visit in Japan, then Himeji Castle should be your priority in your Japan itinerary as it is regarded as a National Treasure.
Therefore, one should not miss a visit to Himeji Castle on a day trip. The nearest train station to Himeji Castle is Himeji Station which is 18 minutes walk and a distance of 1.3 km. On the way, you will see some souvenir shops and can also try out the inexpensive food at the small-scaled Japanese-style restaurants called【Izakaya】with only a few seats from Himeji Station to Himeji Castle (Show Map).
If you do not want to walk, you can also take a bus from Himeji North Station Exit bus stop. A bus will cost you ¥100 (US$0.92 / €0.83 / S$1.26) for a 5-minute ride. You can pay cash or with an ICOCA card. Do note that you have to enter from the back door of the bus instead of the typical front door. You may have to take a ticket from the machine after entering the bus. If you pay with an ICOCA card, tap the sensor when you alight at the front door.
If you are coming from Kansai Airport to Himeji Station, here is a comprehensive guide and the various transport options. This route was what I took when I went to Himeji from Kansai Airport.
Coin lockers and luggage storage compartments can be found on almost all train stations with the convenience of travel while leaving your luggage and extra bags behind. You should never leave any valuables inside the lockers for security reason. Himeji Train Station is one of them with plenty of lockers in different sizes.
Here are the 3 types of coin lockers available in approximate dimension (height x width x depth):
You need to use ¥100 coin for these lockers, so get them ready. Some coin lockers accept the ICOCA Card as payment. For overnight locker use after midnight (or at 2 am), an additional ¥300 is charged. The maximum number of days you can use a locker is 3 days, after which the station staffs will remove it away.
You can reach Himeji Station by bullet train via Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen line or the following JR Train Lines from other cities:
For Shinkansen bullet train, the Nozomi and Mizuho trains take the shortest time running on the rail line of Tokaido Sanyo Shinkansen to Himeji. They stop at fewer stations than Hikari (second fastest class category) and Sakura. Kodama trains, being the slowest category stop at every station, will take a longer time to arrive at the destinations compared to the others.
Do note that JR Pass does not cover Shinkansen – Nozomi and Mizuho train category. You have to pay the full fare.
TIP: For first-timers to Japan, there will be a train schedule board on every platform stating the Shinkansen arrival time and train category. The Japanese trains are punctual to the dot. If you hold a JR Pass, look at the board and catch the appropriate train category with the correct timing and platform.
As Osaka is the most populated city in the Kansai region and one of the top tourist cities, there are many different train routes to go to Himeji. It is not possible to discuss every option as the train line to take depends on where you stay in Osaka too. Therefore, we are focusing on the main Osaka train stations to go to Himeji Castle, forgoing the smaller connecting points such as metro and bus from the accommodation to get to the main Osaka train terminals.
Generally, the main train lines that take you from Osaka to Himeji Station is Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen by bullet train and Tokaido Sanyo Line by JR Train. You can only take a Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka Station. It is also the fastest way to get from Osaka to Himeji Station in 30 minutes but the most expensive method. JR Trains will give you a longer route, but you can save half the cost compared to taking a Shinkansen if you do not have a JR Pass.
The train fares to Himeji Station from Osaka below are extracted from Google Maps. They are accurate when we compared the actual cost versus the stated price during our trip to Japan. However, you have to know that the cost may differ when you take a different class of Shinkansen trains and at different timing, for instance during peak hours and over the weekend.
Below are some options to help you plan your day trip from Osaka to Himeji by train from the 3 main stations in Osaka. See which one is the most convenient for you to go to Himeji Station. Sometimes, one terminal has many stations with the same names, which can be confusing. Thus, I have also attached a map for you.
Duration: 28 min to 1 hr 15 min
Cost: ¥1,520 – ¥4,020 (without a JR Pass)
① Take Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen (Nozomi / Mizuho) from Shin-Osaka Station to Himeji Station for 29 min (2 stops)
② Take Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen (Hikari / Sakura / Kodama) from Shin-Osaka Station to Himeji Station for 38 min (3 stops)
③ Take JR Tokaido Sanyo Line (Special Rapid Himeji) from Shin-Osaka Station to Himeji Station for 1 hr 10 min (9 stops)
④ Take JR Super Hakuto Line from Shin-Osaka Station to Himeji Station for 1 hr 4 min (4 stops) – infrequent train
All four options are straightforward from Shin-Osaka Station to Himeji and do not take a long travelling time. Which one to go for it depends if you have a JR Pass. Without a JR Pass, Option ③ is the most cost-saving choice.
Duration: 42 min to 1 hr 52 min
Cost: ¥1,300 – ¥4,020 (without a JR Pass)
① Take JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line (Special Rapid Himeji) from Osaka Station to Himeji Station for 1 hr 2 min (8 stops)
② You can first take the JR line as above and then take a Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka Station a total of 45 to 55 minutes – from ¥3,610 to ¥4,020 (Nozomi / Mizuho)
③ Take JR Super Hakuto or JR Hamakaze (both are less frequent trains) from Osaka Station to Himeji Station for 60 minutes – from ¥2,840 to ¥3,040
④ Take Hanshin Line from Osaka-Umeda Station to Himeji Station for 1 hr 52 min (25 stops)
Recommendation: Without a JR Pass, Option ① is the most time and cost-effective decision. I would not recommend you to consider Option ④ as the time taken is too long although it is the cheapest.
Duration: 1 hr to 2 hrs
Cost: ¥1,390 – ¥4,300 (without a JR Pass)
① Take a metro with Midosuji Line from Namba Station to Shin-Osaka Station for 15 min (7 stops). Take a Shinkansen from Shin-Osaka Station. Total journey: 1 hr
② Take a metro with Midosuji Line from Namba Station to Umeda Station for 9 min (4 stops). Walk 4 min to Osaka Station. Take a JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line (Special Rapid Himeji) from Osaka Station to Himeji Station (8 stops). Total journey: 1 hr 22 min
③ Take a metro with Yotsubashi Line from Namba Station to Nishi-Umeda Station for 8 min (4 stops). Walk 5 min to Osaka Station. Take a JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line (Special Rapid Himeji) from Osaka Station to Himeji Station (8 stops). Total journey: 1 hr 22 min
④ Walk 4 min to Osaka-Namba Station. Take Hanshin-Namba Line (Rapid Express Kobe-Sannomiya) from Osaka-Namba Station to Amagasaki Station for 20 min (10 stops). Take Hanshin Line (Direct-Limited Express-San-yo-Himeji) from Amagasaki Station to Himeji Station for 1 hr 26 min (21 stops). Total journey: 2 hrs
I would not recommend you to take the Hanshin Line due to long travelling time. However, if you buy a 1-day Hanshin Pass for ¥500, you can save some money if the long travel time does not put you off.
Recommendation: Without a JR Pass, Option ② and ③ would be your best bet.
The fastest way to Himeji Castle from Kyoto is with a Shinkansen bullet train of 55 minutes. It costs from ¥5,170 onwards with Hikari Train and can go as high as ¥5,690 during peak hours and over the weekend with a 45-min Nozomi train. A cheaper alternative would be the JR Train on Tokaido-Sanyo Line for ¥2,310, but the duration is 1 hr 35 min from Kyoto to Himeji Station.
Duration: 44 min to 1 hr 40 min
Cost: ¥2,310 – ¥5,690 (without a JR Pass)
① Take Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen (Nozomi) from Kyoto Station to Himeji Station for 44 minutes (3 stops)
② Take Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen (Hikari) from Kyoto Station to Himeji Station for 55 minutes (4 stops)
③ Take JR Tokaido Sanyo Line (Special Rapid Himeji / Aboshi / Banshu-Ako / ) from Kyoto Station to Himeji Station for 1 hr 34 min (11 stops)
④ Take JR Super Hakuto from Kyoto Station to Himeji Station for 1 hr 31 min (5 stops) – infrequent train
Recommendation: Without a JR Pass, Option ③ is the most ideal while reducing about 60% cost of taking a Shinkansen train during non-peak hours and weekends, which has an even higher train fare. JR trains generally have a fixed cost unaffected by peak period based on my research, unlike Shinkansen trains.
Among the three cities, Kobe is the nearest to Himeji. Kobe Station and Sannomiya Station are two main terminals in Kobe city which you can take only JR trains from either one of them. For Hanshin Line to Himeji, take a train from Kobe-Sannomiya Station to San-yo-Himeji Station which is slightly nearer to Himeji Castle than Himeji Station.
If you want to take Shinkansen, it will be at Shin-Kobe Station, 1.2 km away and a 17-min walk from Sannomiya Station. Alternatively, you can also take a subway from Seishin-Yamate Line for 1 stop which costs ¥210 (US$1.90 / €1.75 / S$2.60) to reach Shin-Kobe Station if you do not want to walk.
Duration: 15 min to 1 hr 18 min
Cost: ¥980 – ¥3,490 (without a JR Pass)
① Take JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line (Special Raid Himeji) from Kobe Station or Sannomiya Station for 40 min (4 or 5 stops) to Himeji Station. The cost is the same for either station.
② Take Hanshin Line (Direct Limited Express San-yo-Himeji) from Kobe-Sannomiya Station for 1 hr 2 min (15 stops) without changing train. Stop at San-yo-Himeji Station and then walk to Himeji Castle.
③ Take Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen from Shin-Kobe Station to Himeji Station for 16 to 25 min (2 stops – Hikari ¥3,280 or non-stop – Nozomi ¥3,490)
④ Take JR Super Hakuto or JR Hamakaze from Kobe Station or Sannomiya Station for 38 min (2 stops) – infrequent
Kobe-Sannomiya Station is a 4-min walk of 300 m from Sannomiya Station. Note that the JR Pass does not cover Hanshin Rail Line for Option ③.
You can save some money and buy a Hanshin Tourist Pass for 1 day at ¥500 | US$4.59 | €4.15 for use on 51 Hanshin Electric Railway’s stops! It is cheaper to travel with the Hanshin Pass than if you pay with an ICOCA transport card or pay with the full cost listed below at ¥980.
Recommendation: Option ① or ② with Hanshin Pass. Taking a Shinkansen from Shin-Kobe Station may seem to be a bit out of the way.
① Sannomiya Station to Himeji Station (Show Map)
② Kobe-Sannomiya Station to San-yo-Himeji Station (Show Map)
③ Shin-Kobe Station to Himeji Station (Show Map)
Follow me to the next post to see the beauty of Himeji Castle and what to expect in Japan’s largest castle. Other than visiting Himeji Castle, you can make full use of the day trip to visit more places of interests in the city by foot. They are all near to Himeji Castle, so it is better to start the day as early as possible to maximise the visit. If you have two days in Himeji, I would also recommend you to visit Engyo-Ji Temple on the following day, taking a bus from Himeji Station.
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