Historical buildings

Himeji Castle
【World Heritage】 
The beautiful castle compared to the image of a white eagle
With a history of 400 years since its construction and being deemed a national treasure, Himeji Castle, also known as 'Hakuro-jo' or White-Heron Castle, was registered as a world heritage, together with Horyuji Temple, as the first such registration involving Japanese assets. The amazing architectural beauty-coalition type castle, which consists of the grand castle tower and 3 small keep towers, and the brilliantly white walls, makes it look as if Shirasagi or a white heron was flying up in the sky. 
The castle tower has been under rennovation, and the work will continue till 2014.
●Open/9:00-17:00 (Last entry at 16:00/1 hr extended in Jun.-Aug. )
●Closed/Dec. 29-31  ●Fare/Adults ¥600, Children ¥200  ●Tel/079-285-1146
◆Access/15 min. walk from JR /Sanyo Himeji Stn.
Himeji Castle Search on Wikipedia Search for photographs Search for maps


Shoshazan Enkyoji Temple
Renowned as the location site of the Last Samurai
This temple was constructed in 966. Its 7 buildings and 8 Buddha statues are designated as cultural assets of national importance. Furthermore, this temple has attracted lots of attention as a location site for the Hollywood movie, 'The Last Samurai'. At Juryoin in the temple grounds, you can also savor vegetarian food from April till November (booking is essential).
●Open/8:30-17:00(Openinng hours may change depending on the season.)
●Closed/Open all-year round  ●Admission Fee/¥500  ●Tel/079-266-3327(Enkyoji)
◆Access/JR/Sanyo Himeji Stn. →City bus→Aerial cableway to the top of the mountain
Enkyoji Temple Search on Wikipedia Search for photographs Search for maps


Osaka Tenmangu Shrine
Tenjin Festival in the summer is one of Japan's 3 great festivals
Dedicated to the God of learning, Lord Michizane Sugawara, the shrine is fondly known by many as "Tenma no Tenjin-san", and is revered by many including students preparing for exams. The summer's Tenjin Festival is one of Japan's 3 great festivals with a history and tradition of almost 1,000 years, and is visited by over 1 million people each year. The approach to the shrine is Tenjinbashi Suji Shotengai; Japan's longest shopping street.
●Closed/Open all-year round  ●Tel/06-6353-0025
◆Access/5min. walk from Subway Minami-morimachi Stn. or JR Osaka Tenmangu Stn.
Osaka Tenmangu Shrine Search on Wikipedia Search for photographs Search for maps


Osaka Castle
Osaka's symbol that continues to be loved by its citizens
Osaka Castle Museum has become more beautiful and easier for tourists to look around since the Heisei large-scale repairs in 1997. There is a historical exhibition inside the castle, and the top floor is an observatory. The Osaka Castle Park that spreads across as if to embrace the Main Tower is famous for its seasonal blooms. Nearby is the Japan Mint, famous for its cherry blossoms and you can also enjoy a river cruise on the waterbus "Aqua Liner".
●Open/9:00 -17:00 (Last entry at 16:30)
●Closed/The beginning and the end of year.  ●Fare/Adults ¥600  ●Tel/06-6941-3044
◆Access/15 min. walk from JR Morinomiya Stn. /Osakajokoen Stn. /Subway Temmabashi Stn. /Tanimachi 4-chome Stn. /Keihan Temmabashi Stn.
Osaka Castle Search on Wikipedia Search for photographs Search for maps


Shitennoji Temple
Japan's oldest shogunate's temple
The oldest large-scale temple in Japan which was built in 593 by Shotokutaishi. The temple is laid out in a style which features the following layout of buildings: the middle gate, the five-storied pagoda, the main hall and the lecture hall are aligned from south to north, and corridors are positioned around these structures. This represents one of the oldest architectural styles in Japan. The origins of their design can be found in China and the Korean Peninsula. The buildings are regarded as valuable models which convey the continental temple style of the sixth and seventh centuries to the present. Monthly festive event, Otaishi-san is held on 21st and the temple grounds are filled with a variety of stalls.
●Open/8:30-16:30 (-16:00 in Oct.-Mar.)
●Closed/Open all-year round but Treasure House is closed on Monday  ●Fare/Adults Chushingaran ¥300, Treasure House ¥200, Honbo Garden ¥300, Through pass ¥700  ●Tel/06-6771-0066
◆Access/5 min. walk from Subway Shitennoji-mae Yuhigaoka Stn.
Shitennoji Temple Search on Wikipedia Search for photographs Search for maps


Kozanji Temple
【World Heritage】 
A temple with Japan's oldest tea garden
Erected in 774. It contains some 10,000 treasures including 7 national treasures, and 1500 important cultural assets. The Frolicking Animals and Figures scrolls are especially famous known as caricature depicting sumo matches between rabbits and frogs. Although the real scrolls are kept private, copies of 4 scrolls are on view to the public. It is said that the tea garden in the compound is the oldest in Japan. The tea ceremony is held in autumn. Nearby is Jingoji Temple, which is renowned for one of Japan's 3 greatest bells.
●Closed/Open all-year round  ●Fare/Free (¥500 in foliage season in Oct. & Nov)  ●Tel/075-861-4204
◆Access/JR Kyoto Stn.→ JR bus to Tsuganoo → A 5 min. walk
Kozanji Temple Search on Wikipedia Search for photographs Search for maps