[Official Name] Himeji-jo Palace
[Location] Hon-machi, Himeji-shi, Hyogo-ken
[Historical Architecture] Jyoshi (palace), Sekirui, moat, a castle tower, turret
[Division] Hirayama-jo palace
[Construction] started from 1331
History and the architecture
The fort built by Akamatsu Norimura in 1331, who was a guardian of the area Harima, was the beginning of this palace. His son, Sadanori actually built the palace in 1348. It was after the Sekigahara civil war when Tokugawa Ieyasu placed Ikeda Terumasa under him, that the palace became a full-scaled one. The construction of the palace by Terumasa, who is known as a wonderful fortifier began in 1601, and ended in 1609. The Himeji-jo palace, known as Japan's most beautiful palace was often called "Shirasagi-jo palace" from its beauty.
Himeji-jo palace is Japan's representative palace architecture made all from wood, and is the biggest palace among the existing ones. The palace has never been involved in a civil war nor the World War II, which lead the palace still to have the wooden palace walls, stone walls, and white walls. Himeji-jo palace is well-known for its beauty, however, if we look at the palace from its real purpose as a fort, we will be able to see a different side of the Himeji-jo palace. Inside the palace are many devices to prevent the enemies from coming in and distracting them.