Himeji Castle was the first officially recognized World Heritage Site of Japan, and is also registered as a National Treasure making it the most prominent castle in the country. Many travelers visit the castle throughout the year but spring is by far the most popular season. This is largely due to the 1,000 cherry trees that are planted around the castle. When the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, one can see the striking contrast of pink and red against the white walls of Himeji Castle. During this time, specific parks around the castle that are usually closed to the public are opened and one can enjoy special night time viewings of the cherry blossoms. Seeing this World Heritage Site amid the cherry blossoms is certainly a must see.
In 2015, new renovations were finished and the beautiful white castle has been reborn. The contrast of the pure white castle against a blue sky and the light pink cherry blossoms is a remarkable sight to witness. The view itself is more beautiful than any picture.
Night Cherry Blossom Viewing at Himeji Castle
The "Himeji-jo Yozakura-kai" is a special festival held at night during the full bloom of the cherry blossoms. Special illuminations around the castle and cherry blossoms are arranged creating a fantastical atmosphere one can’t find during the day. You especially shouldn’t miss the shidare-zakura, weeping cherry trees, at night. Witnessing the pink petals suspended in air against the white castle is a spectacle one cannot forget.
Cherry Blossom Viewing from the Castle
Of course, when speaking of cherry blossoms at Himeji Castle we imagine the flowers and castle together, but the view looking down from inside of the castle is also a great way to enjoy the season. The panoramic views from the top of the castle extend far into the distance commanding outstanding views well worth the visit. So please also be sure to enjoy the cherry blossom season from inside the castle.
Cherry Blossom Colonnade
Just inside the entrance on the way towards the castle is a long colonnade of cherry trees located in Sannomaru Park. The blossoms are certainly beautiful in full bloom, but one can also enjoy the falling of the pink petals. Walking under the trees will make you feel like you’re moving through a flurry of cherry blossoms.