Himeji castle in Hyōgo, a James Bond's preferred venue !!!

Also known as "White Heron Castle" due to its supposed resemblance to a white bird taking flight, the Himeji castle is the greatest surviving example of Japanese castle architecture from the feudal period.[caption id="attachment_3265" align="alignright" width="329"]800px-Himeji_Castle_2 Credit: Wikimedia Commons[/caption]Located in Himeji (Hyōgo Prefecture), at nearly one kilometer north of the train station, it was built on a hilltop in the middle of the fourteenth century and gradually enlarged, thanks to remodelings or expansions.[caption id="attachment_3268" align="alignleft" width="287"]Credit: jcastle Credit: jcastle[/caption]This national treasure comprising a network of 83 building, unrivaled for its size as well as for its beauty, is considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Through the ages, this very unique monument has never been destroyed by wars or natural disasters and is listed in the country's twelve original castles.Reopened last year to the public, after a 5-years renovation plan of the roof and wall, it is also an amazing spot to see weeping cherry trees (sakura). Indeed, its height of 46.4 meters will offer you an excellent natural light and a fabulous 360º view.[caption id="attachment_3264" align="aligncenter" width="332"]Castle_Himeji_sakura01_adjusted Credit: Wikimedia Commons[/caption]If you are a fan of James Bond movies you will be interested to know that Sean Connery, himself, went there in the fifth of the series "You Only Live Twice" (1967).[caption id="attachment_3266" align="aligncenter" width="409"]Credit: Joe blogs Credit: Joe blogs[/caption]Remember that, during national holidays, you may encounter considerable waiting times, and the entrance to the main keep might be limited by the used of numbered tickets (on a first come first serve basis).Himeji CastleAddress: 68 Honmachi, Himeji City (Hyōgo Prefecture)Access:From the JR Himeji station's north exit / By walk -  15-20 minutes / By Shinki Bus: 5 minutes (100 yen one way) / By taxi: 5 minutes (nearly  650 yen one way)Hours: From 9:00 to 17:00 (until 18:00 from late April through August) - Admission ends one hour before closingClosing days: On December 29 and 30Fees: 1000 yen for adults or 300 yen for students (castle only)1040 yen for adults or 360 yen for students (castle & nearby Kokoen Garden)Visiting time required: 2-3 hoursRecommended season: Early April (cherry blossom season)Contact:TEL 079-285-1146 (Himeji Castle Management Office)FAX 079-222-6050Sources:(1) www.himejicastle.jp(2) www.kusuyama.jp