Himeji Castle is a Japanese castle located in Himeji in Hyogo Prefecture. It is one of the oldest surviving structures from medieval Japan, and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Japanese National Cultural Treasure. Along with Matsumoto Castle and Kumamoto Castle, it is one of Japan's "Three Famous Castles", and is the most visited castle in Japan. It is occasionally known as Hakurojo or Shirasagijo ("White Heron Castle") because of its brilliant white exterior.
Himeji Castle frequently appears on Japanese television. Edo Castle (the present Kokyo) does not have a keep, so when a fictional show such as Abarem Shogun needs a magnificent substitute, the producers turn to Himeji.
Himeji serves as an excellent example of the prototypical Japanese castle, containing many of the defensive and architectural features most associated with Japanese castles. The tall stone foundations, whitewash walls, and organization of the buildings within the complex are standard elements of any Japanese castle, and the site also features many other examples of typical castle design, including gun emplacements and stone-dropping holes. The current keep dates from 1601.
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