Our Japan Week Sale is here! Save up to £800pp across all tours

Solos can save up to £1,750 with free single supplements on selected tours. Find out more

The Award-Winning Tour Specialist

Inspired by Race Across the World?

Our Journey Through Japan tour is the closest tour you can take to follow in the racers' footsteps as they travelled from North to South.

Explore the tour

This iconic hilltop castle, dating back four centuries to the Edo Period, lies 60 miles west of Kyoto in Himeji, Hyōgo Prefecture. It is the largest castle in modern Japan and also known as the ‘White Heron Castle’ because of its stunning white fa?ade. You may also recognise it from the 1967 James Bond film, ‘You Only Live Twice’, in which it was used as the setting of the Japanese intelligence service’s fictional ‘ninja training camp’.

Himeji Castle is a prime example of Japanese feudal architecture, having been first established as a fort in the 14th century, and extensively redeveloped in the 17th century at the beginning of the 265-year Edo Period (also known as the Tokugawa Shogunate period). Defended by a vast network of walls, gates, moats, baileys, mazes and arrow-slits, and clad in its distinctive fireproof white plaster (dozo-zukuri), it served as a private residence, political centre, military garrison and armoury.

The castle has guarded the western approach to Kyoto for centuries; however, as no battles were fought here, it is now the best-preserved example of a medieval castle in Japan. Many Tokugawa-supporting fortresses were destroyed following the 1868 Fall of Edo (Tokyo), when power was stripped from the Tokugawa Shogunate and fully restored to the teenage Emperor Meiji. We are very lucky that Himeji Castle survived for us to enjoy today.

Today, Himeji-jo remains one of Japan’s most significant and beloved castles; in 1993, it was honoured as Japan’s first UNESCO Heritage listed site, and the recent cleaning and restoration of the keep’s beautiful white colour has left it more photogenic than ever. It’s no surprise that this magnificent castle often finds itself at the top of visitors’ must-see lists.

Subscribe Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest offers and receive £50pp off  your Wendy Wu tour.
Order a free brochure to your door
or view/download online
or Speak to a travel expert
on 0808 274 8594
Pop in and see us at our London Bridge office
The Winner Of 'Best Specialist Tour Operator' 14 Years Running -Globe Travel Awards.

Related Himeji Castle Tours

Japan Uncovered
Japan Week Sale
Preview Map, City and Experience
Group Tour

Japan Uncovered

170 Reviews
Fully Inclusive of Tour & Flights
* 12 Solo Departure Dates Available
Japan Uncovered✕ close
Place to visit: UK - Osaka (2N) - Nara - Himeji - Hiroshima (2N) - Kyoto (2N) - Kanazawa (1N) - Shirakawago - Takayama (2N) - Matsumoto - Nagano (2N) - Yudanaka - Mt Fuji (1N) - Tokyo (3N) - UK
Amazing experience: Mount Fuji Hiroshima & Miyajima Snow Monkeys Japanese Alps Neon Tokyo
17 days from £7,190pp
Discover Japan
Japan Week Sale
Preview Map, City and Experience
Group Tour

Discover Japan

107 Reviews
Fully Inclusive of Tour & Flights
* 4 Solo Departure Dates Available
Discover Japan✕ close
Place to visit: UK - Tokyo (2N) - Mt Fuji - Suwa (1N) - Takayama (2N) - Kanazawa (1N) - Kyoto (2N) - Nara (1N) - Koyasan - Osaka (2N) - UK
Amazing experience: Mount Fuji Matsumoto Castle Kyoto's Shrines Japanese Alps
13 days from £5,990pp
Experience Japan
Japan Week Sale
Preview Map, City and Experience
Group Tour

Experience Japan

11 Reviews
Fully Inclusive of Tour & Flights
Experience Japan✕ close
Place to visit: UK - Osaka (2N) – Nara – Kyoto (2N) – Nagano – Matsumoto (2N) – Mount Fuji (Mishima 1N) – Kamakura - Tokyo (2N) - UK
Amazing experience: Osaka Nara Kyoto Nagano Matsumoto Mt Fuji Tokyo Kamakura
11 days from £5,590pp

From our Japan Blog

Read our latest articles or travel inspiration, exciting news about our destinations and all things Wendy Wu Tours


Everything you need to know about Samurai

Ask anyone to name things they know about Japan, and you’d end up with a list that included the...

Making Tracks: the Joys of Travelling by Train

There is an inherent romance to travelling by rail. A hangover from the lauded golden age in the...

Live on Tour: Japan Uncovered

Our first Japan tour since the pandemic has just landed, and we thrilled to take you on a live...
Read more Japan blogs