Meet at the New Miyako Hotel and walk to Kyoto station. From here, take a non-reserved seat aboard the JR Shinkansen for an hour-long ride to to Himeji station in the Hyogo prefecture.
Follow your guide on a walk to Himeji Castle, a national treasure and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Also known as Shirasagi Castle (White Heron Castle), the five-story complex is famous for its impressive fortifications and white exterior walls designed to resemble a heron taking flight. Stroll around the castle, both inside and outside the grounds, as you learn about the 14th-century structure and its feudal Japanese history from your knowledgeable guide. Then it's time for lunch! Enjoy a lunch buffet of both Japanese-style and Western cuisines.
After lunch, it's back to Himeji Station for a ride aboard the JR Special Rapid Service or Rapid Service (non-reserved seating) to the Maiko station. Here you will continue to the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, the longest spanning suspension bridge in the world, stretching 12,828 feet (3,910 m) to connect the city of Kobe with Awaji-shima Island.
On the first floor at the entrance to the Maiko Marine Promenade, built on the Kobe side, you’ll find information about the bridge before heading up to the lounge on the eighth floor for a look through an observatory camera.
When the sightseeing portion of your tour is complete, ride the JR Special Rapid Service or Rapid Service (non-reserved seating) from Maiko station back to Kyoto station, where your guided tour ends in the early evening.
From New Miyako Hotel in Kyoto
If you cancel at least 7 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee.
If you cancel within 2 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.
Real Amazing tour, traveling in trains and a lot of walking, but really interesting, the tour guide was helpful and saved some walking suggesting us to use a cab from the station to the castle, the bridge is very impressive
Maiko dinner and tea ceremony is something that one should experience when in Kyoto
Our guide Sachiko was wonderful. She was really knowledgeable and made the long walk to top of the castle seem like a breeze! She really went above and beyond her duties to make everyone feel comfortable and enjoying the trip. All in all, an amazing place to see.
We had a great day at Himeji, made all the more special by our guide Tyco. She was very knowledgable, liked a laugh and interacted so well. Himeji castle is a magic place and a must see. Akashi bridge is nice but a filler really. I would just do Himeji castle.
Our guide for this tour was fabulous! She goes above and beyond for her group, she is very informative and she cared for her group. We had a small group which was great, but there is a lot of walking, so be prepared. The castle is gorgeous! The lunch was very delicious also! It was a great day! The bridge was also interesting.
The castle was insane and the tour guide had extensive knowledge on the history of the castle as well as the importance of the town. Highly recommend as it was an overly impressive structure with great views and impressive locations. Would not have wanted to attack this place.
We were lucky enough to have a private tour with our guide Yuki as we were the only 2 on the day. Yuki was an information tour guide with superb english cracking jokes too. The buffet lunch was delicious and throughout the entire tour we did not feel rushed at all. We would highly recommend this tour for any first time visitors of Kyoto.
The steps up the castle were steep with low ceilings. From an architectural and engineering standpoint the castle was very impressive. We also were lucky going during the winter off season so there were no lines. We did not see the garden because of the winter weather but the Akashi bridge was also a fun highlight. Overall this was a great experience and our guide was both friendly and informative.
Very good and well preserved castle, worth visiting
I don't really recommend this tour to anyone. The castle is quite far from Kyoto and Osaka, so it means a lot of time spent siting on a train as opposed to actually visiting sights. I expected to be taken on a bus, but we actually went on Shinkanzens and local JR trains. Since I had bought a JR pass I could have taken these same trains to visit the castle free of charge as opposed to paying for a ticket that was pricey because it included the train fares.
The castle itself is more impressive on the outside than on the inside. Snapping a nice photo or two of its exterior will likely be the most worthwhile part of the tour. The inside of the castle is gloomy and empty. There is absolutely nothing to see as you climb up six stories on steep, ladder-like staircases, and then climb down. Aside from a small altar on the top floor, the castle is bare walls and bare wood floors. In the summer heat, it's also quite stuffy. When you leave the castle you head to lunch at a buffet style restaurant in a local hotel. I thought the food was quite mediocre, to be honest.
After lunch you take a long JR local train ride to see the world's longest suspension bridge. I personally felt it was not worth it going so out of my way to see a bridge. You do go up in an elevator to this sort of caged-in tunnel under the bridge that lets you see the ocean below you. Again, not very interesting or impressive.
After this you take a very long JR local train ride back to Kyoto or Osaka. One the way to the castle the bullet train makes the ride faster, but there are no bullet trains where the bridge is, so the slower JR trains are the only choice for going back to your starting point.
Overall, by the time I got back to Kyoto at close to 6pm, I felt like I had lost a day of my trip. There are simply so many wonderful and interesting things to do in Kyoto that I did feel it a bit of a waste to travel so far to see an empty castle when Kyoto's imperial palace was actually nicer. The tour itself is not at fault for this. Our guide was very nice, friendly, and funny. Her English was pretty good, and she had a positive attitude throughout. The tour does make you walk quite a lot, so if you have any mobility problems, take that into account.
Embark on a full-day walking tour to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Himeji Castle. You'll take public transportation from Kyoto to Hyogo with a guide to the Japanese national treasure for an informative stroll around the grounds. Afterward, you also get to enjoy a lunch buffet with both Western and Japanese cuisine before a journey along the Maiko Marine Promenade, a scenic walkway built on the Kobe side of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, the world's longest suspension bridge.