Himeji Castle, Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Taken by Wikimedia Commons user Bernard Gagnon.

*Click on image for full-sized view.

Himeji Castle is considered as one of the best surviving examples of Japanese castle architecture. Located on Himeyama hill in the city of Himeji, which is in the Kansai region of Hyōgo Prefecture in Japan, it comprises a network of 83 buildings from the feudal period. In 1333, a fort was constructed on Himeyama hill at the location of the castle by the ruler of the ancient Harima Province, Akamatsu Norimura. 13 years later, his son, Sadonori, tore down this fort and built Himeyama Castle in its place. 200 years after that, the feudal ruler Kuroda Shigetaka remodeled the castle into Himeji Castle by order of the Kodera clan. In 1993, it became one of the first sites in Japan to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, it is the most-visited castle in Japan, registering almost one million visitors yearly.

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