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How bad are weekends?

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
43 posts
11 reviews
How bad are weekends?


I've read quite a bit that weekends at Himeji Castle are really crowded and it seems like it could be hard to see everything in the castle and the gardens within 2-3 hours.

If I wanted to go to Himeji Castle on a Saturday morning in late May, getting there well before opening time, and then leaving Himeji around noon to spend the rest of the day in Kobe, do you think this is feasible? Or is timing at the castle going to be an issue due to crowds?

If it's really going to be bad to go on a weekend morning, I'll revise my itinerary and try to be there on a weekday instead. But Saturday is the most convenient day for me to make this trip.

Thank you :)

7 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
4,294 posts
335 reviews
1. Re: How bad are weekends?

There is the official castle website, in English, too at www.himejicastle.jp which has a visitor numbers calendar. Obviously future dates are projections only. If you are there first thing, you should be okay, but a weekday will probably be better than a weekend.

BTW I think it "normal" to be there for 2 to 3 hours. This is not a selfie stick site, but one with a flow and a very steep final climb up and then down the castle keep....all in socks, since shoes cannot be worn. So be careful.

Tokyo and California
Destination Expert
for Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Shinjuku, Japan
Level Contributor
28,690 posts
69 reviews
2. Re: How bad are weekends?

Himeji Castle is not that crowded these days. Even in sakura time this year, it wasn't nearly as bad as say 2 years ago. Of course weekends are more crowded than weekdays, but you'll surely be able to see everything and garden in 2-3 hours.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
43 posts
11 reviews
3. Re: How bad are weekends?

Thank you so much both, you've made me feel better about going early on Saturday morning. I'm really glad this is a possibility as it's what works best for my itinerary so I will keep this in mind :) Thanks again!

Leavenworth, Kansas
Level Contributor
638 posts
213 reviews
4. Re: How bad are weekends?

Even when places have crowded reputations, I have found that if you get there when places are opening in the morning, they are usually reasonably easy to access. Sometimes there is a line before the opening time, but after the first 15 minutes, flow through the ticket counters are reasonable. Himeji Castle is big enough that you should not feel crowded if you are there early on Saturday morning. Around noon, it may feel more crowded, but you will be leaving by then. Enter the castle first, and then see the grounds, which are immense and will not feel crowded. Enjoy a nice lunch in Himeji after you see the castle.

Edited: 26 April 2018, 14:28
Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
61,813 posts
171 reviews
5. Re: How bad are weekends?

Himeji Castle was especially crowded a couple of years ago because it just finished a renovation project. Outside of sakura season, it's normally not too bad even on normal weekends. Remember to allow time to visit the western buidlings after the Castle. Next door, Koko-en is a decent garden that costs very little if you buy the combo ticket.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
43 posts
11 reviews
6. Re: How bad are weekends?

Thank you for the advice!

Yachiyo, Japan
Level Contributor
264 posts
41 reviews
7. Re: How bad are weekends?

Please enjoy Himeji according to kind advices.

You can get small enjoy from little walk as follows.




Please enjoy Kinki of Japan!

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