Himeji station guide. How to get Himeji castle from the station

Himeji stationKansai Area
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Himeji station terminal building at north side.

Himeji station is the gateway to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Himeji Castle. It is very popular day trip destination from Kobe and Osaka. You can get Himeji by JR trains, Shinkansen and Sanyo / Hanshin Railway.

How to access to Himeji and Kobe from Osaka

I would like to explain about these station’s structures and show you some images of Himeji station. And I also show you how to get Himeji castle from the station too.

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JR Himeji Station structure, tracks and platforms

Overview of conventional lines platforms from Shinkansen platform.

This terminal station is three levels structure. On the ground floor, there are ticket gates/exits. At second level, there are the platforms of conventional train lines and Shinkansen transfer gate. And Shinkansen platforms are located at third level.

Shinkansen is assigned to track #11 #12, and #13. There are only two platforms for Shinkansen. It’s is very easy to find the way.

Track #11 (left) and track #12. Track #13 is out of the photo and it is next to #12. Sakura (N700 series) was stopping at #11 and Kodama (700 series) was stopping at #12. Nozomi (N700 series) was passing in the middle.

Track #1 to #8 are conventional line’s platforms. There are only three platforms. Track #1 to #4 share same island platform. And other two platforms have two tracks each, #5 and #6, and #7 and #8.

Conventional lines platforms #1 (left) to #8 (right)
At platform of track #5 and #6.
At stairs from track #5 and #6 to the ground level.

All conventional platforms and tracks are connected at the ground level walkway. Shinkansen transfer gate is located at the second level. There are stairs, escalators and elevators between the ground level walkway and Shinkansen transfer gate.

Bantan line
Limited Express Hamakaze
1,2Teramae, Takeda, Wadayama
Osaka (Hamakaze)
Kishin line
Shonan-Shinjuku line
3,4Harima-Shingu, Sayo, Niimi
Kobe line (Special Rapide, Local)
Limited Express Super Hakuto
5,6Sannomiya, Osaka, Kyoto
Sanyo line (Special Rapid, Local)
Limited Express Super Hakuto
Limited Express Hamakaze
7,8Aioi, Banshu-Ako, Kamigori, Okayama
Tottori (Super Hakuto)
Kinosaki-Onsen, Hamasaki, Tottori (Hamakaze)
Sanyo Shinkansne11Shin-Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, Tokyo
Sanyo Shinkansne12,13Okayama, Hiroshima, Hakata, Kagoshima-Chuo

Ticket gate/Exit

Central ticket gate. Himeji castle is shown very clearly.

All ticket gates/exit are located at the ground level. There is no ticket gate to Shinkansen platforms directly in Himeji station. When you take Shinkansen, you must go through two gates, common ticket gate and Shinkansen transfer gate. You cannot enter/exit to Shinkansen platforms directly.

East ticket gate

There are two ticket gates, Central and East. If you visit Himeji Castle, you can go through Central ticket gate. Central ticket gate connects two exit, South and North. North exit is the way to Himeji Castle. There are lots of signage of Himeji Castle. You cannot miss it anyway.

I will show you how to transfer from Shinkansen to conventional line train below.

How to exit the station from Shinkansen platforms and how to transfer to conventional line (JR local trains)

You will see this map when you go down to second level from Shinkansen platform.

Shinkansen platforms are located on third floor. Take the stairs, escalators or elevator to go down to second level.

You will find Shinknasen transfer gate and go through it.

This photo of Shinkansen transfer gate was taken from conventional train side.

Another stairs and escalators to ground level will be ahead and go down.

You will see the stairs and escalators to conventional line’s platforms on second level. And there are lots of signage of ticket gate and exit. You will be able to find the way very very easily.

Sanyo-Himeji station

Sanyo-Himeji station building is located just in front of Himeji station North exit.

If you use Sanyo Railway to get Himeji, you will arrive Sanyo-Himeji station. The station is in the terminal building. It is almost same location as JR Himeji station. Hanshin Railway operates direct train service from Umeda (JR Osaka). Especially if you use Kansai Thru Pass, Hanshina Railway’s direct train is your choice to get Himeji. But Shinkansen is faster and even JR Special Rapid is much faster than Hanshin Railway’s train.

The stairs to Sanyo-Himeji station ticket gate. It is located on second floor.
Ticket gate and platform of Sanyo-Himeji station

Sanyo-Himeji station has four tracks and four platforms. This station is the end of Sanyo Railway lines. All trains depart to same destinations, Kobe or Osaka. And also this station has very simple structure. There is only one ticket gate and never miss the direction.

How to get Himeji castle

The map below shows you the route to Himeji station. It is quite easy. You can access to the castle from North exit of Himeji station. If you arrive at Sanyo-Himeji station, just exit the station building.

From JR Himeji station, go through Central ticket gate and proceed to right to North exit.

The view of Central ticket gate from outside
The walkway to North exit. Himeji castle can already be seen.

Once you get outside of station, you will see Himeji castle in the distance. Otemaedori that is the main street of Himeji connects the station and Himeji castle. All you have to do is just going down this street about 20 minutes. You will get the gate of Himeji castle.

It is completely non smoking on the way to Himeji castle.
Otemon gate is located at the end of Otemaedori.

When it rains, you can take shopping arcade. If you move one block to east at the north exit of Himeji station, you will find the entrance of shopping arcade, “Miyuki dori”.

The entrance of Miyuki dori. You can find this from North exit of Himeji station.
Lots of shops on Miyuki dori.

This connects to another shopping arcade, “Honmachi Shotengai”. You can go through these shopping arcades to avoid getting wet.

Honmachi Shotengai. You may not notice the difference between Miyuki dori and Honmachi shotengai.

The end of arcade is just one block away from the gate of Himeji castle.

I hope this post is useful for your visiting to Himeji.


  1. Michi-san says:

    Good day, Takeshi-san.

    I’ll be holding a JR Kansai Area Pass. How do I make use of this pass to travel from Tennoji to Himeji Castle?

  2. CC says:

    I would like to travel to Hiroshima from Himeji, I can’t find a direct JR train from Himeji on Hyperdia, all stop through Okayama – is this correct?

  3. Hi Takeshi San,

    Im travelling to hemiji castle from shin-osaka by shinkansen in the morning and take the shinkansen to tokyo in the afternoon. Can I reserved / purchase a ticket in Himeji station?


  4. I will be travelling from Narita to Hiroshima by Shinkansen. On the way I intend to see Himeji castle. I will be reaching Himeji Station around 14.42Hrs (from Shinagawa). Will that give me sufficient time to explore castle? I plan to move to Hiroshima by late evening (18.30 ~ 19.00Hrs).
    Also I want to know whether Himeji Station has coin lockers or any other facility where I can keep my suitcases for 2-3 hrs?

  5. Viv says:

    I wanted to know if JR pass can be used in Chiba Suspended Mono Rail, and if yes then which is the best route to see around from the Mono rail, a short distance just to experience the Monorail
    Thank you

  6. Viv says:

    Hi Sir
    We will be visiting Himeji from Shin Oasaka in the morning, and will be travelling to Narita for our following day morning departure.

    I wanted to visit Chiba to experience the Chiba Suspended Mono rail after visiting Himeji. Is it doable, can i be at Chiba by 4 pm and then proceed to Narita

  7. Hello there,

    is there a bus we can ride on from Himeji Station going to Himeji castle?

  8. gabiberries – Brazil – www.ursotopia.tumblr.com
    gabiberries says:

    Thank you very much for this detailed post! Your site is helping me a lot.

  9. amlecciones
    A Lecciones says:

    Thank you for this post, it is very useful. I would like to ask if I can use my JR Rail Pass on the Bantan Line Trains that operate in Himeji?

    God bless!

  10. saramukti
    Sara Mukti says:

    Hi Takeshi San,
    Nice to meet you again, may I Know can I ride a bus from Otemaedori and pay within Kansai Thru Pass? thank you

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