On the weekend we visited Himeji, a castle town west of Osaka, that has one of only 12 remaining original castles in Japan. It's a 3 hour train Shinkansen trip to Himeji, but flights between Tokyo and the Kansai airports are very competitive - a round trip plus accommodation cost significantly less than return shinkansen tickets. Repair work is scheduled to start next month and it will be 4 or so years before the scaffolds come off. With that in mind, we took the chance to see it.
The castle has been in this form since the early 1600s.
It replaced a castle that had been built in the mid 1300s.
Family emblems found within the castle precinct.
The castle has had many owners through out its history.
I didn't see an explanation of why there were different geometrical shapes for shooting arrows cut into the wall.