Himeji Castle, a world heritage site and national treasure, reopens to the public on Friday after 5 1/2 years of repair work.
Located in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, the 400-year-old castle was registered as a world heritage site in 1993 along with Horyuji for the first time in Japan. The graceful white building is compared to a white heron and it is also called “white heron castle.”
The 2.4-billion yen renovation, which began in October 2009, was partially paid for by donations from 3,000 citizens. New roof tiles have been installed, and the white walls have been repainted.
The castle is reopening in time for cherry blossom season. About 1,000 cherry trees are in the castle grounds.
James Bond fans will remember the castle grounds as a ninja training headquarters in the 1967 film "You Only Live Twice."© Japan Today