A stop on the Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen bullet train, which runs between Tokyo and Kyushu, Himeji is about 3 1/2 hours from Tokyo, 1 hour from Kyoto, and less than a half-hour from Okayama. The fare from Tokyo is ¥14,700 for a nonreserved seat.
The Himeji Kanko Navi Port Tourist Information Center (tel. 079/287-0003) is located at the central exit of the station's north (castle) side, to the right after you exit from the ticket gate. Open daily from 9am to 5pm, the staff can answer questions and make hotel reservations. You can also use a bike from here free of charge . For online information see www.himeji-kanko.jp/en; some information is also provided at www.city.himeji.lg.jp/en.
There are coin lockers at the station for those stopping in Himeji only for a few hours to see the castle.
Internet Access -- Jyukukan Himeji, beside the Himeji Washington Hotel Plaza, 98 Higashi Ekimai-cho (tel. 079/286-6006), is open 24 hours and charges ¥290 for the first 30 minutes and then ¥100 for each subsequent 15 minutes.
Orientation & Getting Around
You can walk to Himeji's attractions. The main road in town is Otemae Dori, a wide boulevard that stretches from Himeji Station north to Himeji Castle (you can walk the distance in about 15 min.). To the east (right) of Otemae Dori are two parallel streets, Miyukidori and Omizusuji, both covered shopping arcades. If you want, you can use a bicycle free of charge from 9am to 6pm by filling out an application form (before 4pm) at the Himeji Kanko Navi Port, where you'll be given a ticket and told where to go to pick up the bicycle. Finally, the red-painted, retro-looking Himeji Castle Loop Bus makes runs daily from 9am to 5pm (only on weekends and holidays Dec-Feb) every half-hour or so from Himeji Station to the castle and beyond. It costs ¥100 per ride or ¥300 all day.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.