Himeji Castle, also called the White Heron Castle, is considered the best-preserved castle in Japan. The original structure, more of a fortified building than a castle, was built in 1346. Further improvements were made in the late 16th century after Toyotomi Hideyoshi was placed in charge of the castle. When the Toyotomi clan were defeated by Tokugawa Ieyasu around 1600, the castle was handed over to Ikeda Terumasa, who spent 9 years elevating the complex to its present form.
Himeji Castle was designated as a National Treasure in 1931, and extensive restoration was performed between 1956 and 1964. In 1993, the Castle was placed on the list of UNESCO World Cultural and Heritage Sites.
This photo was taken in early May during the height of cherry-blossom season.