Himeji Castle is known for the legend of the ghost Okiku – the waitress was tortured for losing the gilded plate.
Himeji Castle is an ancient Japanese castle located in the center of Himeji city, Hyogo prefecture, 650 kilometers west of Tokyo. The work was built in 1333 and underwent many restoration and new additions to complete in the early 17th century.
After more than 400 years, the castle is still intact even though the city of Himeji was bombed in World War II and affected by the earthquake disaster in 1995.
The people here still transmit each other mysterious stories about the castle, especially the legend of the witch Okiku. She is a waitress in the castle, losing a gilded plate and paying the price of her life. Many people believe that every night, the spirit of the waitress rose from the well and started screaming, meticulously counting gilded plates.
There are no documents confirming the real existence of Okiku, but Himeji Castle still has several wells. In it, the well associated with this legend is said to be located south of the castle.
Himeji Castle, along with Matsumoto Castle and Kumamoto Castle, are Japan’s three great national treasures, of which Himeji is the most famous. Photo: Flightcenter.
Himeji is also known as White Crane Castle because of its elegant design, the wooden walls are completely covered with white plaster. The castle was built on high mountains, flat to be able to observe around. Himeji was also designed as a fortress to defend, but never actually served a battle.
Himeji Castle was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1993 and is a National Treasure of Japan.