Rodney Campbell's Blog

Beyond Himeji Gate…

by on Jan.18, 2017, under Life, Photography

Most visitors to Himeji Castle enter the castle via the Otemon Gate. Paying for tickets at the Hishi Gate allows you to enter the Castle itself.

The labyrinth-like approach from the Hishi Gate to the main keep leads along walled paths and through multiple gates and baileys with the purpose to slow down and expose attacking forces. At the heart of the complex stands the main keep, a six story wooden structure. It is one of only a handful castle keeps in Japan that feature wing buildings, adding complexity to its appearance.

Himeji Vista

Himeji Vista

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 28 mm, 1/40 sec at f/8, ISO 100 x 3 Frames

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images.

The panorama above was taken out of the windows of the lower levels. It’s a handheld stitch of three horizontal frames.

Visitors enter the main keep through an entrance in the lower floor of the building and climb upwards via a series of steep, narrow staircases. As you ascend the levels, each of them get progressively smaller.

The topmost floor houses a small shrine and lets visitors peer out in all directions, down over the castle roofs, at the maze-like defenses below and out across the city of Himeji.

Beyond the Gate

Beyond the Gate

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 28 mm, 1/40 sec at f/10, ISO 100

The view from the top is pretty spectacular with vista like views in all directions.

Gate Patina

Gate Patina

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 58 mm, 1/60 sec at f/7.1, ISO 2000

Back down at the bottom again we can do a quick family portrait with the castle before moving on.

At the Castle Gate

At the Castle Gate

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 44 mm, 1/160 sec at f/7.1, ISO 100

The castle complex as it survives today is over 400 years old and was completed in 1609. It comprises over eighty buildings spread across multiple baileys.

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