Thursday, 20 August 2015

Night View of Himeji City: Castle and Station

DMU JR West KiHa127 series stands at Himeji Station on the Kishin Line
Himeji is the second largest city in Hyogo Prefecture, some 640 km west of Tokyo. It is well known as a heavy industrial city, but an old castle, namely Himeji Castle, is another symbol of this city.

Himeji Castle, also called Shirasagi (egret) Castle, was originally constructed by Akamastu Sadanori in 1333. After several renovations, it was completed in 1617 by Honda Tadamasa. The main tower with some attached buildings is still in existence. Himeji Castle was designated as a World Heritage site in 1993.

To get to this historical castle, the nearest station is JR West's Himeji. It takes three hours from Tokyo by Nozomi super-express train on the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen. When I arrived at Himeji Station, it was just after sunset. I saw a stainless-steel DMU on platform 3.

It was JR West's KiHa127 series on the Kishin Line. This route is a 158 km-long un-electrified single track connecting Himeji and Niimi stations. The section between Himeji and Harima-Shingu is a commuter route, whereas the section from Harima-Shingu to Niimi is a typical local line. The KiHa127 series was launched in 2009 as a JR West commuter DMU. A total of 19 units have been built by Niigata Transys.

After strolling in Himeji station yard, I headed to Himeji Castle. When I arrived at the castle, it had become completely dark. The beautiful white building appeared in the illuminations. I enjoyed night view of Himeji City, both the station and the castle.

Night view of Himeji Castle near Himeji Station
Official information about JR West's local trains (in Japanese):