Names in this site follow the Japanese custom of family name first.

June 19, 2012

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of History (Museums)

Hyogo’s history museum stands fittingly in Himeji, on a plot of land behind the soaring walls of the castle and close to the Museum of Modern Art. It was designed by Tange Kenzo. On the first floor are two large rooms for the permanent exhibition. The first one is dedicated to the “Primitive Ages” (some interesting items are the bronze mirrors found in the Akura-Takatsu burial mound dating from the 3rd c.), the second one to the “Ancient Ages”, the “Medieval Ages” (about the spread of Buddhism and with models of important temples in Hyogo) and the “Early Modern Ages.” On the second floor is also a gallery dedicated to the “The Modern Age.” Here is also a large room for temporary exhibitions.

[Himeji Castle]

Galleries Four and Five are again for the permanent exhibition and these are perhaps the most interesting part of the museum, as they have displays about Himeji Castle and other castles in Japan. Himeji is one of the only twelve castle keeps (or donjons) that survive in their original state. Others are, for example, Inuyama (built in 1537), Matsumoto (1596), Hikone (1606), Matsue (1611) and Kochi (1745). Himeji castle itself dates from 1609. There is also a model of the now destroyed Edo Castle, which used to be the largest in the country. Most castles were destroyed in a wave of anti-feudal feelings after the start of the Meiji period, and the resulting open spaces were often used for building the new prefectural offices. After seeing all the models, from one of the northern windows of the museum you can get a view of Himeji Castle, majestically rising up like a white heron taking off in flight.
68 Honmachi, Himeji-shi, Hyogo-ken 670-0012
10:00 - 17:00; CL Mon (next day if NH), NY
5 min by Shinki bus (no. 3, 4, 5 or 64) from N side of Himeji St to Bijutsukan-mae bus stop, then walk a few min; or 20 min on foot from Himeji St