Himeji Castle Official Website (Himeji Castle big picture book) > About > The World Heritage Site and National Treasure Himeji Castle

世界文化遺産・国宝 姫路城 World's cultural heritage

The World Heritage Site and the National Treasure
Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle, one of the national treasures in Japan, was registered as a World Heritage Site in December, 1993 (Heisei 5th yr), the first place in Japan to achieve this status, along with Horyuji Temple in Nara.
The Agency of Cultural Affairs chooses properties of historical and universal value, which are worthy to be World Heritage Sites, and recommends them to the nomination file.
ICOMOS (the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the World Conservation Union) evaluate the Nomination File.
The World Heritage Committee officially inscribe some of the nominated properties on the World Heritage List.
As of today, all the World Heritage Sites are the symbols of ages with artistic values such as the Pyramids in Egypt, the Palace of Versailles in France and the Great Wall of China.
Himeji Castle has gained high appreciation as the finest surviving example of early 17th-century Japanese castle architecture.

Why was Himeji Castle evaluated?

Himeji Castle was designated as a World Heritage Site for the following reasons:

  • Himeji Castle is a masterpiece of Japanese wooden construction, combining function with aesthetic appeal, a unique and outstanding structure in the world.

  • Himeji Castle is the finest surviving example of early 17th-century Japanese castle architecture. It is centered on the Tenshu-gun (a complex made up of the main keep, small keeps and connecting structures), comprising buildings (turrets, gates, plaster earthen walls, etc.) and civil engineering structures (stone walls, moats, etc.) with highly developed defense systems and ingenious protection devices.

The Registration Contents

Registered Property Himeji Castle
Location Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture
Date of Inscription December 11th, 1993 (Heisei 5th yr)
Type Cultural property(Group of Buildings)
Listed Area The core zone: 107 ha (the core zone)
The buffer zone: 143 ha (the buffer zone)
Evaluation Criteria
for Outstanding Universal Value

To represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
To be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history

Related Information