NOTES: Himeji Castle is the finest example of Japanese castle architecture. It comprises a network of 83 buildings, with fortifications. The castle is also known as the White Egret (Hakuro-jo) or White Heron (Shirasagi-jo) for its brilliant white exterior and resemblance to a bird taking flight. The castle was originally built as a hillfort in 1333. In 1346 it was dismantled and remodelled as a castle. It was significantly remodelled over the next three centuries and completely rebuilt 1601-1609. It has survived bombings and earthquakes and remains intact. It was nominated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 and has recently undergone an extensive restoration programme, which has restored the formerly grey roof to its original brilliant white colour. It re-opened in 2015.
NOTES: This fortress on the banks of the Adige was built by the Scaligers in 1354-1355 and the main tower was completed in 1375. The interior was converted into the Civico Museo d'Arte in 1964 by Carlo Scarpa.