Himeji is home to Himeji Castle, the oldest and largest castle in Japan. The Japanese call this castle Shirasagi-jo (White Egret Castle) because of the resemblance to a bird taking flight. A castle has existed here since 1333, and many modifications have been made over the years. The castle as it exists today was completed in 1609. In its day, it was considered to be state-of-the-art in castle design and architecture. The five-story main tower surrounded by moats and defensive walls, towers above the city of Himeji. You can also visit Koko-en, a pleasant garden next to the castle.