A National Treasure and World Heritage site, Himeji Castle was first and foremost a military installation, yet it was aesthetically designed with great elegance and beauty. Also known as “Shirasagi Castle” the White Heron Castle because of its chalk-white appearance, Himeji Castle was rebuilt within 9 years of the Battle of Sekigahara by the “Shogun of the West”, Ikeda Terumasa, son-in-law of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. The majority of western warlords were originally opposed to the Tokugawa, and so Himeji’s role was to control the former enemy provinces. For that reason, an impressive castle was required. The seven-story tenshu was a state-of-theart structure connected by corridors to three smaller towers forming a square. Himeji’s construction skillfully incorporated the local topography. With a total of 74 extant including the tenshu, gates, and walls, Himeji has the remaining cultural assets of any other castle in Japan.