How to travel between Himeji and Kyoto
Kyoto and Himeji are connected with each other by the JR Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen. Nozomi trains require about 45 minutes to reach Himeji Station from Kyoto, while direct Hikari trains require roughly 55 minutes. The regular one way fare from Kyoto to Himeji is 4750 yen for a non-reserved seat on any train, around 5270 yen for a reserved seat on Hikari trains and around 5590 yen for a reserved seat on Nozomi trains. The Japan Rail Pass is valid on Sakura, Hikari and Kodama trains, but not on Nozomi trains.
By local JR trains
Direct JR special rapid trains (shin-kaisoku) take 90 minutes and cost 2270 yen for the one way trip between Kyoto and Himeji. There are departures roughly every 15 minutes. For visiting Himeji in a one day trip from Kyoto using this train, the 1-Day JR West Rail Pass - Kansai Area for 2060 yen is a good deal.
By non-JR trains
From central Kyoto (Shijo Street), take a Hankyu limited express to Hankyu Umeda Station (45 minutes, 400 Yen). Transfer to Hanshin Umeda Station (10 minute walk) and take a limited express train bound for Sanyo-Himeji Station (90 minutes, 1280 Yen). Sanyo-Himeji Station is located near JR Himeji Station. This route is slower than using JR, but it is cheaper and can be used by holders of Surutto Kansai tickets.
Above fees and schedules are subject to change. For the current Yen exchange rate, click here.
The broad Otemae-dori Street leads straight from JR Himeji Station to Himeji Castle. You can walk from the station to the castle's entrance gate in about 15 to 20 minutes.
Sanyo-Himeji Station, served by Sanyo Railways, is located just a short walk north of JR Himeji Station and provides direct train connections to/from Osaka's Hanshin Umeda Station.
Himeji is also covered by a dense bus network that is operated by Shinki Bus. Its main bus terminal is located just across the street from JR Himeji Station. Shinki Bus number 8 provides easy access to Mount Shosha. Icoca, Pitapa and the local Nicopa prepaid IC cards can be used to pay the fare on Shinki buses, but other IC cards (such as Suica or Pasmo) cannot be used.