Speaking at an international symposium on cultural heritage and natural disasters on Sunday, Hideyasu Kiyomoto, the mayor of Himeji in western Japan, said he is considering “quadrupling” entry fees exclusively for foreign tourists visiting the UNESCO World Heritage site, Himeji Castle. Currently, adult entry fees for the castle are set at ¥1,000, which is around $6.33 according to current exchange rates. Kiyomoto feels that it is too cheap for visitors from overseas. He believes that with the yen being so weak and tourism thriving, now is the right time to introduce two-tier pricing, known as nijukaku in Japanese.  

No Plans To Increase Himeji Castle Entry Fee for Locals

“We would like to charge the equivalent of around $30 for foreigners and around $5 for residents,” said Kiyomoto during Sunday’s symposium. Speaking to reporters on Monday, he emphasized that he would like to “avoid raising the admission fee for local residents.” He added that there are two-tier pricing systems at several historical sites around the globe. Earlier this year, Tamatebako, a seafood restaurant in Shibuya, Tokyo, made headlines for offering discounted prices for local residents. For nijukaku to be realized at Himeji Castle, though, the idea will first have to be approved by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.

himeji castle

Hyogo’s Himeji Castle

About Himeji Castle  

Known as the “White Heron Castle” due to its elegant façade, Himeji is the most visited castle in Japan. The castle as we know it today was completed in 1609. However, the first fortifications on the site were built in the 1400s. It’s one of only 12 Japanese castles with its wooden keep still intact. In 1993, it was designated as Japan’s first UNESCO World Heritage site. The spectacular castle has featured in several movies, including Akira Kurosawa’s classics Kagemusha and Ran. It was also the site of Tiger Tanaka’s secret ninja training camp in the James Bond flick You Only Live Twice. 

Related Posts