Himeji (姫路市, Himeji-shi) is a city located in Hyōgo Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan.
As of May 1, 2016, the city has an estimated population of 534,881, with 213,950 households and a population density of 1,000.84 persons per km². The total area is 534.43 km2 (206.34 sq mi).
The city is surrounded by the mountains and the sea. So, Himeji has always been a somewhat isolated city, but the local people are known for their hospitality.
Himeji has been the center of Harima Province since the Nara period. After the Battle of Sekigahara, Ikeda Terumasa received a fief at Harima Province and established the Himeji Domain. He expanded the Himeji Castle and its castle town.
Himeji was the capital of Himeji Prefecture (later Shikama Prefecture) since 1871, but the prefecture was merged into Hyōgo Prefecture in 1876. The city of Himeji was established on April 1, 1889. After the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, the Japanese government reportedly considered moving the nation’s capital from Tokyo to Himeji.