Overseas Tourists’ Admission to Himeji Castle May Be Quadrupled; Raising Money to Handle Overtourism Impact

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Himeji Castle

HIMEJI, Hyogo — The city of Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, is considering quadrupling the admission fee at Himeji Castle for non-Japanese tourists aged 18 or older, Mayor Hideyasu Kiyomoto said at an international convention in the city on Sunday.

The mayor said he would like to use the increased fee to take measures for managing overtourism and conduct repairs to the castle, a World Heritage site.

Currently, the admission fee for those aged 18 or older is ¥1,000.

“You can enter [Himeji Castle] for $7,” Kiyomoto said. “I’m thinking of raising the fee. I’d like foreign people to pay $30 or so and Himeji residents to pay about $5.”

The yen’s exchange rate to the U.S. dollar was ¥157 as of Friday, meaning the current fee for those aged 18 or older was about $7.

The castle received 1.48 million visitors in fiscal 2023 and 30%, or a record of about 450,000 of them, were tourists form overseas, according to the city’s website.