Crest Tiles"Ha" Gate

In Himeji Castle, family crests of the successive lords of the castle are shown on devil tiles, Tomoe tiles, and Karakusa tiles.
Following are the crests of some feudal lords of Himeji Castle.

The Area of "Ha"Gate

The pathways you are walking on make a zigzag maze in the castle. Though we think to approach Main Tower, we soon go forward another way and come to the stone and plaster walls.
You are heading for Main Tower but just in front there is a stone wall which seems to be a dead end. In fact there is a sharp turn leading to "Ni" Gate. This maze is in the Koshu Style and is a part of the defensive layout. From Diamond Gate to Main Tower is a straight distance of 130 meters, but in fact the path is two and a half times as long as that.
Moreover, the passage is narrow because of the steep stairs and slopes, and it is between tall stone and plaster walls, so we feel as if we were walking along the bottom of a ravine. If enemy soldiers attacked along this path, a great number of them would not be able to pass in a group because of this narrow pathway.
Furthermore, there are slits in the walls and corridors. These are called "Sama". If the enemy attacked somewhere in the castle, they should be fired at from some of these Sama. They are made to protect the castle.

photo of the slope leading to "Ha" Gate