Himeji Castle sits at the heart of Himeji City in Japan and is composed of 83 wooden buildings reinforced with fireproof white plaster. Locals have affectionately given it a nickname that means "the white heron" for its graceful presence. It was originally built in 1346 and then reconstructed in the 16th century as a fort. Although the Himeji palace lacks a keep for prisoners, it's known for its mazelike, defensive design. During the Meiji Revolution in 1868, the new Japanese government took hold of the castle and later sold it at auction. It's survived wars and natural disasters relatively intact.