Himeji castle is a rare citadel that has never been destroyed completely since it was first built. It became the first UNESCO's cultural property in Japan together with Horyuji temple in Nara. Because of its beautiful white walls, it is also called "White Egret Castle" and has been serving as the symbol of Himeji for 400 years since its inception. Himeji Castle was built between the years of 1555 and 1561. The construction was initiated by Kuroda Shigetaka who was ruling Himeji then. After Hashiba (Toyotomi) Hideyoshi took over the construction, Ikeda Terumasa completed it in 1609, taking 9 years and deploying a presumed total of 24.3 million people. The current architecture was completed by Honda Tadamasa. Presently, the castle is going under the "large-scale repair of Heisei" that began in 2009. There repair will be completed in late 2014, and a newly born Himeji castle is schedule to appear before the public eyes then.