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Castles in Japan That Are Popular Tourist Attractions, There are hundreds of castles in Japan scattered throughout the country. After being damaged in World War II,
many Japanese castles underwent restoration. Some castles are only 20 years old, while others are old buildings that are still original and historic.
As elsewhere, castles in Japan, were built as defensive structures. Daimyo or feudal lords built these castles all over the country.
The wealth and power of the daimyo will be shown by the appearance of the castle. The more magnificent the castle means the more powerful and rich the daimyo are.
Well, here are castles in Japan that you can visit.
Address : 68 Hommachi, Jimeji 670-0012, Hyogo Prefecture
Opening hours : 09.00-16.00
HTM : Adult 1000 Yen, Student 300 Yen
Phone : +81 79 285 1146
Himeji Castle is an iconic castle located in Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture. Along with Osaka castle in Osaka, it is widely recognized as a representative in the Kansai region.
Himeji Castle is visited by many tourists throughout the year. Shirasagi-jo which means white crane is the name for this castle because of its elegant appearance.
After more than 5 years of restoration work, in 2015 the castle was reopened to the public. Completed in 1609, today the castle complex consists of more than 80 structures.
Unlike other castles in Japan, some of the castle buildings have survived through several wars and fires.
Himeji Castle was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. This is the first castle in Japan to be included in the list.
During the cherry blossom season, the castle is filled with visitors enjoying the view of the cherry blossoms against the enchanting castle backdrop.
Address : 4-1 Marunouchi, 390-0873, Nagano Prefektur Prefecture
Opening hours : 08:30 – 17.00
HTM : Adults – 700 yen, Elementary/junior high school students – 300 yen
Phone : +81 263 32 2902
One of Japan’s main historical castles is Matsumoto Castle. This castle is indeed considered a National Treasure of Japan. Commonly known as ‘Crow Castle’,
Matsumoto Castle has a black exterior. Located in Nagano Prefecture, Matsumoto Castle is easily reached by train from Tokyo.
What sets this castle apart from many others is that Matsumoto Castle is a hirajiro or flatland castle. The location of this castle is strategic
because it was built on a hill also surrounded by a river. Built in the late 16th century, the fort consists of a series of moats, gatehouses and a complex system of walls.
The castle was built during the Sengoku period, a period of relatively great social upheaval in Japan. For the rebuilding of the castle,
then in the late 1800’s the castle was sold at auction. Efforts to renovate and raise funds for the construction of the castle were spearheaded by a local high school principal.
Address : Ichibancho, Marugame City, Kagawa Prefecture 763-0025
Opening hours : 09.00-16.30
HTM : Adults 200 yen, Elementary/junior high school students 100 yen
Phone : 0877-22-0331
Marugame Castle which stands on a hillside with a height of 66 meters is known for its stone walls which are recognized as the highest in Japan.
The origin of this castle dates back to about 400 years ago, when Ikoma Chikamasa started construction of this castle in 1597 as an additional castle.
This distinctive Hirayama-style castle combines the design and architectural style of the Yamajiro and Hirajiro styles.
There is a moat surrounding the castle grounds which serves to protect the castle from attacks.
The symbolic stone walls of the castle are claimed to be masterpieces of the most sophisticated engineering of the early Edo period.
Each wall of this castle uses a different size and shape of stone. this can be seen when visitors compare the details of the walls when exploring the castle grounds.
Address : 1-1 Hommaru, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture
Opening hours : 09.00 – 16.30
HTM : 500 Yen
Phone : +81 52-231-1700
Originally Nagoya Castle was built as the seat of power for the Owari branch, one of the three family branches that came under the Tokugawa shogunate in the early Edo period.
At that time, Nagoya Castle was one of the largest castles in Japan as well as a rapidly growing castle town.
During World War II most of the castles were destroyed by air raids. The current castle building was erected in 1959 along with the establishment of a museum
containing special exhibits and the history of Nagoya castle. On the roof of the castle is a Kinsachi or tiger-headed goldfish. It is a major vantage point for locals and tourists alike.
Apart from being a symbol of the authority of the ruler, Kinsachi is also a talisman to prevent fires. This gold carp has a long history of vandalism and theft.
The total weight of the goldfish is about 90kg and the gold used to make it is 18 carat gold. In addition, during the cherry blossom season in Japan, the park around the castle is also a famous hanami location.
Address 540-0002 1-1, Osakajo, Chuo-ku, Osaka City
Opening hours : 09.00 – 17.00 *Opening hours are extended during certain period (spring and summer period)
Closed : 28 December to 1 January
HTM : 600 Yen
Phone : +81-6-6941-3044
One of the most famous landmarks in Japan is Osaka Castle. Like most traditional Japanese castles, Osaka Castle is also built on artificial stone walls.
The castle is eight stories high and is surrounded by a moat. This castle building was erected on the site of a temple as well as the former imperial palace.
There was a huge fire in the castle in the late 1600s when lightning struck the gunpowder storehouse, setting it all on fire in the huge explosion.
The use of this castle was quite short, but the role of this castle in the unification of Japan was quite important.
The castle underwent repairs at the end of the 19th century. This repair was sorely needed after years of neglect. In the movie Godzilla Raids Again ,
which was made by Tomoyuki Tanaka in 1955 the audience can see the appearance of this castle.
When visiting Japan don’t miss to visit one of these castles. If you come in spring, you can also watch the cherry blossoms bloom in these castles. Which castle would you like to visit?
also read: List of Japanese Cultural Agenda
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