5 Most Beautiful Castles in Japan

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  • In Japan, castles were fortresses made from woods and stones. It was built to guard some important sites such as river crossings and ports. There are some castles in Japan that still original or very little altered. Some of them are considered as national treasures. Below some castles in Japan that are well known for the beauty of their construction and architecture and surrounding.

    1. Himeji Castle

    This castle was built in 1333. Himeji castle located in Himeji, Hyogo prefecture. Himeji castle is considered as the largest castle in Japan and the most visited one. In 1993, it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site in Japan and also considered as one of three premier castles along with Kumamoto and Matsumoto castle. The castle was under restoration and reopened in March 2015 to preserve the buildings.

    2. Matsumoto Castle

    It also often said as a ‘crow castle’ due to its black color. It is located in the Matsumoto city, Nagano prefecture. The uniqueness of this castle is, instead of built in the hilltop or between the rivers, the castle was built on the plain. In 2011 this castle was damaged due to 5.4 scale richter earthquake which causes some cracks in the inner wall.

    3. Kumamoto Castle

    Located in Chuo-ku, Kumamoto in Kumamoto Prefecture, Kyushu island , this castle was built in 1467 on the top of the hill. In 1960, this large castle was undergoing a reconstruction. However some parts inside the castle still remain original. Together with Matsumoto castle and Himeji castle, this castle is considered as one of three premier castles in Japan.

    4. Inuyama Castle

    This castle is located in Inuyama city, Aichi prefecture. Inuyama castle is one of castles which was built before Edo period that still exist until now, therefore it was claimed as one of oldest castles. The view of Kiso river, a river between Nagoya and Gifu can be seen from the top of this castle. There are Artifacts Museum and Exhibition Rooms in the entry of this castle which show the history and culture of the city.

    5. Hikone Castle

    Hikone castle is located in Hikone city, Shiga prefecture. This castle was built during Edo period and considered as one of castles that still original in Japan. This castle is also listed as one of national treasures. Some parts inside this castle are also considered as a national cultural assets.