Travel

Great Japanese Castles You Just Have to Visit

As most of you know, I’m a “castle hunter“.
I love exploring Japanese castles and I’ve recently cracked the ‘magic 100 mark‘. That means I’ve visited over 100 Japanese castles.

Have I been to all Japanese castles yet? No, surely not.
Have I had enough already? Never! smilie

First of all, you should know that there are  “100 Fine Castles of Japan” (日本100名城). One hundred castles have been chosen by the Japanese Castle Foundation in 2006 as the best, most beautiful castles that have cultural or historical value.

For these castles there are special stamps, so you can “catch ’em all” if you want:

Top Japanese Castles, 100 Fine Castles stamps

This list displays the first 50 castles of the “100 Fine Castles of Japan”. You can find them all displayed inside Kawagoe Castle in Saitama Prefecture.

 

After I’ve been to 100+ castles, I thought it’s about time to share some of my favorites with you.

Please note that those are my personal picks. In my opinion it’s impossible to say which are the “Top Castles of Japan“, but I hope this list will be a good guide and reference for you.
Also make sure to check out my regularly updated list of Japanese castles I’ve visited. You find all the travel information you’ll need and my personal rating as well. This list is steadily growing as I keep visiting castles. smilie

 

The 12 Original Japanese Castle Structures

There are only 12 castles left in Japan that are considered as “original”. They’ve survived several earthquakes, fires and wars. All of these castles are therefore special and worth checking out. I know it, because I’ve been to all of them. smilie

Those 12 castles are:

Ehime Prefecture on Shikoku is the only prefecture in Japan that has two original castle structures, so it’s definitely worth a visit. Shikoku is one of the four main islands of Japan and although it’s rather small with only 4 prefectures, you’ll find FOUR original castle structures there, mainly because it wasn’t targeted during war.

Among those 12 castles I’d particularly recommend the following:

 

Himeji Castle (Hyogo)

Top Japanese Castles

Himeji Castle (姫路城) is without a doubt one of the most beautiful castles in all of Japan. No wonder it’s so popular and famous!

Although 1st-time visitors often have not even heard of Hyogo Prefecture (where the castle is located), many plan a day trip to Himeji just to see the castle.

Himeji Castle is one of the first castles in Japan I’ve ever seen – and it’s also the one that I’ve probably visited most often.

It’s especially beautiful in spring with all the cherry blossoms as well as in autumn. The castle grounds are huge and in the surrounding park you’ll also find a lot of stray cats. Another advantage for cat lovers like me.

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Ongoing renovation works until 2015 (they’re done now!)

A lot of people seem to be worried about the ongoing renovation works and keep asking me about it.

The renovation began in April 2010 and will probably take until March 2015. Until August 2014 it will pretty much look like in the photos above. After that the main tower will gradually become visible again.

I don’t know why so many decide not to visit because of that. It’s a chance that only comes every 50 years! You can see the castle tower top from close-up and many other things that you usually wouldn’t. And apart from the main tower everything else is still the way it used to be. So, if you’re close to Himeji (e.g. in Kobe) certainly drop by for a few hours.

Besides, there’s also Engyoji Temple nearby,  a shooting location of “The Last Samurai“.

 

Hikone Castle (Shiga)

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Hikone Castle (彦根城) is another original castle structure in Kansai, but a bit far from Himeji. It’s located in Shiga Prefecture.

This castle is much smaller than Himeji Castle, but is extremely beautiful and the museum has many interesting exhibits to offer.

Hikone can be done as a day trip from various spots in Kansai, e.g. from Nara or Kyoto. I visited nearby Nagahama Castle on the same day.

 

Matsumoto Castle (Nagano)

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Matsumoto Castle (松本城) in Nagano Prefecture is another of my all-time favorites.

I visited in winter when it was extremely cold, but the sky was clear and the surrounding mountains were all covered in snow. I’m a huge fan of black castle structures. Matsumoto Castle has extensive castle grounds, the surrounding park is beautiful.

I went to Takashima Castle in Suwa on the same day. It’s not too far away, so you might want to check it out if you have some extra time.

 

 

The Castles of Okinawa

I think it’s not a secret that I’m a huge Okinawa fan, so when two things I really like come together (Okinawa + castles), you can bet I will love it!
The castles of Okinawa are very different from the structures you’ll find on the “main land”. Of course, it has a lot to do with Okinawa’s geographical location and history (Ryukyu Kingdom). You’ll find a lot of Chinese influence in the architecture.

Unfortunately there aren’t many castles left in Okinawa. Mostly you’ll run into ruins. The ones on the main island of Okinawa are well-preserved, but I also like the tiny ruins on Kume Island.

Shuri Castle

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Shuri Castle (首里城) in Naha makes you feel like you’re in China Town.

I love it’s colors and how it’s so different from the “usual” Japanese castle style. The castle is located in Naha on the main island of Okinawa and can easily be reached by monorail from Naha Airport.

Unfortunately the original castle was completely destroyed in 1945 during the Battle of Okinawa. However, it has been reconstructed step by step since 1992. As it’s on a hilltop you’ll also have a great view and you can even see the ocean.

 

Okinawa’s Castle Ruins

Shuri Castle is the only one that has been reconstructed. All the other castle structures you’ll find in Okinawa are ruins.

However, especially on the main island of Okinawa there are some great ruins you should check out. It might be more challenging to get to them, though. I recommend a rental car, but there are also buses. All of the ruins I mention here are registered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Top Japanese Castles Top Japanese Castles

On the left you see Katsuren Castle Ruins (勝連城) located in Uruma.

Nakagusuku Castle Ruins (中城城) offer a breathtaking view and there’s also a hotel ruin next to it, so haikyo fans will be thrilled.

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From the Nakijin Castle Ruins (今帰仁城) you’ll have a particularly nice view and I’d say it’s my favorite among the four ruins.
Zakimi Castle Ruins (座喜味城) are located in Yomitan. Make sure to check out the Yomitan Village History Folklore Museum which is right next to the castle’s entrance.

All those castle ruins have a very special atmosphere that is hard to describe. I didn’t really feel like I was visiting Japanese castles. The landscape, the climate and even the view onto the emerald blue ocean just create a whole new world. Do not miss this opportunity and explore at least some of these ruins in Okinawa.

 

The Top Japanese Castle Ruins

I hear a lot of people complain that ruins are boring and not worth visiting – or less interesting to take photos of.
Well, I partly agree. There are some extensive castle ruins left in Japan. Especially the mountain castle ruins can be breathtaking and far more exciting than some of the reconstructed towers!

 

Takeda Castle – “The Castle in The Sky”

Top Japanese Castles

My personal favorite castle ruin is by far Takeda Castle (竹田城) – which in recent times became popular as “The Castle in The Sky“. It’s also known as “Machu Picchu of Japan“.

It was promoted on TV and thus an increasing number of tourists has been visiting since then. Unfortunately the state of the ruins has worsened through the masses trampling all over them, so a few months ago they’ve decided to set up an entrance fee.

Just like Himeji Castle this one is located in Hyogo Prefecture. However, it’s on the opposite side of the prefecture in Asago City, so I wouldn’t really recommend visiting those two castles in one day. Instead you could check out Izushi Castle which is very close.

Despite the masses of tourists in recent times, I just can’t hold back and need to recommend this castle to you!

 

 Other Ruins Worth Visiting

Top Japanese Castles Top Japanese Castles

There are many castle ruins in Japan. Most tourists don’t know about them, but I want to mention a few that could be worth checking out if you’re nearby.

Azuchi Castle Ruins (安土城) in Shiga Prefecture (see photo on the left) are a must-see for Oda Nobunaga fans. It can be done as a day trip from Hikone or Kyoto.

Takatori Castle Ruins (高取城) in Nara Prefecture are breathtakingly beautiful in autumn (see photo on the right). Mt. Yoshino is not too far from there.

 

The Top Reconstructed Japanese Castles

The huge majority of Japanese castles nowadays are reconstructed buildings, not always with a castle tower. Personally I prefer those that had their tower reconstructed. Even though they’re concrete reconstruction, some of them look stunning.
A few castles have great surroundings and become especially “photo-worthy” in autumn or spring.

It’s extremely hard for me to choose just a few. I can’t list all the castles I want, so please refer to my “Japanese Castle Index” and check out the castles I’ve rated with 3 or 4 hearts (Japanese castles rating~Japanese castles rating). All of them are absolutely worth visiting. smilie

Without further ado, here are the ones I choose:

 

Aizu-Wakamatsu Castle (Fukushima)

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Aizu Wakamatsu Castle (会津若松城) a.k.a. Tsuruga Castle in Fukushima Prefecture has a beautifully reconstructed castle tower. As you can see it even looks great in winter.

It’s said to be the greatest castle in Eastern Japan.

 

Fushimi Castle (Kyoto)

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I was shocked to find out that most people have never heard of Fushimi Castle (伏見城) although it’s located in Kyoto not too far from the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine and Tofukuji Temple!

While the castle tower is closed to the public, the castle grounds are freely accessible.

I’m a huge fan of the architecture and colors of this castle reconstruction. Definitely worth dropping by if you have an extra hour after visiting Fushimi Inari.

 

Gujo Hachiman Castle (Gifu)

Top Japanese Castles

I adore Gujo Hachiman Castle (郡上八幡城).

Why? Because Gujo Hachiman in Gifu Prefecture is one of my favorite places in Japan! The fact that there’s a beautiful castle reconstruction on a hilltop that offers a great view of the place I love so much, should be enough reason to put it on the list.

Gujo is famous for “Gujo Odori” during “o-bon” in August. For a few days locals as well as tourists will dance in geta (traditional Japanese shoes) all night long. One of the best experiences I’ve ever had in Japan! So, why don’t you enjoy the dancing AND visit Gujo Castle?

 

Hamamatsu Castle (Shizuoka)

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As for Hamamatsu Castle (浜松城) in Shizuoka Prefecture I think all the little details just match perfectly.

I love the tiny cute castle tower in black, grey and white. I adore the colors of the surrounding walls. And on top of that there are red shrine gates right next to the castle tower. Cherry blossom season in spring provides the whole scenery even more beauty.

Another plus factor is that you’re close to Mt. Fuji and that there are a few other nice castles nearby such as Sunpu Castle, Kakegawa Castle or Tanaka Castle.

 

Imabari Castle (Ehime)

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Imabari Castle (今治城) in Ehime Prefecture is one of my favorite reconstructed castles. There are so many buildings on the huge castle grounds.

Extensive moats and an absolutely awesome view onto the ocean from the top floor of the tower are things I like a lot.

You can see a part of the Seto Inland Sea – and Imabari is also the place from where you can start a cycle tour all the way to Onomichi (Hiroshima).

When you are in Ehime Prefecture, you might also want to visit the following castles:  Iyo Matsuyama and Uwajima Castles (originals), Ozu Castle.

 

Kumamoto Castle

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Kumamoto Castle (熊本城) is one of the largest castle reconstructions I’ve seen. At first, I thought it’s an original structure.

Kyushu has a lot of great castles, but if I had to choose only one, it would be Kumamoto Castle!

Other noteworthy Kyushu castles are Shimabara and Hirado Castles in Nagasaki Prefecture as well as Nakatsu Castle in Oita Prefecture.

 

Okayama Castle

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Okayama Castle (岡山城) is also known as the “Crow Castle“. The black exterior is a contrast to nearby Himeji Castle (Egret Castle) which is white.

The inside of Okayama Castle is rather boring, but the surroundings are great. Right next to the castle is one of Japan’s most beautiful Japanese gardens, Korakuen Garden. If you’re short on time you can just visit the garden and take photos of the castle from there.

 

Matsumae Castle (Hokkaido)

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Matsumae Castle (松前城) is located in Hokkaido. It’s said to be the only traditional Edo-style castle you’ll find there. It’s also the northernmost castle of Japan, so that makes it kind of special, don’t you think?

The castle tower has an interesting, “compact” architecture. It’s a bit far out, but can be reached by bus from Hakodate.

 

Nagoya Castle (Aichi)

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Nagoya Castle (名古屋城) is another popular castle reconstruction that can be easily visited by foreign tourists. Nagoya is somewhat between Tokyo and Kyoto, so many people drop by.

For me, Nagoya Castle’s tower is just insanely beautiful. Probably one of the most beautiful in existence! The style is similar to the one of Osaka Castle, but Nagoya Castle is just so much more impressive! I could stand in front of the tower and stare at it for hours.

Compared to Osaka Castle’s interior I find Nagoya Castle’s rather interesting. Various exhibitions, even a huge collection of dead insects, can be found on several floors.

If you’re in Nagoya already, you should also visit Kiyosu Castle.

 

Odawara Castle (Kanagawa)

Top Japanese Castles

When I visited Odawara Castle (小田原城) in Kanagawa Prefecture, I was impressed by how majestic the tower seemed to be. What a great reconstruction!

Inside is a museum with interesting exhibits on several floors. I spent a long time in there.

The castle is just a few minutes away from JR Odawara Station – which can be reached by local train or Shinkansen. If you’re traveling between Yokohama and Shizuoka, I’d certainly consider visiting.

 

Special Mentions

There are a few castles that don’t really fit into any of the previous categories, but that absolutely deserve to be mentioned.

Goryokaku Fort (Hokkaido)

Top Japanese Castles

Goryokaku Fort (五稜郭) is a Western-style fort in Hakodate, Hokkaido.

The castle moat is shaped like a star. You get the best view from the top floor of a nearby tower.

As you can see in the photo above, spring is one of the best times to visit. Please note that cherry blossoms bloom later in Hokkaido (early May) than in the rest of Japan!

 

Nijo Castle (Kyoto)

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Nijo Castle (二条城) is one of the very few castles left with a palace-style building.

It’s probably the most visited castle by foreign tourists, simply because it’s in Kyoto City. And although it’s such a “typical tourist spot”, I can highly recommend it!

I especially love the “nightingale floors“. When you walk on the floor inside the castle, it sounds like thousands of birds. Old-fashioned “security systems” rule!

 

Kinojo Castle (Okayama)

Top Japanese Castles

Kinojo Castle (鬼ノ城) also known as “Demon’s Castle” is located in Soja City, Okayama Prefecture.

If you’re planning to stay longer in Okayama, especially if you want to explore the Kibi plain, then you should also check out this nearby castle.

Only the west gate has been fully reconstructed (see photo above). You’ll mainly find ruins, but as the castle is on a mountaintop, it offers a breathtaking view!

With its connection to Japanese folklore (Momotaro) it’s a popular tourist spot for Japanese people. Yet you don’t have to worry that it gets crowded.

 

What are your favorite Japanese castles?

After showing you some of my favorites, I’d love to hear which castles you consider worth visiting.

Oh, and just because I’ve been to 100+ castles, it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to hear your recommendation for castles I haven’t been to yet. As you can tell I always love to explore new things here in Japan. smilie

39 Comments

  • Beautiful pictures and well organized. Can’t get enough of the gorgeous landscapes of Japan! I wonder if there were any world heritage sites compromised by the nuclear fallout from the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster or from the Tsunami in 2011? Do you know which was the closest castle to the earthquake damage zones and how did it weather the shockwaves and shaking? I was just curious how durable these castles were to seismic activities. I would guess that they held up fairly well. Thanks again J for your insights and hard work!

    As a suggestion to the Japanese: they should make Castle pins for each site. These pins can be attached to caps, lapels and other clothes instead of using stamps. Pins should be included in the price of admission to the castle grounds and be unique. They are more collectible and look much better than stamps do. The process of making pins also creates a cottage industry in making and trading colorful and uniquely designed pins by different manufacturers. They did this for the Olympics and it remains as one of the most treasured and sought after items for the tourists and visitors.

    • A very good question, Bud.
      As far as I know, no World Heritage was destroyed or damaged, but just as I thought Aoba Castle in Sendai received some minor damages.

      That’s a good suggestions, but for some reason Japanese people REALLY seem to like stamps. There are stamps for everything – even at most train stations. There are “stamp rallyes” for kids at major tourist spots, too. ^^;

      • Hello Bud & ZoomingJapan,

        Some castles have pins (hikone for example) but after the stamp, the most important thing is the mascott of the castle ! The majority of castles has it own mascott, the most famous are Kumamon and Hikonyan. Each time i visited a castle, i tried to find the mascott. Sometimes, there is no mascott for the castle but the town has it mascott. I like it :-)

        • Hey Julien,
          It’s funny you should mention Kumamon (my daughter’s absolute favorite mascot in all of Japan!). Here in Kumamoto, however, there is actual a separate mascot for the castle called Higomarukun (Higo is the old name for the Kumamoto region). He and Kumamon sometimes appear together, along with the mascot for the Aso Kumamoto Airport (a volcano with a plane flying overhead). :)

          • I was wondering if you could tell me for how long Kumamon has been around, because I could swear there was NO Kumamon when I visited Kumamoto the last time in 2008!

        • Almost every Japanese city has their own mascot – even in the boonies. They’re just not as famous.
          I went to a local festival last year and they introduced all of the local mascots. There were so many cute ones! ^^
          It’s rare that a castle has its own mascot, but some city mascots feature the castle like Himeji’s “Shiromaruhime”.

  • I am happy to say I have visited 8 of those 12 originals: Hikone, Himeji, Inuyama, Iyo Matsuyama, Kochi, Matsue, Matsumoto, and Uwajima. I agree with you in liking Nijo very much. Of course it’s more a residence than a castle.

    Frankly I usually do not bother with the reconstructions, though obviously they hold interest for others, and I have seen some, like Kumamoto, that are quite large and instructive.

    • I can understand if somebody doesn’t want to see any of the reconstructions, but some are really interesting.
      Like I said even ruins can be extremely breathtaking, but I know that not everybody is as crazy about castles as I am. ;)

      Great! Only 4 more to go. Do you plan to visit those during one of your future Japan trips? :D

  • Hi Zooming, erstmal congrats, dass du die 100 Castles-Marke geknackt hast.;) Das ist echt ne Menge. Ich hab auf der Suche nach Reisetipps zu Japan deine Seite entdeckt und find sie super und auch sehr informativ. Nächstes Jahr gehts für mich auch zum ersten Mal ins Land der aufgehenden Sonne und ich stecke noch voll in der Reiseplanung. Da mich Burgen auch sehr interessieren fand ich es toll, dass du hier eine Best of-Liste-Liste erstellt hast. Momentan tendiere ich zu Matsuyama und Hikone bei den Must-See-Castles. Himeji find ich auch klasse und es ist wirklich schade, dass es zurzeit “eingepackt” ist. Kannst du vielleicht noch was empfehlen, was in der Nähe von Kyoto ist?

    Tjo, ansonsten kann ich nur sagen danke für deine tolle Webseite. Ich hab hier viele Sachen wie zB Kumano oder Rabbit Island entdeckt, die ich vorher net auf den Schirm hatte.

    Liebe Grüße aus dem Ruhrgebiet, Iris

    PS: darf man dich bei Fragen zum Thema Reiseplanung kontaktieren? Ich hab so einen ungefähren Plan ausgetüftelt, aber weiß nicht so recht ob das zeitlich machbar ist und ob ich da evtl. doch lieber etwas rauslassen sollte.*grübel*

    • Hallo Iris! :D

      Vielen Dank.
      In der Nähe von Kyoto? Da wäre noch Iga-Ueno Castle. Gleich neben dran gibt es ein extrem interessantes Ninja-Museum und auch eine recht unterhaltsame Ninja-Show.
      Ansonsten würde ich mir nicht zu viele Burgen anschauen – gerade bei der 1. Japanreise möchte man ja sicher viele verschiedene Dinge sehen. ;)

      Das freut mich sehr zu hören.
      Ich versuche mit meinem Blog vor allem auch Reiseziele aufzuzeigen, die man in einem “normalen” Reiseführer eher nicht findet oder zu denen es (noch) keine Informationen auf Englisch gibt.

      Natürlich kannst du mich jederzeit kontaktieren! ^___^

      • Hallo Zooming, das ist ja super, vielen Dank für deine Hilfe.*freu*

        Jau, das mit dem viele Burgen anschauen bei der ersten Japan-Reise, da sagste was. Ich hab bei der Reise auch noch meinen Freund im Schlepptau und er ist jetzt schon am mosern, dass “die ganzen japanischen Burgen eh alle gleich aussehen”. :D Also nee, find ich mal gar net, aber egal. Ansonsten denk ich, dass wir sicher von allem was sehen werden, Tempel, Schreine etc.

        Auch nochmal dickes Danke für den Iga-Ueno Tipp, ich werd das gleich mal auf meine Liste packen und schick dir dann nachher mal nen vorläufigen Reiseplan. :)

        PS: jupp, zum Glück gibts deine Seite wenn man auch mal andere Sachen sehen will, die net im Reiseführer drin stehen. Obwohl ich es schon komisch finde, dass in meinen zwei Reiseführern zb nix von Kumano erwähnt wird. Immerhin ist dort laut Japan Guide der größte Wasserfall Japans und sonst schauts da einfach traumhaft schön aus, find ich.

        • Haha,

          deshalb reise ich meistens alleine.
          Wenn meine Familie oder Freunde mich besuchen kommen, wird da auch gerne mal gemosert, dabei bin ich die einzige die schon zig Burgen, Tempel etc. gesehen hat. Wenn also einer meckern darf, dann ich! ;)

          Manchmal verstehe ich das auch nicht. Ich denke, die Reisefürher orientieren sich auch an den UNESCO Weltkulturerben usw. … auf der anderen Seite ist der Kumano Kodo auch ein Weltkulturerbe.
          Etwas Gutes hat das aber auch, denn diese weniger bekannten Sachen sind dann weniger überlaufen! :D

  • A great list Zooming Japan and happy to see you have included a lot of my personal favourites as well. For me it is hard to top Matsumoto Castle in Nagano which is just so beautiful. Glad to see you also included Gujo Hachiman Castle which is the oldest wooden reconstructed castle in Japan. It celebrated its 80th anniversary this year and is spectacular in the Autumn as the grounds surrounding the castle are covered in Japanese maples. As you know I’m also a big fan of Hikone Castle in Shiga and Inuyama Castle in Aichi. Keep the castles coming and look forward to seeing many more from you.

    • I’m a huge fan of Matsumoto Castle and I agree that it’s very beautiful. I just cannot pick my personal number one, though.
      If there are 100+ castles to choose from, it’s simply impossible. ^__^;;

      Yes, I saw your great photos of Gujo Castle in autumn. I wish I could visit again for momijigari.

      Thanks. There certainly will be more in the future. I still have a lot I want to visit and sometimes I just “run into them” by coincidence. *g*

  • I always enjoy to visit your site, especially beacuse of the breathtaking photos. You always get the right spot, the right time and a very good composition of the photo at all. They are by far better than the reality that one can find at the castle sites. I mostly agree with your selection, from which i visited the most by myself. Even it’s reconstructed, i often visit Odawara castle, because it’s easy to reach by train/bike/car. Concrete or not, especially in spring or autumn it’s surroundings are stunning beautiful. Thanks!

    • Hey coolio!
      Glad to see you around here again! :D

      I’m not skilled at all – and I doubt that the real thing looks worse than in my photos. Sometimes I’m actually disappointed that I couldn’t capture a place’s real beauty.
      But thanks so much for the nice compliment! ^__^

      Odawara Castle and the surrounding park is lovely indeed. I bet I would visit there often, if I lived close to it – especially in spring and autumn.

  • Wow – 100 castles! That’s very cool. My favourite castle is Inuyama Castle. I love it because it’s an original and very well restored inside. Also, the view from the top on a good day is gorgeous!

  • That’s great, congratulation. I visited only 22 castles (but i visited the 12 original castles). My top 3 is : Kochi, Matsuyama and Matsumoto. I like very much castles in Shikoku. But,i think that the period that you visit a castle is very important. For example, I visited Matsuyama during the cherry blossom, it was fantastic and i think that visiting Uwajima during the sakura should be fantastic. I saw Hirosaki with snow, it was wonderful.

    • Hello Julien,

      Please don’t say “only 22” castles, because I think that’s already great! :D
      And it’s awesome that you got to see all 12 original castles. ^___^

      I totally agree that the season is a crucial factor.
      Each season has their own beauty, but for castles I prefer cherry blossom season.
      I also visited (Iyo) Matsuyama Castle in spring and was blown away. Breathtaking!

  • Congratulations on hitting the 100 castle mark! And your pictures of them are fabulous! I’m glad to see you liked my “home” castle of Kumamoto. It’s a reconstruction but it’s still very impressive, in my opinion. Thanks for the great post!

  • Hello,

    A friend in Japan has given me a good info : During december until february there is a special 3D mapping illumination at Osaka Castle. I watched a video and it seems to be a great spectacle.

    Damned, i couldn’t see this illumination but if you are close to Osaka it seems to be a good thing to do.

  • Hello,
    I read in japaneses website that perhaps Nagoya and Odawara will build a new tenshu in wood ! That’s great, perhaps in the end of this decade, it will be 14 original castles. And perhaps 15 if the Edo castle is rebuild in Tokyo (Olympic game will improve ne construction).
    Happy holidays !

    • There can’t be any more original castles. If they rebuild something it’s only a reconstruction. “Original” means that some buildings have survived a few hundred years – that’s what makes those few castles so special! ;)
      But having a wooden main tower reconstruction is great (although I quite like Odawara and Nagoya the way they are now).

      • Hello ZoomingJapan, I’m agree with you, i spoke about castle with theirs originals forms. I think it is a big challenge to rebuild the same castle with the originals plans. I don’t know if the Japanese government will have the budget but i like the idea. I think that the government should make the effort for Tokyo (but il is a lot of money…). What a great thing to have a castle as Matsumoto in Tokyo :-) But you have right, their is still many castles that people can visite. I like very much Odawara (i visited it during the sakura). It was a very good surprise with a beautiful museum inside the tenshu. Do you see the park with very old attraction ? It’s funny. I wish you an happy new year and thank you to share your passion of Japanese Castle.

        • I also visited Odawara Castle during cherry blossom season. However, there was a typhoon going on at that time and apart from me nobody was around.
          I couldn’t walk around on the castle ground, so I want to re-visit some day! ^___^

  • Hello ZoomingJapan,

    If you like Odawara, there is a special Japan post stamp limited edition with 5 castles. And Odawara is one of the five. The limited edition was available since december 10. There should be others limited edition with castles.You can see the picture on my facebook page dedicate to Japanese castle (sorry it is in french : name of the page : chateaux japonais).

  • 松本城実家近くだよ。I’m glad you like this castle. Matsumoto is a playground. I’d like to go to Shirasagi castle(another name oh himeji castle). But it is too far away where I live!! I used to be siroholic. I made a plenty of siro plastic model!!

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