Japanese Castles: Attractions You Won’t Want to Miss while Visiting Japan

Japanese Castles: Attractions You Won’t Want to Miss while Visiting Japan


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Osaka Castle - one of Japan's most famous castles
Osaka Castle – one of Japan’s most famous castles

Japan: Home to a Large Number of Castles

Japan is home to over 100 castles. So, you won’t want to miss seeing these historical buildings if you are planning a trip to the country soon.


A Quick Introduction

Most of the buildings were designed and erected in order to safeguard essential routes for the transport of goods. Therefore, the structures are often located near ports, bridges, or waterways. Other buildings were constructed as a major bulwark or fortification for defense.

Buildings are made with such castle features as moats, outside walls, turrets, donjons (inner towers) and large outer towers. Most of the structures were established in the 1300s to the 1600s in Japan.


Featured Castles:

Bitchu Matsuyama Castle

Sitting on a hilltop, the Bitchu Matsuyama Castle can be found in the Okayama Prefecture of Takahashi. The castle is located at the highest point above sea level in the country. Also referred to as the Takahashi Castle, the fortification was originally built on a mountain close to the current site in 1240 AD. In the first part of the 1300s, the castle was resituated to Mount Gagyu. It was almost totally rebuilt in the late 1600s before being rebuilt and restored in later years to its former glory.

Kochi Castle

The Kochi Caste, which stands in Kochi city, is located on the smallest Japanese isle of Shikoku. The castle, which was completed in the early part of the seventeenth century, was destroyed by fire in the first part of the eighteenth century. It was rebuilt in 1753 and restored between the latter part of the 40s and early part of the 50s in the twentieth century. Of note, Kochi Castle is the only castle in Japan which features its original palace and keep.

Hirosaki Castle

Hirosaki Castle is an example of a flatland designed castle and is located in the central part of the city of Hirosaki in the Aomori Prefecture. Also referred to as Takaoka Castle, the building was built in 1611. Two of the castle’s turrets were destroyed by fire in 1906 although three of the turrets still survive from the Edo period.


No Matter where You Go in Japan, you’re Sure to Find a Castle

Of course, the above castles are only a sampling of the many Japanese castles that are featured in the country. Wherever you go in Japan, you’ll be able to visit these historic landmarks.