Most people who hear about castles must have imagined buildings where European kings lived, which often appear in fairy tales. Castles do not only exist in Europe but also other countries, such as Japan.
Castles in Japan have a different shape from castles in Europe, but the function is the same, namely as a residence for nobles and a fortress. Like European castles, Japanese castles are also built on hills or surrounded by moats so that the enemy does not easily infiltrate.
Most castles in Japan were built in the 15th century. At that time, Japan was divided and various battles were inevitable. These castles became the shelter of the nobles.
Of the five thousand castles that once stood, only hundreds remain today. Some of them are open to the public and become popular tourist destinations. Come on, find out which castles you can visit and their features!
- Himeji Castle
Located in Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture, this castle stands out because of its building on a hill. The white-dominated exterior also gives an elegant impression, so this castle is dubbed the Great Egret Castle.
Himeji castle complex began construction in the 15th century and was completed in the 17th century. At that time, the 107-hectare complex had 83 buildings. Over time, some buildings were razed to the ground as a result of fires or deliberately destroyed.
- Matsumoto Castle
In contrast to Himeji Castle, Matsumoto Castle’s exterior is dominated by black. Residents also dubbed it Crow’s Castle. Even so, this castle is far from being spooky.
The castle which was built in 1592 is known for its beauty. The moat surrounding the castle is full of koi fish. Now and then, you can also find geese relaxing in the moat.
- Hiroshima Castle
Although it serves as a place of defense, not all castles stand on hills. Hiroshima Castle was built in the middle of the city. This location was chosen because the land is flat so the building can stand firmly.
Like buildings throughout Hiroshima, this castle was also destroyed by the atomic bombing in 1945. Thirteen years later the local government rebuilt the castle using the same building methods and materials as the original.
- Matsue Castle
Another castle that is dominated by black is Matsue Castle. For hundreds of years, Matsue Castle has survived all kinds of disasters and attacks. The structure of the building is still the original from 1611 when the castle was founded.
Currently, Matsue Castle serves as a museum exhibiting various weapons and artifacts. In spring and summer, Matsue Castle is the center of exciting festivals!
- Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle is a very popular tourist destination. It’s not complete if you visit Osaka but miss this eight-story building. Like other castles, Osaka Castle is also surrounded by a moat.
Osaka Castle was built in 1583 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the ruler of Japan at the time. Since then, the castle has witnessed various events. Starting from the attack in 1615, the fire in 1665, to the world war.
Those were five castles in Japan that you can visit while on vacation. In your opinion, which castle is the most beautiful?