Japanese Castles

Updated

About Japanese Castles

Japanese Castles have a very different exterior than those of other countries. Castles emerged in Japan during the 15th century when the country was in the midst of wars and battles. They served as guards and strategic sites where the local feudal lords strategized their tactics. Due to their purposes of defense during battle, many castles were destroyed. Yet many of these were reconstructed, leaving Japan with gorgeous castles. Of these castles, there are twelve castles that are considered the "original castles", having kept its structure from prior to 1868.

Castles in Tohoku Region

Hirosaki Castle

Hirosaki Castle

Castle in Aomori prefecture famous for its cherry blossoms in spring

Castles in Kanto Region

Odawara Castle

Odawara Castle

The residence of a feudal lord, the Odawara Hojo Family

Castles in Chubu Region

Nagoya Castle

Nagoya Castle

One of the Largest Castles during the Edo Period

Maruoka Castle

Maruoka Castle

Famous for its Donjon, Fortified Tower

Kanazawa Castle

Kanazawa Castle

Founded 1583 by the Maeda Clan and located next to Kenrokuen Garden

Inuyama Castle

Inuyama Castle

The Oldest Castle and Existence since the Edo Period

Castles in Kinki / Kansai Region

Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle

Residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of Edo

Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle

The White Heron Castle - UNESCO's World Heritage

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle

Reconstructed after it was burned down by lightening; now modified into a museum

Wakayama Castle

Wakayama Castle

Great view of Wakayama and a popular cherry blossom site

Takeda Castle

Takeda Castle

Floating Castle, Castle in the Sky, Japan's Machu Picchu

Ueno Castle

Ueno Castle

Tallest castle honmaru in Japan; reconstructed with only wood to achieve a look closest to the original castle

Hikone Castle

Hikone Castle

Original castle; regarded as one of four national heritage castles

Castles in Chugoku Region

Hagi Castle Town

Hagi Castle Town

Nicely preserved former castle town and famous for its local pottery

Matsue Castle

Matsue Castle

One of twelve original castles, only one in Sanin region

Okayama Castle

Okayama Castle

Nicknamed Crow Castle for its black exterior

Castles in Shikoku Region

Kochi Castle

Kochi Castle

Only castle in Japan to maintain its defense buildings

Marugame Castle

Marugame Castle

One of twelve original castles; popular cherry blossom spot

Matsuyama Castle

Matsuyama Castle

One of Japan's twelve original castles; last reconstructed in 1820 when burnt down by lightening

Castles in Kyushu Region

Kokura Castle

Kokura Castle

Gorgeous four-tiered, six stories donjon castle of Fukuoka

Shimabara Castle

Shimabara Castle

Remodeled castle houses weapons, armors, and Christian artifacts

Kumamoto Castle

Kumamoto Castle

Well fortified hilltop castle; several original wooden buildings remain

Karatsu Castle

Karatsu Castle

Five story high castle with distinctive natural ocean moat

Castles in Okinawa

Nakagusuku Castle

Nakagusuku Castle

Well preserved castle remains of the Ryukyu Kingdom

Shuri Castle

Shuri Castle

Played a crucial role in politically unifying the island and as the center of foreign trade

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