5 Most Beautiful Castles in Japan You Have To Visit!

Planning to visit the beautiful castles in Japan? But not sure which ones to start with? Here’s a list of the most beautiful castles in Japan. Check it out!  

Having grown up among castles, I can easily evoke memories of the royal family, a majestic ambiance, and a large number of armed guards. Castles were historically constructed on prominent hilltops and high terrains, such as islands or peninsulas. 

Every time I read or hear about castles, I am enthralled, and to actually visit a real castle always excites me! 

Japan is home to several castles, the majority of which have a rich history that draws tourists from around the globe.

But did you know that Japan formerly had nearly 5,000 castles? 

History’s daimyo (feudal rulers) constructed castles as fortifications and a way to flaunt their wealth. They created the traditional architectural designs in the 16th century that are familiar to us today.

Since the majority of Japanese castles were built from wood, many of them have burned down over time. There are currently only 100 buildings standing, and even fewer of those are the original ones.

Here is a list of stunning Japanese castles I visited, just as stunning as it appears in fairy tales.

Most Beautiful Castles in Japan

Hikone Castle

Hikone Castle is one of the 12 original castles of Japan. It is located in Shiga Prefecture. It is considered to be the most important historical building in the entire region and was constructed at the orders of the son of the reigning regional lord.

Many features of the castle are considered Japanese cultural assets. In addition, the Hikone Castle is another on the list that still has its original structure.

The lovely castle is located near Lake Biwa, a symbolic lake known as Japan’s largest lake. It’s fun to roam around the castle and surrounding neighborhood.

The experience I’ve had here makes it worthwhile to spend money to travel as this amazing place is like heaven. A national treasure, Hikone Castle undoubtedly deserves a visit.

I was blown away by the exquisite maintenance of the castle’s original landscape which draws increasing numbers of visitors. It served as the focal point of this location’s attractions.

Himeji Castle

Himeji, a city in Japan, is a collection of castles built on a hill. It is also the first site in Japan to be named a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO in 1993

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It is the best surviving instance of early 17th-century Japanese castle architecture and consists of 83 buildings.

Despite natural disasters and the World War II bombardment, this castle has survived unharmed since it was built 400 years ago.

 It’s difficult to believe, but this is the case.

I was truly amazed by the wood construction masterpiece with its exquisite appearance, white-plastered earthen walls, and multiple roof layers, which are the things that everyone cherishes. 

It is much more pleasant to enjoy a delicious bowl of Udon (a local cuisine) at a local restaurant following the tour.

Hirosaki Castle

Hirosaki Castle, a hilltop fortress in northern Japan, is renowned for its five original turreted gates, fortified moats, and vast grounds. 

The Tsugaru clan built the castle in the early 1600s after acquiring enough money and resources through several deft connections.

 The grounds, which are home to more than 2,500 cherry trees, host one of Japan’s biggest cherry blossom festivals every spring.

It is listed as a National Important Cultural Property, together with turrets and other ancient features. Spring is the greatest time to visit to enjoy the lovely cherry blossoms that embrace the old architecture.

 It was also destroyed by a lightning strike that struck the gunpowder magazine just about 15 years after it was built. In addition, Hirosaki Castle hosts the annual Hirosaki Castle Snow Lantern Festival, which draws sizable groups of tourists.

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I visited this beautiful Japanese castle with my family when the cherry blossoms were in full bloom, and the sight is so breathtaking that you can’t resist but want to stay and gaze at it forever.

Despite several visits, I still crave more and I have never tasted apples or apple juice as good as here and it is the best place to enjoy the pink cherry blossoms during the Sakura season. And the snow also makes it look magical.

Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto Castle is located in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, Japan. Matsumoto Castle is a National Treasure of Japan and one of Japan’s most significant heritage castles.

 It was built in the late 16th century, the castle comprised many moats, a complex system of walls, and gatehouses, it is one of the country’s oldest surviving castle towers.

It is also known as the Crow Castle because of its black façade and is one of Japan’s National Treasures. The main keep, or donjon, of the castle, is the oldest in Japan and offers panoramic views of the Hijiri Kgen mountains.

I was mesmerized by the sights from the castle’s viewpoint. Its interior is like a museum, featuring facts about the castle’s history, historical objects, and numerous steep steps.

It’s worth checking out both inside and out. The views from the vantage point of the castle are stunning.

The visit to this place is a real eye-opener and one of Japan’s jewels. You don’t want to miss this!

Osaka Castle

In Japan, Osaka Castle is a well-known monument. There are eight floors in the Osaka Castle, built on a stonewall and surrounded by a moat, like many traditional Japanese castles.

During the late 1600s, an explosion set off a large fire in the castle when lightning struck the gunpowder keep. The castle underwent much-needed renovations in the late nineteenth century after years of disrepair.

The castle appeared in Tomoyuki Tanaka‘s 1955 film Godzilla Raids Again.

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If you visit Osaka, don’t miss Osaka Castle, one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. It was initially designed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

They offer a large collection of antiques and exhibitions that allow visitors to learn about the history of the castle while dressed in traditional Japanese attire.

The castle is surrounded by a magnificent lake or mountain, which has a long history of use by the old empire.

I loved my visit to Osaka Castle since it is so beautiful. We went up and were able to observe many eras of Japan. It’s a great spot to visit if you enjoy history, ancient Japanese culture, and walking.

Conclusion

If you want to visit the best castles in the world, Japan is the place to go. It has everything you haven’t even imagined.

Getting to know more about new castles is usually a plus. These are the places I’ve always wanted to see but haven’t been able to due to a variety of factors.

But I must admit that these castles are the nicest I’ve ever seen. They not only provide gorgeous views but also have an educational component.

These castles tell us the entire story of their history and heritage, and over the top, these old castles are still standing.

Many visitors visit to admire the castles. As I already stated, this was one of my most fascinating and informative trips, and it went beyond my expectations.

I’ve learned a lot about these gorgeous castles.I highly suggest that you go to these castles. I am convinced you will thank me later.

So. Pack your bags, book your trip, and go exploring. Castles of Japan are waiting for you.

Most Beautiful Castles in Japan: FAQs

What is the most visited castle in Japan?

One of Japan’s most well-known sites is Osaka Castle. The Osaka Castle is eight floors tall, 55 meters in length, and is encircled by a moat. It is constructed on a man-made stonewall.

Which castle in Japan is the largest?

The largest castle in Japan is Himeji Castle. The central castle is a six-story building that can be seen from almost anywhere in Himeji City. The castle has appeared in several movies.

In Japan, what is the oldest castle?

The Inuyama Castle dates back to 1440 and is the oldest castle in Japan. It is an outstanding example of the defensive architecture of the Momoyama Period, constructed in 1537.

What makes Japanese castles different?

The difference was in the design of the roof. Japanese castles had very elaborate and intricately designed roofs, whereas European castle roofs were very simple. European castles averaged 4 storeys in height, compared to the 3 to 5 storeys of Japanese castles. This makes the Japanese castle unique and different.

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