Japan is an island country lying off the east coast of Asia. It is a fantastic place where ancient traditions are fused with modern history and life. Ranging from dense cities, Imperial palaces, mountainous national parks and thousands of shrines and temples, it is a worth visiting place for the visitors. Tokyo, the capital city is well known for its beautiful skyscrapers, shopping destinations and popping culture. Some of the popular tourist attractions include Hiroshima Mount Fuji Okinawa and many more. But the most interesting and breathtaking elements of Japan’s history is its castles. Here is the list of top five castles in Japan.
Castles in Japan
1. Nijo Castle
Located at the heart of Kyoto, this exquisite castle of Japan was designated as the World Heritage Site in 1994 and was originally constructed by a powerful shogun or Military Commander and demonstrates the power that the Shoguns wielded over Japan throughout the Edo period. With majestic huge stone walls surrounded by deep moats, Nijo Castle is one of the most popular and impressive sights of Kyoto that attracts millions of visitors every year.
The castle is surrounded by gorgeous gardens and encompasses many attractions including Ninomaru Palace, the Honmaru Palace, two concentric rings of fortifications and many more. The Ninomaru Palace is the main attraction of the castle. Both the Ninomaru and the Honmaru palace are surrounded by lush green walking paths, as well as cherry trees and plum trees, and many others that enhance the natural beauty of the place.
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2. Nagoya Castle
Nagoya Castle is a six stories high Japanese castle. The beautiful castle was built in 1612 by Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Standing at 48 meters high, this majestic structure offers impressive views of the whole of Nagoya city. It was almost completely destroyed by US air raids in World War II but today it is a fantastic structure with the facility of the latest technology and all other amenities to provide the best experience to the visitors.
The castle also hosts panoramic views of its surroundings with huge, fan-shaped sloping stone walls and many other beautiful structures. Also, Meijo Koen is a popular spot that also offers panoramic views more particularly in Spring – cherry blossom Season.
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Image Source: Wikimedia
3. Himeji Castle
Himeji Castle also called as the Hakuro-jo meaning White egret castle, or Shirasagi-jo meaning White Heron Castle, is famed for its bright and pristine appearance. The castle is named so because of its brilliant white exterior and its resemblance to a bird taking flight. Himeji Castle was built early in the 1600s and is located on a hilltop complex in the beautiful city of Himeji, in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan.
It is the largest and most spectacular and most beautiful castle in Japan. In fact, Himeji Castle is the finest surviving example of early 17th-century. This beautiful castle is a masterpiece of construction in wood. In 1951, it was designated as National Treasure of Japan. Also, it became the first Japanese castle to be declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.It is also listed as one of the amazing tourist attractions in Japan.
4. Osaka Castle
One of the beautiful castles built around the world originally constructed in the 1580s, it was the largest castle for some time. The castle is one of the most famous and striking landmarks in Japan.
This beautiful castle sits majestically on a hilltop in an expansive lawn covered park. The castle also encompasses beautiful surroundings including moats, turrets, and walls surrounding a massive central tower. The main central tower is 55 meters high that also houses a museum and provides a viewing platform from where visitors can enjoy fantastic views of Osaka city. Today, this wonderful castle is a stunningly beautiful symbol of the Osaka city. The museum inside the castle has eight floors of displays relating to the castle’s history. On the 8th floor is the observation deck from which visitors can enjoy truly spectacular views of the entire city.
5. Matsumoto Castle
Matsumoto Castle is a flatland castle, known as hirajiro in Japanese is located in the beautiful city of Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. The castle is named so because it is not built on a hilltop rather it is set majestically on plain land. It is one of the most beautiful and also one of the oldest castles in Japan. Matsumoto Castle is also one of the five castles, designated as National Treasures of Japan. The Castle is known as the “Crow Castle”, Karasu-jo because of its beautiful black exterior. This Japan’s premier historic castles is famed for its wooden interior that provides an authentic experience to the visitors.
The most notable features of the castle are the steep wooden stairs, openings to drop stones onto invaders, openings for archers, as well as an observation deck at the top, which provides panoramic views of the whole city. In spring, Matsumoto Castle becomes a popular cherry blossom spot with hundreds of some Yoshino cherry trees that provide amazing views to the visitors when they are in full bloom around mid-April each year.
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These are the beautiful amazing castles in Japan. Do post your comments.