Sendai Castle ruins constructed in 1602 and served as a residence of the Date family for about 270 years. As you wander through the ruins, stone walls and Otemon Gate Corner Tower remind you of the old times.
The statue of Date Masamune on a horseback stands on where used to be the castle tower of the Sendai Castle.
Kaminoyama Castle, located in the center of the Kaminoyama City, Yamagata Prefecture was built in the Hirayama style on a hilltop in 1535 by Kaminoyama Clan. The castle houses a museum inside to explore its rich local history and an observation deck at the top of the castle where you can enjoy the panoramic views of the town and Mount Zao. The surrounding park is crowded in spring with visitors who want to see the cherry blossoms.
Trusuga castle survived over one-month battle during the Boshin War of 1868, and it gained a reputation of being an unassailable fortress.
The castle was rebuilt in 1965, and had its original red roof tiles restored in 2011. That being said that Tsuruga castle is the only castle in Japan today which features red roof tiles from the end of the Edo period.
Just an hour away from Tokyo, Odawara Castle is probably the closest fortress to Tokyo where you can get a sense of the Sengoku period. The five-storied castle exhibits the castle history as well as displays items such as armor and swords at the lower grounds, while the top floor offers nice views of the surrounding city. Odawara Castle is well-known for its park, the Odawara Castle Park with plum trees, cherry trees and ajisai bloom in different seasons. Odawara is also a gateway to Hakone onsen area where the mountain railway is located.
Takada Castle is an Edo-period Japanese castle built in a flatland at the center of Joetsu city of Niigata Prefecture. It was one of the Tokugawa public work projects which involved 13 regional lords to complete its construction in 4 months. It's different from other castles in Japan in the sense that it has no stone walls or main tower, but the two nearby rivers acted as moats of defence. There are over 4,000 cherry trees around the castle and every spring it attracts millions of visitors as a popular cherry blossom viewing spot.
Built in 1583, Kanazawa Castle remains as an important cultural property and a stone wall museum today despite most parts of the castle were burnt down and reconstructed over the past decades due to war and natural disasters.
The castle is located adjacent to the famous Kenrokuen Garden, which was once the castle's private outer garden. Both sites are must-sees on a visit to Kanazawa.
The castle park and its Gyokusen Inmaru Garden are illuminated on the evenings of Friday, Saturday and the day before holiday between sunset and 9pm offering special light shows change with the seasons.
From and To
Nagano / Matsumoto / Karuizawa / Hakuba / Kamikochi
Matsumoto castle located in Nagano prefecture was constructed in the late 16th century by a feudal lord, Ishikawa Yasunaga. It is one of the five castles designated as a 'National Treasure' and the oldest wooden castle donjon remaining in Japan. Because of its black lacquered weatherboards and white stucco walls, Matsumoto castle is called “ Crow Castle”. With the Japanese Alps in the background and a contrasting red bridge spanning the moat, you will enjoy the beautiful landscape that surrounds it.
Nagoya Castle was built by Ieyasu Tokunaga for his ninth son, Yoshinao in the early 17th century. The castle is famous for the 2 golden shachihoko ornaments, an animal in Japanese folklore with the head of a tiger and the body of a carp placed on the top of its roof. A large portion of the castle was gone up in flames in 1945 during WWII, but the donjon was rebuilt in 1959. Nagoya Castle was the first castle to be designated as a National Treasure.
Iga Ueno Castle located in Iga city, Mie Prefecture was built in 1585 by Tsutsui Sadatsugu, who governed this region. It is also called Hakuho castle(White Phoenix Castle) because of its curved roof and beautiful architecture, surrounded by the highest stone walls in Japan, approximately 30 m.
Iga Ueno is the birth place of the Iga-style Ninja, and you can watch Ninja show or experience tactics and tragedy at the Ninja Museum.
Nijo-jo Castle was the residence of the Tokugawa shogun in the west of Kyoto, who had been ruling Japan for over 200 years. It is not only a Japanese national treasure, but also a world heritage site, designated in 1994. In addition to this, over 1000 paintings on sliding doors and murals are designated as nationally important cultural properties in 1982. The outer stone walls are huge, but inside is elegant with beautifully decorated ceilings and painted walls.
Hideyoshi Toyotomi started the construction of Osaka Castle, a symbol of his power in 1583 on the former site of Ishiyama Honganji Temple. The donjon is five-tiered and nine-storied with golden shachihoko ornaments, an animal in Japanese folklore with the head of a tiger and the body of a carp shining on the rooftop. The Osaka Castle Park provides lots of green space, museum, tea house, sport facilities, a multi-purpose arena (Osakajo Hall) and a shrine dedicated to Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
Yonago Castle was built in the late 15th century and sat atop the Mountain Minato. It was once recognized as the finest castle in San'in region because of its unique structure. The castle was torn down during the restoration period, with only the original walls, settlement and a gate remained at the present site.
Take a short hike to the mountain top promises you a panoramic view of Yonago city in all directions stretching from Mt. Daisen, Sea of Japan to Sakaiminato.
At the base of the mountain is a park and a well-known spot for cherry blossom viewing in spring.
Matsue Castle has designated as a National Treasure in 2015, and it is not only one of the 12 remaining castles nationwide, but also 1 remaining castle in Sanin region. Matsue Castle is one of the symbols of Matsue city, and also called “ Chidori Jo” ( Plover Castle) as its roof resembles a plover bird spreading wings. You cannot miss the panoramic views of Matsue city and Lake Shinji seen from the top floor of the castle.
Hiroshima Castle, so-called Carp Castle was built in 1589 in the center of Hiroshima city by the feudal lord, Mori Terumoto. However, it was destroyed by the atomic bombing in 1945. The replica of five-story castle was built in 1958 and the stone fortress and moat remain as they were in the old day.
Iwakuni Castle was constructed on the summit of Mount Yokoyama in 1608. It was dismantled 7 years after construction as per one castle one province policy. The current tower was rebuilt in 1962. It is now an observation deck where visitors can enjoy the best views of Iwakuni city. A ropeway takes you
up to the peak at a height of 200 meters in 3 mins. From there you can enjoy a different perspective of the city with panoramic view of Kintaikyo Bridge, Iwakuni Airport, Miyajima, the islands of Seto Inland Sea, and Shikoku etc.
Marugame castle located at Kameyama hill, a hill of 66 meter height in Marugame city, Kagawa Prefecture, is one of only 12 castles with an original keep before the Edo period.
One of its main features is the steep stone walls that line the path from the inner moat to the castle tower. Wooden castle keep, Ote Ichino Gate, and Ote Nino Gate are designated as Important Cultural Properties. On its hilltop, 1,000 cherry blossom trees can be enjoyed in early spring, overlooking the Marugame city and the Seto Inland Sea.
Kochi Castle is located in the center of Kochi city built by Yamauchi Kazutoyo, who ruled the surrounding area about 400 years ago during the Edo Period. It is one of the twelve castles in Japan which still retains the original wooden castle tower.
15 buildings including its tower and the main are designated as National Important Cultural Properties, and six story building boasts panoramic views of the downtown Kochi.
Kumamoto Castle is one of the famous castles of Japan which was completed in 1607 after a 7-year construction process by the feudal lord of Higo, Kiyomasa Kato, who governed this region.
Kumamoto Castle features massive stone walls and moats including its keep, palace, several turrets and storehouses.