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Must see Castles

Many people visit Kyoto to get a feel for historical Japan. Filled with temples and teahouses, Kyoto is indeed a great city for exposing yourself to Japanese culture and history. In the middle of it all lays Kyoto’s famous castle, Nijo-jo. Because of its prime location in the center of the city, Nijo-jo is often frequented by visitors and is easy to get to using public transportation. It’s near Kyoto Station, although from there many...

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Uwajima Castle (宇和島城) is located in Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku. Today it is one of 12 original castles remaining in Japan, meaning it still has it’s original Edo period main tower. The castle began construction in 1595. Lord Toyotomi Hideyoshi provided Todo Takatora land in Uwajima, and being the excellent castle-builder he was, he decided to construct Uwajima Castle. It took almost 6 years to complete the main tower and...

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Located in Hachinohe, the southeastern area of Aomori Prefecture, Ne Castle is certainly not well known by tourists. Right outside the JR station, you’ll find a bus that will take your directly to the castle within 15 minutes. Ne Castle is unique and unlike any other, so I really recommend a visit if you’re already out that way. Built in 1334 by Moroyuki Nanbu, Ne Castle was established as the center of imperial government in the...

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Built in the early 16th century, Matsumoto Castle is one of only a handful of original castles left today in Japan. For an original castle, it is also considered one of the most complete. Located near Nagano, Matsumoto Castle is unique in a few ways. The first way is that it was built on a plain rather than up on a hill or mountain like most castles. It is also unique for having a second donjon, or inner keep, and a turret adjoining...

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Castles are important historical icons of Japan. Much like their western counterparts, it is a symbol of the feudal era in history. Spanning from 1467-1603, the warring states (Sengoku) period saw the rise and fall of many Japanese castles. During this time, Daimyos fought each other for power and castles were built as strategic strongholds. Due to its defensive purposes, many of these castles were built near natural defenses like...

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