Japanese Castles

Numbers are quite impressive: we estimate the amount of castles in Japan to be up to about twenty five thousand during Japanese history, however, today we can count only about a hundred of them in the archipelago.

They knew some main construction periods such as:

  • Edo era, during which a law from the shogunate Tokugawa aimed at reducing the number of castles that a seigneur could possess;
  • Meiji restoration, era during which the modernization of Japan led to the destruction of many historical buildings;
  • bombings of the WWII;
  • or also some fires and diverse internal wars at all historical periods.

Therefore, even if a great number of them have been rebuilt, sometimes by following the same techniques and materials than the original ones, there are only a few original Japanese castles. Among the most famous, we can cite Himeji, Matsumoto, Hikone and also Inuyama.

Surprisingly, the most visited one is not the one we can think about, since it is the Shuri Castle in Okinawa. Of course, it remains less visited than the Louvre in France or the Forbidden City in China (respectively 6 and 9 times less), but it still welcomed 1,753 millions visitors in 2013.

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Destinations in Japan for Japanese Castles


In Japanese

城 (shiro)

"Shiro" can be read 4-6, so April 6th is the (non official) castle day in Japan!