Hikone Castle, National Treasure
This is one of the best castles in Japan. You can stroll through the castle which retains its original appearance.
Take a trip back in time to one of Japan's oldest original castle
March 19, 2017

Hikone Castle is one of four original castles built during the Edo Period at the command of the Tokugawa Shogunate. The main castle building stands majestically in the middle of Hikone City and provides breathtaking views of the city as well as Lake Biwa. The castle was built 410 years ago at the very beginning of the Edo Period to defend Kyoto and the rich resources of Lake Biwa. The castle stands much as it did throughout the Edo Period provides visitors with a chance to go back in time and feel what it was like to be a samurai guarding the castle.

written by
Benjamin John McCracken
I arrived in Japan almost 19 years ago as a student and fell in love with the culture and beauty of the country. Over the next 18 years I found myself coming back to Japan frequently and finally decided to move to Japan fulltime to assume the role of the Resident Director for the Japan Center for Michigan Universities. I enjoy cycling around Japan, especially around Lake Biwa.

Hikone Castle is a National Treasure and counted among the greatest castles in the world. It took around 20 years to build, and was completed in 1622. Extremely beautiful when illuminated by moonlight, it is one of the Eight Views of Lake Biwa.
The so-called "Water Castle" once stood alongside Lake Biwa and the inner lake, and its waterways were also used for the transport of goods to the town. Hints of it can still be seen everywhere, from the area name "Funamachi" (meaning "Boat Town") to the remains of wharfs and houses belonging to boatmen that can be found along the canals. Always thronging with houseboats, the canals remain a place of relaxation for the residents of Shiga even today.

Hikone Castle, National Treasure


●Holidays/Open every day
●Admission/adults 600yen, children 200yen
◆Access/JR Biwako Line Hikone Station 15 min. on foot

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If you walk through the beautifully reproduced castle town, you can enjoy the calm atmosphere of the Edo period

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