Hikone Castle is proud of its beautiful exterior!

There are a total of 5 castles in Japan that are designated as national treasures; Matsumoto Castle, Inuyama Castle, Hikone Castle, Himeji Castle and Matsue Castle. Today, I’d like to introduce Hikone Castle, which has history of 400 years. Its castle tower is really cool and the turrets and Genkyuen are also spectacular. The castle walls surrounded by a two-tiered moat have been kept the same as they were 400 years ago, and you’ll feel like you traveled back to the Edo period. There’s also a nostalgic shopping area called “Castle Road”, around the castle.

hikone_castle


【 CONTENTS 】

You can learn the historical background of the castle from the stones stacked up around the property!

To begin with, you’ll go up this hill.
Hikone Castle

Then, you’ll see this Tenbin-yagura.
Hikone Castle

Can you tell the difference between the stone walls on the right and left hand sides? The right side is called gobozumi (stone walls comprised of roughly cut or naturally formed rocks that are shaped like a burdock), thought to be original, and the left hand side is called otoshizumi, which was done during the end of the Edo period.

To get to the castle tower, you’ll need to cross this bridge, or climb up the tall stone walls. The Castle would shut down the bridge when enemies would approach, buying more time for themselves to prepare for battle. The yagura, as you can see, is very important and very solid in order to protect the castle.

Let’s take a look at the castle tower!

The tower has only 3 floors, which is thought to be small for a castle, and has rare, beautiful decorations around the windows.
Hikone Castle

There are many strategic military designs inside the castle. The most interesting is the corridor on the second floor. It’s ceiling was designed to be lower than the ceilings of the rooms, so that intruders couldn’t quickly maneuver around inside.

The scenery from the tower and lake Biwa is very beautiful.
Hikone castle

Hikone castle

Naosuke Ii’s house and the Genkyuen Garden

The Genkyuen Garden is located near Hikone castle. If you buy an entrance ticket for the castle, it’ll also allow you to get into the garden. You can see the tower in the background from the garden, which is very stunning. There is also a tea room called “Housyodai” in the back. You can enjoy the special foods of Hakone with a cup of tea. Why not relax with great scenery of the castle’s tower?

It’s illuminated at night, and the autumn and spring seasons are the best times to visit this garden. There is never a dull moment when visiting this castle!

Rakurakuen
Naosuke Ii’s house
Genkyuen
Genkyuen
 Housyodai
Housyodai

After touring around the castle, why not drop by “Yumekybashi Castle Road” for some shopping? The scenery of white walled buildings with black trim will give you a sense of a typical downtown area from the Edo period. Let’s stroll around the historical town of Hikone!

The Castle Road
The Castle Road
The Castle Road
The Castle Road

Map

1-1 Konkicho, Hikone, Shiga Prefecture

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AUTHOR

HATSU

HATSU

Editor / Writer

I’m from Mie Prefecture, and a big fan of Yomiuri Giants, Japanese baseball team! I rarely stay at home every weekend, and love to go outside. I feel Japanese locals and the world will be connected soon! I’m trying to make a fun world!

Information

Address 1-1 Konkicho, Hikone, Shiga Prefecture
Hours 8:30〜17:00
Price 600 yen for adult, 200 yen for elementary/junior high school students
Close No scheduled holidays
Phone 0749-22-2742
Website http://www.hikoneshi.com/en/hikone-castle