- You can learn the historical background of the castle from the stones stacked up around the property!
- Let’s take a look at the castle tower!
- Naosuke Ii’s house and the Genkyuen Garden
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.
Then, you’ll see this Tenbin-yagura.
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.
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.
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!
After touring around the castle, why not drop by “Yumekyobashi 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!
1-1 Konkicho, Hikone, Shiga Prefecture