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Hikone Castle Ruins (Special Historical Site)
This castle is one of the three most famous castles in Japan that was completed in 1622 and its castle tower is designated as a national treasure. This type of castle is called Hirayamajiro, which means a castle built on a mountain or hill in the middle of a plain.
Hikone Castle, also known as Konki Castle, was built by Ii Naomasa, one of the four Tokugawa kings, on the orders of Ieyasu Tokugawa, who won the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 and established the Edo shogunate in 1603. It took about 20 years from 1604, and was completed in 1622 by Naotsugu, Naomasa's son.
Hikone Castle is also famous as a recycled castle, which was built by using materials and stone walls from surrounding castles, such as Sawayama Castle (Hikone City), Azuchi Castle (Omi Hachiman City), and Nagahama Castle (Nagahama City), as well as the three-story, triple-roofed castle tower moved from Otsu Castle (Otsu City). The castle tower, which stands on top of Mt. Hikone, is one of the 12 existing castles in Japan, and was designated a national treasure in 1952, along with the tsuke-yagura (connecting tower) and tamon-yagura (hall turret). You can visit the castle tower top where you can see all the way to Lake Biwa, making the view from the top floor a must-see. The castle tower, illuminated by the moonlight, is one of the "Eight Views of Lake Biwa".
If you want to see Hikone Castle from the moat, "Hikone Castle Moat Tour" is recommended. It is also fun to see the seasonal scenery such as cherry blossoms in spring and the colored leaves in autumn, as you ride on a boat that is a replica of the type of houseboat used by the feudal lords.
Around the castle, there are many places of interest such as Rakuraku Garden and Genkyuen Garden, which are designated as scenic beauty spots, and the Buried Tree House where Ii Naosuke, the 13th lord of the domain, spent his younger days. The Hikone Castle History Museum exhibits armor and tea utensils of the Ii family's red-faced armor, so it is also worth a visit.
The castle tower is designated as a national treasure, and there are many important cultural assets including the tenbin-yagura turret.
This is a rare, recycled castle in Japan, which was moved from Sawayama Castle and other castles.
The castle, which floats in the moonlight, is beautiful and is one of the eight sceneries of Lake Biwa.
- Name in Japanese
- Postal Code
- 1−1 Konkicho, Hikone City, Shiga
- 0749-22-2742 (Hikone Castle Operation and Management Center)
- No holidays
- 8:30am-5:00pm (Last admission to the castle tower: 4:45pm)
- 800 yen for adults, 200 yen for elementary and junior high school students (including admission to Hikone Castle and Genkyu Garden)
- 15-minute walk from Hikone Station on the JR Biwako Line.
- Credit Cards
- Not accepted
- Official Website
- Official Website (English)