Today we explore Kiyosu Castle 清須城 – a place that the ruthless warlord Oda Nobunaga called home. Today the castle sits quietly in the mundane town of Kiyosu, but as once the capital of the powerful Owari province, its influence may have waned, but its importance to history has not.
Today we walked down to Utsunomiya Castle, a flatland castle originally built during the Heian period in 1063. Once counted among the seven major castles of Kanto region, it was totally destroyed in war. The partially restored castle now functions as a park for city residents to relax in.
I love walking around Osaka Castle in the evenings. The castle was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who ruled Japan in the latter half of the 16th century. The stone walls and moats surround the castle separating it from the bustling city. As dusk sets in, the sodium lamps light up the pathways surrounding the castle. The weeping sakura leaves along the wide moat briskly sway in the wind and the castle itself looks like a fantasy structure from the mythical age of dragons.
Today we visit the Matsumoto Castle, one of four castles designated as ‘National Treasures’ of Japan with over 400 years of history. With the Japanese Alps in the the background and a red bridge connecting the surrounding moat, it is one of the most picturesque castles in all of Japan.
Today we head up to the picturesque castle on a hilltop in downtown Chiba. The ruins of the Inohana Castle go back to early 1100’s when it was created by Chiba Tsuneshige, however the replica that stands today is from sketches of a late 16th century design that somewhat reduces the authenticity of the castle.
We dropped by Hirosaki Castle today, the only remaining castle from the Edo period in the Tohoku area of Japan. Built in 1611, the castle is renowned for the weeping Sakura blossoms in its surrounding park.
We take a walk to the Tsuruga Castle in Aizu Wakamatsu, a city where the influences of samurai remain strong even today. The five storied impregnable fortress and castle tower that stands today is a replica reconstructed in 1965, based on photographs and historical documents of the preceding Kurokawa Castle, built in 1384.
Shuri Castle served as the center of politics, foreign affairs and culture of the Ryukyu Kingdom since the 14th century, until Okinawa became a Japanese prefecture in 1879. The World Heritage Site with its brilliant colors and stylish Ryukyu architecture is strikingly different from any castle I have witnessed in all of Japan.
Matsue Castle is one of the few remaining medieval castles in Japan in their original wooden form. It is also known as the black castle due to its dark color. The castle is located near Lake Shinji, surrounded by many canals where tourists can take a memorable boat ride.