Popular Castles in Japan

 Kumamoto Castle

Kumamoto Castle 熊本城

Kumamoto castle is located in Kumamoto prefecture and it is one of the three premier castles along with Osaka castle and Nagoya castle.
It is built in the huge land where the citadel is 98,000 square meters and the periphery is around 5.3 km, which is quite rare in Japan.
Kumamot castle has long history. It was architected by Kiyomasa Kato, started the construction in 1601 and completed in 1607.
It is famous for Udoyagura being existed from Edo period and stone walls known as "Seiryusho".
There is interesting donation system to maintain and renovate the castle, which is known "Hitokuchijo-seido" (means if you make one contribution, you will be issued official owner certificate). In 2007, the main room "Shokun-no-ma" located in Honmaru-goten was completed renovation. The room is known Kiyomasa (architecture) created for Hideyori Toyotomi in order to hide from outsiders.
Basic information

[Address] 1-1 Furukyo-machi, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto-city, 860-0007 Kumamoto
[Access] Approx. 5-minute on foot from Kumamoto Bus Terminal
Approx. 3-minute on foot from [Kumamoto Castle / City Hall] Tram station
Approx. 5-minute on foot from [Hanabatacho] Tram station
From March to November 8:30am - 6:00pm (Open till 5:30pm)
From December to February 8:30am - 5:00pm (Open till 4:30pm)
[Close] From December 29th to 31st
[Admission fee] Adults : 500yen / Junior high-school student, elementary school student : 200yen
[Estimate time] About 90 minutes
[Website] http://www.manyou-kumamoto.jp/castle

Access information

From Kumamoto Airport by Airport limousine
Kumamoto Airport ⇒ Airport limousine (*Leaving 15 minutes later after the plain arrives) [Approx. 40 minutes / 730 yen] ⇒ Kumamoto Bus Terminal

[From Kumamoto Station by tram]
Kumamoto Station Tram station ⇒ Tram [Approx. 10 minutes / 150 yen] ⇒ Kumamoto Castle / City Hall Tram station

[From Kumamoto Station by bus]
Kumamoto Station bus stop ⇒ Bus [Approx. 10 minutes / 150 yen] ⇒ Kumamoto Bus Terminal


 Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle 姫路城

Himeji castle was registered as intangible cultural heritages on UNESCO in December 1993 along with Horyuji temple. They are the first intangible cultural heritages on UNESCO in Japan and highly evaluated in worldwide.
The white Tenshukaku building and beautiful walls towards to the sky look like flying egret in heaven. Due to this, it is also called Egret castle.
It is the symbol of Himeji city which has many national treasures, important cultural properties, legends. It is also selected "The best 100 Sakura spots in Japan".
Basic information

[Address] 68 Honmachi, Himeji-cuty, 670-0012 Hyogo
[Access] Approx. 14-minute on foot from [Sanyo Himeji Station]
Approx. 25-minute on foot from JR West [Himeji Station]
[Hours] 9:00am - 4:00pm (Closed 5pm)
[Close] December 29th and 30th
[Admission fee] Adults : 400yen / From 5 to junior high-school student : 100yen
[Website] http://www.himeji-kanko.jp/en/sightseeing/himeji_castle.html

Access information

From Kobe Station

Kobe Station ⇒ JR Sanyo Main line [About 35 minutes / 970 yen] ⇒ Himeji Station

From Osaka Station

Osaka Station ⇒ JR Tokaido Main Line (direct access) JR Sanyo Main line [About 60 minutes / 1,490 yen] ⇒ Himeji Station


 Matsumoto Castle

It is the most old Goju-Tenshu (five-tiered Tenshu) which currently exists in Japan.
Another name is Fukashi castle. It is one of the national treasure in Japan along with Himeji castle, Hikone castle and Inuyama castle.
Tenshu (catle tower) has been amazingly existed as it is since Sengoku period (15-16 century) against wild wind and snow over 400 years. It has been also supported by the citizen in Matsumoto city with their strong passion.
Around the castle, there is Matsumoto castle park where you can enjoy imposing North-Alps mountain and beautiful seasonal scenery. It is absolutely the symbol of Matsumoto city and always friendly to people.
Basic information

[Address] 4-1 Marunouchi, Matsumoto-city, 390-0873 Nagano
[Access] (By train) Approx. 15-minute on foot from JR East [Matsumoto Station]
(By bus) The tour bus in Matsumoto "Town sneaker" North course (200yen). Departure "Matsumoto station Oshiro (castle) exit" Arrival "Matsumoto castle/City hall" : Approx. 10-minute
[Hours] 8:30am - 5:00pm (Please be noted that you are allowed to enter till 4:30pm. *During GW (Bank holiday in May) and summer, the opening time is extended.)
[Close] From December 29th to January 3rd
[Admission fee] Adults : 610yen / Junior high-school student, elementary school student : 300yen
[Estimate time] About 45 minutes - 60 minutes
[Website] http://welcome.city.matsumoto.nagano.jp/contents03+index.id+3.htm