Once the capital of Japan, Kyoto is a prefecture located on Honshu Island. Oodles of imperial palaces, Buddhist temples, age-old castles, Shinto shrines, and lush green gardens define Kyoto. Even with Japan modernizing, a whiff of burning incense and monks chanting prayers in the Zen gardens reminds that Kyoto remains the religious heart of Japan. A visit to the former capital of Japan is incomplete without exploring popular Kyoto Castles. These castles remind the Japanese about the history of their nation and wars that they have fought for their freedom. A visit to these castles will take you down on a tour about the history of Japan.
Top 5 Kyoto Castles
We have carved a list of top castles in Kyoto that you must explore while visiting this prefecture. From elaborated carvings to intricate furnishings, you will witness the rich culture and history of Japan.
1. Nijo Castle
Earlier the home of one of the most powerful men, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Nijo Castle is now a world heritage which is visited by many tourists every year. Built as a residence, it converted into a defense abode to protect enemies from shogun. To warn if anyone was approaching in the house, special floorboards were installed which made creaky noises. Moreover, the castle comprises two concentric rings, the Honmaru Palace & Ninomaru Palace, and several gardens. UNESCO has declared Nijo Castle as a World Heritage Site and it is also one of the seventeen Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto.
Location: 541 Nijojocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8301, Japan
Timings: 8:45 AM – 5:00 PM (All Days)
2. Fukuchiyama Castle
Originally ruled by the Yokoyama family, Fukuchiyama Castle was reconstructed by Akechi Mitsuhide in 1580. However, this was also destroyed in 1872 during the Meiji Restoration along with other castles. Under Emperor Meiji, Japan was revamped due to the acceptance of modernization. Moreover, the castle also consists of a well-named Toyoiwa-no-I which is the deepest well in Japan. The well is still encompassed by several original stones.
Location: 5 Naiki, Fukuchiyama 620-0035, Kyoto Prefecture
Timings: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Closed On Tuesday)
3. Fushimi Momoyama Castle
The beautiful Fushimi Castle is a replica of the original structure Toyotomi Hideyoshi which was built in 1964. This castle was built after the retirement of Hideyoshi from the regency and took two years to complete it in 1594. One of the rooms in the castle, Golden Tea Room, is covered with gold leaf and elaborate furnishings which is the major reason why people come to explore this castle. The castle was destroyed and rebuilt several times and now the new structure serves as a museum that houses the life and works of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
Location: Momoyamacho Okura, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, 612-8051, Japan
Timings: 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM (All Days)
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4. Kameyama Castle
Situated in Kameoka, Kameyama Castle represents the history of Kyoto. This castle is famous among the locals as it guarded the North-West passage of Kyoto for around three hundred years. It was built by Akechi Matsuhide in the Sengoku period who betrayed Oda Nobunaga at Honnoji Temple. The people of Japan still visit the remains of Kameyama Castle to revisit history.
Location: 575-2 Honmarucho, Kameyama, Mie 519-0152, Japan
Timings: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM (Closed On Monday)
5. Shoryuji Castle
Built in 1339, Shoryuji Castle was constructed by Hosokawa Yoriharu who was a major samurai commander. He took his teachings from the popular Ashikaga Takauji, the founder of the Ashikaga shogunate. During the Onin War, Iwanari Tomomichi occupied the castle and later Oda Nobunaga conquered it in 1568 and handed to Hosokawa Tadaoki. The area around the castle was meant to defend Kyoto from the west-side as it was the capital of Japan at that time. Now, the castle encompasses a small park which has the statues of Garasha Hosokawa and Tadaoki Hosokawa. The castle can be easily reached by walking for 10 minutes from the JR Nagaokakyo Station.
Location: 13-1 Shoryuji, Nagaokakyo, Kyoto 617-0836, Japan
Timings: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (All Days)
These Kyoto castles are a reminiscence of all the wars that Kyoto has fought and depict the history of this prefecture. If you are a history buff and are planning a vacation to Kyoto then these places must form a part of your itinerary. You might not want to miss out on the chance of exploring these ancient castles. So, plan your getaway to Japan with TravelTriangle and get the chance to gain more facts about the pre-capital which is full of many historical stories. Wait no more and book your tickets now!
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