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Nagoya Castle (Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya City)

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If it’s Nagoya then it has to be the fabulous “shachihoko,” or grampus fish. Plus, Tokugawa Ieyasu constructed that this castle be built. When you look from this castle toward the Nobi plains, the sight of the large and peaceful fields might make you feel the desire to conquer the lands extending in front of your eyes.

Himeji castle (Himeji city, Hyogo prefecture)

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Himeji Castle is said to be one of the treasures of Japan and is recorded on the UNESCO list of cultural heritage sites. It is also one of Japan’s national treasures. The fortress you can see today was built by Ikeda Terumasa in the beginning of the 17th century, but its history starts from the 14th century. Himeji city is centered around the castle and while it preserves the atmosphere of the old times well, you might feel like there is something familiar about it.

Kumamoto castle(Kumamoto prefecture, Kumamoto city)

Kumamoto castle is a fine castle constructed by Kiyomasa Kato. The stone castle walls are well-conceived and designed making a light curve so that nobody can climb them to attack. You can feel that towns protected by castle have a calm and vivid atmosphere.

Sendai castle (Miyagi prefecture, Sendai city)

Sendai castle was constructed by Masamune Date at Mt. Aoba. As the name “Aoba castle” is in the title of a song, the name “Aoba castle” became more famous than the name “Sendai castle” throughout the nation. The town makes us feel that its gaiety and animated feeling continues from the reign of a lively ruler, Date Masamune.

Matsumoto castle(Nagano prefecture, Matsumoto city)

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The current Matsumoto castle is constructed by Kazumasa Ishikawa. It is also known as “Fukashi castle” which is the name from the reign of Ogasawara clan in the Sengoku (civil war) era. The castle is a designated national treasure as the existing oldest castle in Japan. Matsumoto city still enjoys its prosperity as the central city in Chubu and Shinshu regions.

Gifu castle (Gifu prefecure, Gifu city)

Gifu castle was constructed by Nobunaga Oda. The castle and the town are historically important as the place where Nobunaga Oda conquered the Mino and Owari regions and showed his willingness to unify the nation by force. The vibrant town will make us feel the atmosphere of free markets and open guilds of Nobunaga Oda.

Hiroshima castle(Hiroshima prefecture, Hiroshima city)

Hiroshima castle was constructed by Terumoto Mori. It is also known with the name of “Rijo.” The professional baseball team “Hiroshima Carps” was named after Rijo castle, as it literally means “carp castle.” Hiroshima prospered thanks to Rijo Castle. Although the city was devastated by an atomic bomb, it was restored miraculously.

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Osaka castle (Osaka prefecture, Osaka city)

Osaka castle may be called a first-class castle constructed by Hideyoshi Toyotomi. Osaka prospered even before the construction of the castle, but the prosperity of Osaka after the castle’s inauguration proves that the town is still one of the biggest economic areas of Japan.

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