JAPANESE CASTLE WORLD HERITAGE

Some Japanese Castles are UNESO World Heritage Sites which form part of World Heritage Listing, or in the case of Himeji Castle, which is considered so significant, it is the only site in the listing. We have grouped the Japanese Castles according the approximate condition they are in.

Japanese Castle
Japanese Castle

Picture: Himeji Castle - the best example of a Japanese Castle

Original Condition

Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle
Himeji Castle is a World Heritage Listed traditional Japanese castle. Himeji Castle is the best example of a Japanese castle as it has never been destroyed or even damaged in war.

Reconstruction with some original buildings

Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle
Nijo Castle in Kyoto includes Nimomaru Palace and the ruins of the Honmaru Palace, various support buildings and several beautiful Japanese gardens.

Reconstruction of part or all main castle buildings - normally with original walls

Shuri Castle
Shuri Castle located in Shuri Okinawa and is a World Heritage Site. Shuri Castle is a gusuku (Okinawan) style Japanese Castle which dates back to the 14th century, and was constructed by the Ryukyu kingdom. Shuri Castle contained the palace of the Ryukyu Kingdom. In 1945 the castle was almost completely destroyed by shells from USA war ships. Shuri Castle was reconstructed between 1958 and 1992.

Ruins - Substaintial Section of Intact Walls

Katsuren Castle
Katsuren Castle is believed to be the oldest castle in Okinawa and is a World Heritage Site. Katsuren Castle is a gusuku (Okinawan) style Japanese Castle. Katsuren Castle over looks Awase and Nakagusuku Bay on the Pacific Ocean, hence why Katsuren Castle was also referred to as Ocean Gusuku. Katsuren Castle was at the height of its power in the mid 15th century under Lord Amawari. Excavations of the site have lead to the discovery of precious tiles and Chinese porcelain which provide a further evidence of the wealth and stuture of Katsuren Castle. Today only ruins remain including walls and some foundations.

Nakagusuku Castle
Nakagusuku Castle located in Kitanakagusuku Okinawa and is a World Heritage Site. Nakagusuku Castle is a gusuku (Okinawan) style Japanese Castle built in approxiately 1440 by legendary Ryukyuan commander, Gosamaru, to defend against Lord Amawari of Katsuren Castle. Today only ruins remain including walls and some foundations.

Nakijin Castle
Nakijin Castle located in Nakijin Okinawa and is a World Heritage Site. Nakijin Castle is a gusuku (Okinawan) style Japanese Castle which dates back to the late 13th century, and was constructed by the Hokuzan kingdom. Nakijin Castle is famous for its size with the complex covering 14 acres including 1.5km of walls. Today only ruins remain including walls and some foundations.

Zakimi Castle
Zakimi Castle located in Yomitan Okinawa and is a World Heritage Site. Nakijin Castle is a gusuku (Okinawan) style Japanese Castle which was completed in 1422 by the Ryukyuan military leader Gosamaru. Today only ruins remain including walls and some foundations.

Japan

JAPANESE CASTLES

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