Sunpu Castle, in Shizuoka city, is also known as Fuchu Castle or Shizuoka Castle. A new Sunpu Castle was built in 1585 by Tokugawa Ieyasu on the site where a smaller castle or fort had been. Sunpu Castle was upgraded to a triple moat system, a new donjon and new Read more [...]
Guide to over 130 Japanese Castles including history, design, architecture, pictures and interactive map. Only one Japanese Castle has UNESCO World Heritage Site status, the recently restored Himeji Castle. Three other castles, along with Himeji Castle, have been declared National Treasures by the Japanese Government: Hikone Castle, Matsumoto Castle and Inuyama Castle.
Japanese castles were frequently constructed in strategic locations to protect important transport routes such as bridges, rivers or ports. Others were built to dominate a landscape and provide a final point of defense. Many Japanese castles were the basis for the development of cities, while others were located in difficult to reach mountain tops.
The most common type of Japanese castle is the Flat Land, that featured one or more moats, plus one or more sets of outer walls, then a raised platform where the inner castle buildings were protected by a series of large stone walls, turrets and donjon or main tower.
Japanese castles really came of age in the 14th century, reaching their peak in 17th century. However by the late 19th century the roll of castles had change. Modern canons of the time could destroy enough from a distance making castles far more vulnerable than they had been in the past. This meant castles were no longer of such great defensive value, however they still represented a symbol of great power over the people of a region, who didn’t have any weapons that could threaten a castle. With most of Japan unified under one relatively recent central government, the remaining castles represented symbols of regional power that could threaten the level of control a distant government could exert. It was during this period the Meiji Restoration, when most castles either had their donjon (main tower) or in some cases almost all stone work disassembled.
Hamamatsu Castle is a Japanese Castle in Hamamatsu Shizuoka Prefecture. Hikuma Castle had been built on the site of Japanese Castle in the early 1500s by the Imagawa clan. Tokugawa Ieyasu obtained control of area including Hikuma Castle in 1568. Tokugawa Ieyasu rebuilt and greatly expanded the castle which did Read more [...]
Atami Castle is a hilltop style Japanese Castle which stands 120 meters above sea level, where you can overlook the view of the city of Atami and Atami Bay (South of Tokyo Bay). Atami Castle is a concrete reconstruction built in 1959 as a tourist attraction. Atami Castle contains a Read more [...]