Japanese castles have a rich history dating back to the feudal era and played significant roles in warfare and politics. Originally conceived as fortresses for military defense, they were strategically located along trade routes, roads, and rivers. Over a hundred castles still remain throughout the country today, despite many being razed during the Edo period and Meiji Restoration.

Here are some key facts about Japanese castles:

  1. Purpose: Japanese castles were initially built as fortresses for military defense. However, over time, they also became centers of governance and residences for lords.
  2. Oldest Castle: Inuyama Castle is significant for having the oldest original fortified tower (tenshu) in Japan.
  3. Number of Castles: While many castles were destroyed, over a hundred castles can still be visited in Japan today.
  4. Architectural Elements: Japanese castles feature unique architectural elements and styles. They often have multi-tiered keeps, turrets, and fortified moats.

When planning a trip to Japan to visit castles, tourists can consider creating an itinerary that includes various castles across the country. For example, starting with Osaka Castle and then taking the Sanyo Shinkansen to visit other castles along the way.