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Introducing Hikone Castle!

This video, titled "[Touken World] 'Hikone Castle' A Castle of Swords and Armor|Sword and Armor Exhibits|YouTube Video" (【刀剣ワールド】「彦根城」刀剣・甲冑に会える城|刀剣・甲冑展示の城郭 YouTube動画), produced by "Virtual Sword Museum [Touken World]," is a video introducing Hikone Castle, which is designated as an important cultural asset of Japan.

Hikone Castle stands on Mt. Konki with a view of Lake Biwa and is a special historical site and a Class 1 Special Area of Lake Biwa National Park representing Hikone, Shiga Prefecture.
The castle is a must-see for history buffs, as you can see swords, armor and other valuable instruments used by Daimyo (Japan's feudal lords).
In this article, we'll introduce Hikone Castle, which has been designated a national treasure, alongside the video.

What Is Hikone Castle?

Image of Shiga Prefecture・Hikone Castle
Photo:Shiga Prefecture・Hikone Castle

Hikone Castle is a castle located in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, which was once a prosperous castle town.
It features one of Japan's 12 existing castle towers (five national treasures and seven important cultural properties) and is a popular tourist spot in Shiga Prefecture.
It was built by Ii Naomasa and Ii Naotsugu who were ordered by Tokugawa Ieyasu to build the castle after the Battle of Sekigahara.
The castle was completed in 1622, 20 years after construction began.
You can see the entirety of Hikone Castle at 0:31 in the video.

Currently, there are 12 castles built up to the Edo period (1603-1868), that still remain today with existing castle towers.
Five castles, including Hikone Castle, have been selected as national treasures.
Besides Hikone Castle, Inuyama Castle in Aichi prefecture, Matsumoto Castle in Nagano prefecture, Himeji Castle in Hyogo prefecture, and Matsue Castle in Shimane prefecture, are also designated as national treasures.

Hikone Castle is a magnificent castle that has passed the beauty, age, and historical standards to be designated as a national treasure.
As you can see from 0:59 in the video, a stone statue engraved with the words "The 8 views of Lake Biwa, Hikone Castle," has been erected in the moat of Hikone Castle.

Highlights of Hikone Castle

The appeal of Hikone Castle is that its beautiful and dignified appearance survived the order to abandon castles and the fires from the war in the Meiji period (1868-1912).
The construction of the castle is characterized by its use of stone walls and lumber from neighboring castles.
The Tenshu (castle tower), Tsuke-yagura (attached towers), the Sawaguchi Tamon watchtower, and the three-storied western citadel watchtower, which were built before the Edo era, are designated as national treasures, and are one of the attractions of Hikone Castle.
You can also see the Taikomon watchtower and Tenbin watchtowers in a very similar state as they were back then.

The Hikone Castle Museum, located near the castle, is a must-visit spot for any history buffs out there.
There are swords and helmets that were passed down to the the Ii Family, the Hikone clan leaders, that are exhibited there and you can also see valuable cultural assets.
Beautiful Japanese swords that have been handed down from generation to generation in the Ii family are also on display.
The exhibits of the Hikone Castle Museum can be seen at 2:12 in the video.

Hikone Castle: General Information

Image of Hikonyan
Photo:Hikonyan

The admission fees for Hikone Castle is as follows:
General admission ¥600 (high school students and above), ¥200 for elementary and junior high school students.
Admission fees for the Hikone Castle Museum are:
General admission ¥500, and ¥250 for elementary and junior high school students.
They can also be bought in sets, and there's a ¥100 discount for general admission.

Hikone Castle is open mostly all year round from 8:30-17:00.
The average time spent at the castle is about an hour and a half.
Access to the castle is a 15-minute walk from JR Hikone Station.
There are several parking lots around Hikone Castle.

The popular local mascot "Hikonyan" can be found in front of the castle tower of Hikone Castle and at the entrance to Hikone Castle Museum (free admission area) 3 times a month.

Summary of Hikone Castle

Image of Hikone Castle
Photo:Hikone Castle

"[Touken World] 'Hikone Castle' A Castle of Swords and Armor|Sword and Armor Exhibits|YouTube Video," produced by "Virtual Sword Museum [Touken World]," is a video that introduces Hikone Castle, a castle designated as a national important cultural asset.
You can learn about the history of Hikone Castle as well as see swords and armor on display at Hikone Castle Museum. It's a must-see video for anyone interested in history!

Also, in the spring, the cherry blossoms bloom beautifully, and you can enjoy the lit-up cherry blossoms at night.
We also recommend riding on the sightseeing boat around the moat of Hikone Castle, sightseeing by rickshaw, and getting the seal stamp/castle stamp.

There are also delicious restaurants at Hikone Castle's castle town where you can enjoy lunch.
Hikone Castle- One of just 5 castles designated as national treasures, truly a beautiful and impressive structure.
In you're in the area or interested in visiting the castle, don't forget to add it to your itinerary!

【Official Website】Hikone Castle - Hikone Tourism Guide : Public Interest Incorporated Association Hikone Castle Tourism Association
https://visit.hikoneshi.com/en/

【Tripadvisor】Hikone Castle
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g1023563-d1236815-Reviews- Hikone_Castle-Hikone_Shiga_Prefecture_Kinki.html

Written By
Sep. 15, 2020
Japan
鈴木 正孝(Masataka Suzuki)
Hikone Castle, a National Treasure of Japan, Is a Treasure Trove of Valuable Cultural Assets in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture! Explore the Castles Treasures, Including Swords, Armor, and the Various Instruments of Japan's Feudal Lords!
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