• Hikone Castle's photo

Hikone Castle

Hikone


Boasting over 400 years of history, this is one of Japan’s most beautiful castles.

Out of the Japanese castles built in modern times, only 12 remain with their castle towers. As with Himeji Castle (Hyogo Prefecture), designated a World Heritage site, Inuyama Castle (Aichi Prefecture), with the oldest castle tower in Japan, and Matsumoto Castle (Nagano Prefecture), with its beautiful black walls, Hikone Castle’s tower and turrets have been designated national treasures. The remnants of Hikone Castle are just as they looked in the Edo period, and are designated a Special Historic Site by the government of Japan. This castle, constructed over 20 years ago, has intensely bright, white walls, and 34 different kinds of roof tiles numbering a total of 60,000. From inside the castle tower, one can see the inside of the castle, the town of Hikone, and Lake Biwa.

  • Hikone Castle's photo
  • Hikone Castle's photo
  • Hikone Castle's photo
  • Hikone Castle's photo
  • Hikone Castle's photo
  • Hikone Castle's photo
  • Hikone Castle's photo

The toll of a bell tells the flow of time while moonlight shines upon Hikone Castle.

Hikone Castle is particularly beautiful when seen in the moonlight, and is designated one of the officially recognized Eight Views of Lake Biwa. The best time of year to visit is in the spring. During this time, 1,200 cherry blossom trees are blooming at Hikone Castle, bringing in the most tourists of the year. Every day, between 6:00 A.M. 6:00 P.M. a bell tolls every three hours to signal the time. The beautiful sound of the bell resonates over the land, and is designated one of the 100 Soundscapes of Japan, making it worth listening to. Inside the castle you’ll find a teahouse where you can enjoy one of Hikone’s famous confections along with some matcha green tea. Be sure to come here when it is time to rest your tired feet.

  • Hikone Castle's photo
    (c)Biwako visitor’s Bureou
  • Hikone Castle's photo
  • Hikone Castle's photo
  • Hikone Castle's photo

The birthplace of yuru-chara mania! Hikone’s mascot, Hikonyan.

Have you heard of “yuru-chara”, a recent fad in Japan? Yuru-chara refers to those many charming mascots found across Japan who are designed after what the region is famous for. The character that started the trend is Hikone Castle’s character “Hikonyan”. Hikonyan is a cat with a samurai helmet and appears in the Hikone Castle area three times a day. Make sure to check what time Hikonyan is going to appear before visiting Hikone Castle! You can also buy a variety of Hikonyan items at the castle shop.

  • Hikone Castle's photo
  • Hikone Castle's photo
  • Hikone Castle's photo
  • Hikone Castle's photo
  • Hikone Castle's photo
  • Hikone Castle's photo

For reference

Hikone Castle

  • Address
    1-1 Konkicho, Hikone-shi, Shiga-ken
  • Telephone
    0749-22-2742
  • Hours
    8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
  • Open
    365 days a year
  • Price
    600 yen for adults, 200 for children
  • Site

Access

Osaka International Airport is a 1 hour, 50 minute flight from New Chitose Airport.
Osaka International Airport is a 1 hour flight from Haneda Airport.
Osaka International Airport is a 1 hour, 10 minute flight from Fukuoka Airport.
Osaka International Airport is a 1 hour, 10 minute flight from Kagoshima Airport.
Osaka International Airport is a 2 hour flight from Naha Airport.
Kyoto is a 55 minute ride by an airport shuttle bus, and JR Hikone Station is a 49 minute train ride from JR Kyoto Station by Biwako Line New Express train. Get off at Hikone Station. The castle is a 20 minute walk.

Map

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