Hikone castle

11 July 2009

After seeing the Tōfukuji temples it was about noon, so I still had enough time to take a train to Hikone and see the famous castle there. It is one of the 4 castles listed as a national treasure, meaning that a significant part (like 80 or 90% or so) is original and that repairs are made with traditional materials and techniques etc. The other 3 castles are Himeji, Matsumoto and Inuyama.

[HDR] mpt only the main tower, but also a stable, a gate, and parts of the wall with towers are open

The wooden beams in the main tower were very nice. Also in the castle walls, beams were clearly handcrafted

[HDR] With the ticket for the castle, you can also enter the garden which is next to it. It's a nice stroll and gives some more nice views of the castle.

[HDR] Although it takes 45min-1hour by train from Kyōto, I think this is a nice trip, especially if you have already seen most of the important sights in and around Kyoto. If you have to choose between Himeji and Hikone... Himeji is larger and has more information in English, and it's 1.5h from Kyōto (or 45min by bullet train). Hikone is somewhat smaller, but both the castle and its surroundings are quiter, giving it a very different, more peaceful atmosphere. Difficult choice.

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