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Castle Study Guide

Castle Study Guide

Hyogo Prefecture contains historic Himeji Castle, a World Heritage Site, as well as many other ruins and sites of various castles. Here, we offer photographs and information on these fascinating castles that embody the region’s history and culture.

Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle, which along with Horyu-ji Temple in Nara was registered as Japan’s first World Cultural Heritage site in 1993, is known as a treasure trove of Japanese castle architecture, among the nation’s finest in terms of both beauty and diversity.

This page introduces Himeji Castle’s currently surviving elements including tenshu (castle keep), walls, gates, turrets, and stone walls, with explanations of these as well as other highlights on and around the castle grounds.

Himeji Castle
Castle sites in Hyogo Prefecture

Hyogo Prefecture consists of the five former domains of Harima, Tajima, Tamba, Settsu, and Awaji, each of which contains the ruins or sites of castles that vary according to regional history and climate.

This page gives outlines of 14 of these sites, with additional materials including the sites as they appear today.

Castle sites in Hyogo Prefecture
Himeji Castle Chronology

It has been 400 years since Ikeda Terumasa built Himeji Castle in the way it appears today.

This page traces the turbulent history of Himeji Castle, along with major events in the history of Japanese castles in general.

Himeji Castle Chronology