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Tuesday, 30th August 2016
In General Japan News,

Japan's top 20 castles, according to TripAdvisor

Himeji Castle in Hyego Prefecture has been voted the best castle in Japan, according to domestic users of the TripAdvisor website.

The review-based service has released a list of the top 20 castles across the country over the past 12 months, putting last year’s third place structure in first position, reports Japan Today.

Known as the White Heron Castle, Himeji consists of 83 buildings and its bright white façade is said to give the impression of a great bird taking flight.

Back in 1993 when it was inscribed onto the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage List, Himeji Castle was one of the first monuments in Japan to gain the honour.

Built in 1333, it is one of the best surviving examples of prototypical Japanese architecture and has been lovingly restored on numerous occasions over the years.

The most recent work to ensure it stays in the best possible state of repair was completed in March 2015.

One visitor to Himeji Castle wrote on TripAdvisor: “No matter how many times I visit, it takes my breath away, it’s a beautiful, gorgeous castle.”

The second place spot was taken by Matsumoto Castle for the another consecutive year, showing the quality of the site in Nagano Prefecture.

It is complete with a moat, stone exterior and original wooden interiors and is known as the Crow Castle, due to its black painted walls.

But it is not just the opposing hues that mark Himeji and Matsumoto apart, as they are contrasting in a number of other aspects too.

Whereas Himeji is situated up in the mountains, Matsumoto occupies an area of flat land, as it has done since the 16th century.

The top 20 list of castles in Japan according to TripAdvisor reads as follows:

1. Himeji Castle (Hyogo)
2. Matsumoto Castle (Nagano)
3. Kumamoto Castle (Kumamoto)
4. Inuyama Castle (Aichi)
5. Nijo Castle (Kyoto)
6. Matsuyama Castle (Ehime)
7. Bitchu Matsuyama Castle (Okayama)
8. Matsue Castle (Shimane)
9. Hikone Castle (Shiga)
10. Nakagusuku Castle Ruins (Okinawa)
11. Katsuren Castle Ruins (Okinawa)
12. Takeda Castle Ruins (Hyogo)
13. Nakijin Castle Remains (Okinawa)
14. Shuri Castle (Okinawa)
15. Kochi Castle (Kochi)
16. Azuchi Castle Ruins (Shiga)
17. Osaka Castle (Osaka)
18. Zakimi Castle Ruins (Okinawa)
19. Maruoka Castle (Fukui)
20. Tsuruga Castle (Fukushima)