Tour 400 Years of History at Japan’s Greatest Castles; Japan Magazine

Japan – Himeji-jo

Japanese castles are world-renowned for their beauty. Among them, there are five national treasures with their original castle keeps intact. Take a tour of of these incredible structures steeped in over 400 years of history!

Castles of the Samurai

The timeless image of samurai suited in armor and helmets, attacking enemies with swords and spears. Recorded history of the “bushi” (samurai) dates back to the 8th century, initially as defenders of domains, then becoming a distinct social class, and eventually wielding political power. The late 15th century to the end of the 16th century was rife with samurai battles (the “Warring States Period”).

Castles served as the main stronghold for samurai, with large and small structures numbering more than 25,000 at their peak. However, countless wooden castles were damaged and fell into disrepair over the decades, disappearing from the landscape.

Five Incredible Castle Keeps that are National Treasures

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