Hikone Visitorユs Guide
Cultural Properties


Cultural Properties

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National treasure

・Tenshu ( Main Castle Tower)

Serving as the main structure of Hikone Castle, this three-storied main keep rises to a height of 21 meters.
Though comparatively small in scale, the structure demonstrates the superior design required of a castle during periods of war. With its artistic arrangement of different roof styles and elaborately-designed windows, the external appearance of the main keep is spectacular.
Designated a National Treasure in 1952, Hikone Castle ranks alongside Himeji Castle as a magnificent example of Japanese castles.

Important National Cultural Assets

・Sawaguchi tamon-yagura (Turret)
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Here, a dozen horses belonging to successive lords of the Hikone Clan were always kept. This stable is unique in that it is the only stable in Japan still existing within a castle site.


A turret, a small, fortified structure, is called a "yagura"in Japanese.
As you ascend the slope from the front gate, you'll find a"corridor bridge,"which can be demolished in emergencies. Forming a symmetric shape with the bridge at the center is the Tenbin-yagura.
This yagura is so named because it resembles a balance scale, or"tenbin"in Japanese. It is said to be the reconstruction of the main gate of Nagahama Castle originally constructed by Hideyoshi Toyotomi, Hikone Castle has the sole example in Japan of this unique shape.


This solidly-built yagura gate guards the front entrance leading to the Hommaru, or the main keep. Here was placed a"taiko,"or drum, used to send coded signals.

・Nishino-maru Sanju-yagura(Turret)

The west side of the Hommaru quarter is called Nishi-no-maru, or the west-wing fort. And at the far end of the area stands Sanju−yagura, which is built on a stone wall exceeding 10 meters in height. In the area east of the Yagura stands a grove of cherry trees, enchanting visitors in spring with their exquisite blossoms.

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Hikone Volunteer Guide Association