Himeji Castle
【World Heritage】 
The beautiful castle compared to the image of a white eagle
With a history of 400 years since its construction and being deemed a national treasure, Himeji Castle, also known as 'Hakuro-jo' or White-Heron Castle, was registered as a world heritage, together with Horyuji Temple, as the first such registration involving Japanese assets. The amazing architectural beauty-coalition type castle, which consists of the grand castle tower and 3 small keep towers, and the brilliantly white walls, makes it look as if Shirasagi or a white heron was flying up in the sky. 
The castle tower has been under rennovation, and the work will continue till 2014.
●Open/9:00-17:00 (Last entry at 16:00/1 hr extended in Jun.-Aug. )
●Closed/Dec. 29-31  ●Fare/Adults ¥600, Children ¥200  ●Tel/079-285-1146
◆Access/15 min. walk from JR /Sanyo Himeji Stn.
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Osaka Castle
Osaka's symbol that continues to be loved by its citizens
Osaka Castle Museum has become more beautiful and easier for tourists to look around since the Heisei large-scale repairs in 1997. There is a historical exhibition inside the castle, and the top floor is an observatory. The Osaka Castle Park that spreads across as if to embrace the Main Tower is famous for its seasonal blooms. Nearby is the Japan Mint, famous for its cherry blossoms and you can also enjoy a river cruise on the waterbus "Aqua Liner".
●Open/9:00 -17:00 (Last entry at 16:30)
●Closed/The beginning and the end of year.  ●Fare/Adults ¥600  ●Tel/06-6941-3044
◆Access/15 min. walk from JR Morinomiya Stn. /Osakajokoen Stn. /Subway Temmabashi Stn. /Tanimachi 4-chome Stn. /Keihan Temmabashi Stn.
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Nijo Castle
【World Heritage】
The castle that continued to follow the history of Japan
Built as a villa in Kyoto by the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1603. The castle is guarded by a fort of 500 m long from east to west and 400 m long from north to south, which is surrounded by a moat. Surfaces of the hallways are specially processed, so that it makes a squeaky sound as feet touch them, as a means of protection from intruders. Nearby is the Kyoto Gyoen, which was the imperial palace for 500 years until the capital was moved to Tokyo. (Photo:JNTO)
●Open/8:45-17:00 (Last entry at 16:00)
●Closed/Tuesday in Jan., Jul., Aug., Dec. (the following day when Tue. falls on national holidays), The beginning and the end of year.  ●Entrance Fee / Adults : ¥600, high & junior high school students : ¥350, Elementary school students : ¥200,   ●Tel/075-841-0096
◆Access/A short walk from Subway Nijojo-mae Stn.
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Hikone Castle
Japan's famous castle that rivals Himeji Castle
Taking 20 years to build, Hikone Castle was completed in 1622 to be an imposing castle as well as Himeji Castle. The castle looks even more beautiful when it is lit by moonlight. Hikone Castle's alias Konkijo was named as such, since there was a statue of the Merciful Goddess riding a golden tortoise in the temple at the summit of Mt. Hikone before the castle was built.
●Open/8:30-17:00 (Last entry at 16:30)
●Closed/Open all-year round  ●Fare/Adults: 500 Yen, Junior High and Elementary Schools: 250  ●Tel/0749-22-2742
◆Access/15 min. walk from JR Hikone Stn.
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Wakayama Castle
Towering at the center of Wakayama City
Wakayama Castle, the symbol of Wakayama city, was built in 1585 and was the residence of the lord of the Kishu in Edo Period. The castle burnt down once, and was reconstructed in 1958. Many samurai armor is displayed in Tenshukaku, or castle tower. The top of the Tenshukaku is the best place to enjoy the view of Wakayama city. There is a tearoom to experience the traditional tea ceremony.
●Open/9:00-17:00(Last entry at 16:30), Dec.-Feb. 9:00-16:30 (Last entry at 16:00)
●Closed/Dec.29-31  ●Fare/Tenshukaku:¥400
Momijidani Teien Garden: Free  ●Tel/073-422-8979
◆Access/A short walk from Koen-mae bus stop by Wakayama bus from JR Wakayama Stn.
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Ruins of Takeda Castle
Castle in the sky
Takeda Castle was built between 1441 and 1443 by Otagaki Mitsukage (powerful retainer of Sozen) under the order of Yamana Sozen, the lord of the region. You will see the perfect state of the huge stone ruins of the castle (approx. 400 meters north to south and approx. 100 meters east to west) on top of a mountain (353 meters above sea level). From here, you can see a panoramic view of the castle town, Wadayama. You can also enjoy the picturesque scene of a castle enveloped by fog in the early mornings from autumn to spring.
●Tel/Wadapyama-cho Tourism Association
◆Access/About 40-minute walk or 5-minute drive from JR Takeda Station
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