Oct 2022 04
Hikone Castle

Hikone Castle | A moat at sunrise, where swans drift quietly.
In the castle town of Hikone, the presence of water spreads out.

彦根城 | 白鳥が静かに漂う、朝焼けのお堀。

A swan flapped its wings, and the water surface shimmered. Reflected there is the tower of Hikone Castle illuminated by the rising sun.
The vast triple moat surrounds the castle, protects the city, and coexists with the people. Although the moat serves a military role, it is likely that boating was also used at times. It blends in with the whole city and gives a refreshing feeling and peaceful tranquility.


In the past, the mansion of the head of the vassals was placed in the "first enclosure" where the main enclosure with the castle tower was located. In the 'second enclosure' sandwiched between the inner moat and the middle moat, the residences of senior vassals following the first enclosure were lined up. It is said that samurai residences and townspeople's residences stood side by side in the "Third Quarter" located between the inner moat and the outer moat.


In the inner moat, I saw such an elegant yakatabune (houseboat). Based on drawings and old documents, it is said that the boats that used to carry rice and other goods on the moat in the Edo period have been accurately reproduced. While looking at the castle tower of Hikone Castle, I leisurely walked around the castle's inner moat.


I visited the museum at the foot of Hikone Castle. Proceeding further into the interior, a historic Noh stage appeared, which is said to be the only existing building from the Edo period in the Omote Palace. Thanks to the presence of this stage, it is an interesting structure in which the wind blows through the outdoors even though it is a museum.


Hikone Castle was built by Naotsugu, the son of Naomasa Ii, one of the four Tokugawa kings. Since then, it has been used as the residence of the 14th generation of the Ii clan, who were the fudai daimyo who produced many elders. It is one of the 12 existing castle towers, and the castle tower is designated as a national treasure.


A beautifully towering castle tower. You can climb to the top via steep stairs.
Hikone Castle was built over a period of about 20 years and completed in 1622. Stone walls and materials from Sawayama Castle, Azuchi Castle, Nagahama Castle, and Otsu Castle were used. Hikone Castle, which floats in the moonlight, is beautiful and counted as one of the Eight Views of Lake Biwa.


From the windows of the castle tower, you can see Lake Biwa beyond the calm view of the castle town. What thoughts did the people who once protected the castle have whole they looked at this scenery?


There is also a scenic view overlooking the castle tower. Scenic spot "Genkyuen". It is a large-scale strolling garden with a pond built in the early Edo period as the rear garden of Tsuki-goten (currently Raku-raku-en), which is a suburban residence. Four large and small islands were built in the pond dug in the center, and various types of bridges were built, allowing visitors to freely move around. The trees and flowers in the park, such as autumn leaves, show the expressions of the four seasons.


Hikone Castle has a long history of about 400 years. It is a history that has been protected by the three moats and the people of the castle town. The history of people living with the presence of water.
A place of tranquility, a pure and peaceful place. I would like to visit again to spend a quiet time.


about this venue

Hikone Castle

By order of Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa, construction began in 1604 to clear out Sawayama Castle. The castle was built over a period of 20 years. The castle tower was relocated from Otsu Castle, and the Tenbin Yagura was relocated from Nagahama Castle. The castle tower was completed in less than two years, but the castle was completed in 1622, including the construction of the main palace and remodeling of the castle.
In the Meiji era, it was in danger of being demolished, but by order of Emperor Meiji, it has been preserved to this day.

Location: 1-1 konkicho, Hikone City, Shiga Prefecture
Phone: 0749222742

Yakatabune Boat Dock
Location: 3-3 konkicho, Hikone City, Shiga Prefecture
Phone: 08014614123

Location: 9-3 konkicho, Hikone City, Shiga Prefecture


<国宝>天守 付櫓及び多聞櫓 彦根屏風
<重要文化財>太鼓門及び続櫓 天秤櫓 西の丸三重櫓及び続櫓 佐和口多聞櫓 馬屋 我宿蒔絵硯箱

所在地: 滋賀県彦根市金亀町1-1
電話: 0749-22-2742

所在地: 滋賀県彦根市金亀町3-3
電話: 080-1461-4123

所在地: 滋賀県彦根市金亀町9-3

所在地: 滋賀県彦根市芹橋2丁目5-19