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“Great place, well worth the effort of getting there”
Review of Hikone Castle

Hikone Castle
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US$ 125.60*
and up
Discover Lake Biwa's Eastern Shores with a Local Guide
Ranked #1 of 56 things to do in Hikone
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Sydney
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Great place, well worth the effort of getting there”
Reviewed 16 April 2012

Great castle, well preserved with lots to see. 1000 yen combined price for entry to the castle, museum and garden, although you could spend a pleasant hour or so just walking around the grounds for free. If you're in Kyoto and have a JR pass, Hikone is about 30 minutes away if you go by Shinaknsen to Maibara, then local train to Hikone. The castle is about a ten minute walk from the station; pick up a map from the Information Office as you leave the station via the West exit.

Visited April 2012
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3 Thank tinytrev
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765 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
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English first
Belgium
Level Contributor
59 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Super nice beautiful castle and grounds. Very likeable, worth a trip”
Reviewed 29 March 2012

Nice castle, with a very enjoyable ground around it to wander through the gates and the ancient walls. I even think I prefer this one above Himeji castle.
Went with my daughter (5 year) for a day trip from Kobe to Hikone castle. The trip takes from Kobe about 1h40 by Special Rapid train (2210 yen, children younger than 6 go for free). Trains run at least twice an hour and we passed Osaka and Kyoto, so you could even more easily go from there. At Hikone station, there is a tourist information office right at the exit, with quite some extensive English leaflets about the castle and surroundings.
Take some there.
From the station it is an easy walk straight on towards the castle of about 10 minutes.
You enter the first gate (Sawaguchi). After that you can have a look in the ancient stables (Umaya), room for 20 horses and a pony.
Continue and cross the bridge (Omotemon), then you see the ticket office to buy tickets. You have 2 options: set with castle and garden (Gen Kyu En) and a set including the museum. We skipped the museum.
As said, we really enjoyed the castle, it is actually much more the grounds and impressive walls and buildings. Interior is interesting too, with some nifty defensive tricks, like the hidden holes to fire arrows or guns, but from the outside still looking plastered.
There are some steeps stairs, just take them both going up and down facing the stairs (a good advice of someone else on Tripadvisor!).

The garden, Gen Kyu En, is superb too. Stunning views of the pond, the nine bridges, and the castle towering over it on the hill.
I really really liked it, think it is the best I have seen in Japan.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank JackoV1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
110 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“One of the Castle gems”
Reviewed 8 March 2012

I've now seen all the major original castles in Japan and this is one of the best. It has extensive moats and outer fortifications left - most of the others have the keep and inner walls.

It has some beautiful grounds and the strategic subtlety of the approaches on all sides is a military wonder.

They also have the original stables (stalls individually sewered) which is definitely worth visiting. The Castle Museum and reconstructed lords house is good. Unfortunately with few English translations but still worth seeing.

I'd definitely climb the keep. The construction in wood is worth seeing. They were beautifully assembled with nails or screws.

The castle bell is rung every 3 hours and reverberates for about a minute. This impressive sound is actually protected as a soundscape.

Don't miss Hikone but avoid the weekend.

Helpful?
1 Thank bariloche48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Interesting castle and museum”
Reviewed 26 February 2012

Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area. From the top of the castle you get a brilliant view of Lake Biwa. Also, don't miss the samurai museum as the displays are amazing.

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank 666SM666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KL, Malaysia
Level Contributor
90 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Small Original Castle”
Reviewed 30 January 2012

Small original 1600's castle. 15 mins walk from Hikone train station.
the stair up the main castle keep are extremely steep (almost like a monkey ladder) and the slippers they make you wear are very slippery.
If you want to see the castle mascot, Hikonyan, he only comes out on Saturdays and Sundays

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
Thank NG-Y-MY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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