> Azuchi Castle


Azuchi CastleAzuchi Castle, built in 1579, was regarded as one of the best castles in Japan. The castle's stone wall was the biggest in Japan at the time, and the main keep, or tenshu, was the largest multi-story building in the world. It revolutionized Japanese castle construction techniques. It was the place from which Oda Nobunaga planned to rule all of Japan, as the castle sat overlooking major highways between eastern and western Japan, and was surrounded by Lake Biwa on three sides, forming a natural moat. Yet, it fell victim to a saboteur who burned it down only three years after its completion.

Today, you can walk up the many steps and take a look at the few remaining buildings. It's a quiet place. There is also archaeological research going on. The castle's blueprint was found and a full-size replica of the main tower was built. It is housed in the House of Nobunaga museum next to the Shiga Prefectural Museum not far from the site of the Azuchi castle ruins. (More info and directions)

For more Japan photos, please see my main Japan photo album.