Nagahama Castle 長浜城
A feudal lord's fortress overlooking Lake Biwa
Situated right by famous Lake Biwa , Nagahama Castle is a historic castle that is also home to a fascinating museum.
The museum's exhibits go back to Japan's earliest civilization
From the top of the castle, you can get great views of Lake Biwa
The flowers here are in bloom almost all year
How to Get There
Nagahama Castle is easily accessible by train.
Take the Tokaido Shinkansen to Maibara (just over two hours from Tokyo or about 20 minutes from Kyoto). Then take the Hokuriku Line to Nagahama . Nagahama Castle is a five-minute walk from Nagahama Station.
Built by the warlord Toyotomi
Nagahama Castle was built by the feudal lord Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1575. The castle was destroyed in 1615, and some parts of it were used to construct Hikone Castle . What remains are some of the ruins as well as a reconstruction from 1983. A warlord needs a good vantage point to view his domain, and there are great views of Lake Biwa from the top of the castle.
A castle turned museum
The rebuilt castle today serves as a museum showing the history of Nagahama, going all the way back to the Jomon period, Japan's earliest period of civilization.
Exhibits include Buddhist art, models showing how the castle was built, and weaponry, including an extensive collection of flintlock rifles. There are also models of the Hikiyama floats used in the Nagahama Hikiyama Festival .
Blooms throughout most of the year
Surrounding the castle is Ho Park. With more than 600 cherry trees, it is one of Japan's best places for sakura (cherry blossom) viewing. The park's diverse flora provides blooming flowers almost all year round.