ZoomingJapan is one of the most popular website about Japan life. The website give many advise about trip as a travel guide and especially about Japanese castles. The author of the website has already visited more than 110 castles and you will find all informations about its with pictures and rating.
First visit is very important to know if we will like or not, which is the first castle that you visited and how was your feeling after ?
I visited my first castle in 2007. It was actually Nijo Castle in Kyoto. At that time I wasn’t a castle fan yet and knew next to nothing about Japanese castles.
Furthermore, what’s left of Nijo Castle doesn’t look like a castle anymore.
However, I remember I was impressed with the nightingale floors there.
Since then, I revisited a few times.
Just a few days later, I visited Himeji Castle.
This is one of the biggest and most beautiful castles in Japan.
I was deeply impressed and it might have been the start of my „castle hunter career“. *g*
It is still one of my favorite castles in Japan and I’ve revisited it about 10 times already.
You live since more than 6 years in Japan, how do you see the relationship between Japanese people and their castles ?
The majority of people I’ve met were tourists who just wanted to enjoy the beautiful „sight“ that many Japanese castles have to offer.
A lot of castle grounds have been turned into a public park with lots of cherry blossom trees in spring, so Japanese people like to enjoy the scenery there.
Only very few people I met actually seemed to be really interested in the history or architecture of the castles.
What should be the principal attraction for a traveler to visit a castle and which is the best season to go ?
I can just speak for myself. I prefer castles that impress me by either being huge, having an exceptional architecture or beautiful surroundings.
Cherry blossom season in spring as well as autumn are the best times to visit a Japanese castle.
In my experience, a castle tower looks best being surrounded by cherry blossoms, whereas castle ruins look the best when being surrounded by autumn foliage. But that’s just my personal taste, I guess.
You visited more than 110 castles. which are your reason and expectation during a visit ?
I don’t have a special reason anymore. I just visit castles because I like them. I do prefer castles that have either still a castle tower or extensive ruins.
Each and every castle has something else to offer. Some still have their original structure, others are famous for an extensive moat system.
So my expectations are always different, but usually I’m never disappointed.
Which are the castles that you like to revisit (or you would like to revisit) ?
I’ve already revisited quite a few castles, especially in Kansai, simply because it’s the region I live in.
I usually go for a second or third visit if I really liked a caste or if there’s so much to see that I could have missed something the first time (e.g. Himeji Castle).
There are several castles I would like to see again in a different season.
Some castles actually should be visited during a certain season, e.g. Hirosaki Castle in spring, Takatori Castle Ruins in autumn, because that’s when they’ll become most impressive.
I’d like to revisit Hikone Castle in spring or autumn and Odawara Castle. The latter, I couldn’t fully explore as it was during a typhoon.
Thank you very much Jasmine for your availability