Ruins of Nagahama Castle
View Lake Biwa from the keep at the ruins of the castle built by Hideyoshi Toyotomi in 1573
(c) Biwako Visitors BureauDuring the Sengoku Period (1493-1590), feudal lords had wars seeking to expand their influence. Out of feudal lords, three feudal lords who had extensive authority, Nobunaga Oda, Hideyoshi Tokyotomi, and Ieyasu Tokugawa, were famous and popular among Japanese people. Nagahama Castle is one that was built by Hideyoshi Toyotomi on the land he received from Nobunaga Oda in 1573. Various feudal lords moved in the castle in the course of history, and the castle was destroyed in 1615. It is the national designated historic site.
At present, there is a castle that was restored through imitation in 1983, inside of which is the Nagahama Castle Historical Museum. At the museum, you can learn about the castle and history focusing on the Sengoku Period (admission fee: 400 yen).
The castle is at a height of 30 m above sea level, and people can enter the castle keep (place to watch the surrounding area). Therefore, a top-down view of Lake Biwa and Nagahama Town is popular.
The castle was designed making good use of geography, and there are many small positions called kuruwa and spaces of premises. The site of the castle sticks out to Lake Biwa, and it is believed that people could enter the castle by boat through the flood gate in the castle at that time. Most of buildings and stone walls were recycled in constructing Hikone Castle (Hikone-shi, Shiga), and tenbinyagura (scale scaffold) and three-storied sumiyagura (an armory or a hut that serves as the defense basis at the time of a battle which is located at the corner) of Hikone Castle are said to be the remains of Nagahama Castle. The Nagahama Castle area has been developed as Hou Park.
Address: Koen-cho, Nagahama-shi, Shiga
Phone: 0749-63-4611（Nagahama Castle Historical Museum）
Hours open to visitors: 9:00-17:00 (last admission: 16:30)
Admission Fee: 400 yen for adults and 200 yen for children
Closed: December 27th to January 2nd
Directions: 5-minute walk from Nagahama Station (one hour from Shin-Osaka) of JR Hokuriku Main Line
(Car) 15 minutes from Nagahama Interchange on the Hokuriku Expressway