Webmaster's greeting

Webmaster's greeting

Rikan Castle (Hyogo prefecture)

Hello, everyone! This homepage provides historical information and pictures of Japanese medieval castles written in English, including 110,000 pictures of over 550 castles throughout Japan.

My nickname is Ken. I am a Japanese live in Kanto region, and working for a company.

One of my hobby is traveling, especially for visiting Japanese medieval castles. In Japan, there are many beautiful castles of different eras all over the nation. Of course I have only visited limited part of them, but I have been attracted by the beauty and history of each castle and taking pictures over 10 years.

At first I thought to put them on view in Japanese blog, but there are already many pioneers who post tons of pictures. Fortunately (?) I am a bit accustomed to writing English through my job, thus I decided to post some of my pictures with small explanations in English (Using Google translation, you might be able to read articles in other languages than English).

Five years have passed from commencement of this homepage. It is tough challenge for me to take detailed pictures and post articles beside my job, but I have been encouraged by accesses to my blog from various countries.

Webmaster is originally not so planned people but this project processed quite well. Now I already introduced most part of major Japanese castles including 100 of 100 famous Japanese castles (see applicable page) and 100 of 100 more famous Japanese castle (see applicable page). Now I am working on improvement of pictures already posted, of course along with introduction of other castles. 

In addition to the photos, considering the situation of travel limitation, I also try to take walk-through movie of castles and post on youtube (embedded at webpage). Because of my travel limitation the scope is limited to around Kanto region but I hope you enjoy movies as compensation for actual visit.
Of course I have original with higher resolution of all posted photos and movies.

Themes treated in this blog is very niche area and I wonder if there is any demand for my blog, but I hope I can express the beauty of Japanese castles even just a little!.

Thanks and regards,



  1. You have a great blog here Ken. I also live in central Japan and enjoy traveling and visiting castles but there aren't many descriptions in English. I wonder if you know anything about Mitake Castle or Akechi Castle in Kani city.

  2. Hello Keith. I am Ken and webmaster of this site. Thank you for visiting my sight, and I am glad to know person who has same interest.

    Concerning your inquiry, I make comment as far as I know.
    Akechi castle is located in about 4km south of Kaneyama castle and 1km south of Akechi station. (Below address indicates a temple and the castle is located on the hill just south of the temple). I know this caste but have not visited.


    It is said that this castle is the birthplace of Mitsuhide Akechi who was a regional commander of Nobunaga Oda and made accident of Honnoji (Another Akechi castle exists in Ena city, but castle of Kani city is more likely to be so). The castle was demolished when attacked by Saito clan, but shapes of each areas are so so remain I hear.

    Concerning Mitake castle I do not well, but based on the records on Web, it locates on the hill at the opposite side of Kani river from Mitake station. The site of the castle is now a park named "Mitake Joshi Koen". This park seems to have a good night view, but no ruin remains unfortunately.

    I hope my explanation is useful for you.

    Thanks and regards,

  3. Kenさん、素晴らしいサイトです!

  4. Hello Ken,

    I'm a japanese castle-fan and until now i've visited 125 castles. I'm living in Belgium and on vacation i visit Japan. I went 9 times to Japan. I stumbled on your site when looking for other castles to visit next year. I know since years 3 other nice sites about japanese castles in english:

    I always visit these sites to see which castles i'll visit on my next trip to Japan.
    Now i've added your site to them. Your site is very informative and you have a lot of pictures.
    Totemo omoshiroii desu.
    Dômo arigatô gozaimasu,

    Paul, aka Furinkazan(on jcastle.info)

    1. Hello, Paul.

      I am Ken, a webmaster of this site. I am glad to have your comment, as a person of same hobby. I'm so surprised by the fact that you had visited so many castles in foreign country, with limited means of transportation.
      I know above three great sites from the starting point of my site, and as a newcomer I tried hard to catch up predecessors. I hope my site would provide some useful information to visitors, same as above sites.

      Thank you,


  5. Great site Ken... I am presently creating some pages on wikipedia for Japanese castles, and your site is very helpful. I travel to Japan every year, and generally look at a castle or two. Nice work!


  6. Hello Ken,

    My names is Andrew Autry and I am a big Japanese castle fan, living in Japan. I have been to 96 castles in 4 years. I use your web site a lot to help me understand the history of castles before I visit them. Thank you so much for your hard work.

    Are you going to the お城EXPO 2017 in Yokohama this year?
    If you are I would like to meet you. Also, are you on Facebook? It would be easier to talk. Looking forward to your reply.


  7. Hello Ken,

    I just sent you a message but I don't know if you got it. Are you on Facebook? If so I would like to connect.

    Andrew Autry

  8. Ken, I am trying to contact you. Is there any other way to talk to you other than this web site.

  9. Great site Ken... I am presently creating some pages on wikipedia for Japanese castles, and your site is very helpful. I travel to Japan every year, and generally look at a castle or two. Nice work!

  10. Great site Ken... I am presently creating some pages on wikipedia for Japanese castles, and your site is very helpful. I travel to Japan every year, and generally look at a castle or two. Nice work!

  11. Hi Ken, This is Eric from Jcastle.info. Will you be attending the 城EXPO this year? we're having an international lounge open each day for foreign visitors and those interested in helping to market or educate foreigners interested in Japanese castles. Please stop by if you visit. I'll be there on Monday and am looking for people to have a discussion with the organizers. Let me know if you're interested. Cheers...

    1. Hi Eric,

      Thank you for sharing information.
      I am interested in your activity but unfortunately I am traveling over three days of this year's castle expo.
      I hope I can have another opportunity to talk with you.

      Many thanks,



  12. 708/5000
    Hi to you Ken

    First of all thank you for this great site which I use a lot for my research!

    Amateur historian, and passionate among others of Japan of the Sengoku era, I set my sights on Mori Motonari and Chugoku!

    I write articles and for some time I have been trying to develop a wargame about the rise of the Mori clan in Chugoku.

    Your site is useful to me to locate the castles and to have an idea of their importance, but I confess that there are still some castles that I can not locate!

    Do you think you could help me?

    Good anyway I thank you again for this site (which is a lot of work!) And greet you!

    Manu from France

    1. Dear Manu,

      I am webmaster Ken, and glad to hear that this site is somewhat useful to your work.

      Of course I do not know every small castles in Chugoku region but I might be able to provide information on large and middle size castles in the area, based on my knowledge, books or records of other visitors.

      If you have anything to know about Japanese castles please feel free to ask me.

      Warm regards,


    2. Hi Ken!

      You really do a great job!

      If you have this information, I'm interested:

      I am looking for information on the Ogasawara and Honjo clans of the Chugoku region in the 16th century.

      For the Honjo it seems that their castle is the castle of Hariyama in Iwami.

      For the Ogasawara, I do not know what their castle was.

      I am also looking for the location of Arawai Castle in Izumo!?

      If you have more information, I am interested!

      Have a good day !


    3. Hi Manu. I welcome your inquiry.

      Honjo clan was originally the lord of Takayagura castle of Izumo province (N35.245993, E132.714513), but was later appointed as the commander of Yamabuki castle (see article in this blog) to manage Iwami Silver Mine. I have no information on Hariyama castle.

      For Iwami Ogasawara clan, their original main base was Nukuyu castle (N34.979947, E132.503353) at the south of Iwami Silver Mine, but they lost by the attack of Mouri clan. Later Ogasawara clan used Maruyama castle (N34.978651, E132.400953) as new main base after their return.

      Arawai castle was at the northeast edge of Lake Shinjiko (N35.467897, E133.035433).

      I hope these information might assist you.


    4. Many thanks Ken, it will be useful to me !!!

    5. Hi Ken ! Thanks for the description of Nukuyu castle ;-)

  13. Hello Ken! Your site is among many things keeping me interested (and sane) amidst this pandemic. I thought I should let you know that your page is greatly appreciated! Keep safe!

    1. Hello Allonsy,

      Thank you for looking this blog. My activity is restricted by the pandemic but I'm glad to hear this blog is somewhat useful in this hard time. Again thanks!

  14. Thank you for sharing your very impressive research about Japanese castles. I have traced my mother's family to the Anrakuji Temple in Ibaraki-shi, Osaka. The sensei there told me that this approximately 500-year-old temple was once located near a castle, which I believe was Megaki at 1-chome 1-Megaki, Ibaraki, Osaka, 567-0836.
    Can you please tell me where I can find information on Megaki Castle: when was it built? who was it built by? what clan(s) used this castle? when was it abandoned or destroyed? Although my backrground as an American journalist has prepared me to research, I am ashamed to admit that my Japanese is poor. Therefore, I will need a translator for any Megaki history that is written in Japanese.
    Please let me know what help you can offer.

    Best regards,
    Cynthia Kadonaga

    1. Hello Cynthia,

      I am Ken, a webmaster of this site.
      Regarding Megaki castle, unfortunately I have not visited that castle but according to other Japanese castle information site there is an sign board stating as follows;

       溝咋村大字目垣 本地は古来嶋下郡に属し、もと溝咋荘の内にして目垣村と称す。「摂津志」には本地に塁堡の址ありと記すれども今其の址は詳ならず。
       目垣城 茨木市目垣「摂津志」には山田十三城の一つとして目垣の名をあげるが、位置・興廃年月とも不詳。

      English translation is as follows;
      The place of Megaki was in the Mizokui manor that was a territory of Mizokui clan reigned this place from ancient to medieval era, and was core area of the manor then named as Megaki.
      Material of the castle is
      "大阪府全志" Volume 3; Megaki Mizokui village, this place originally belonged to Shimashimo providence and was in Mizokui manor, and named as Megaki village. "摂津志" shows there was a ruin of clay wall at this place but its remnant is not clear now.
      "日本城郭大系" Volume 12; Megaki castle Megaki Ibaraki city "摂津志" states Megaki castle as one of Yamada 13 castles but its location, construction and abolition year is unknown.
      As above, it seems there was a castle of local lord Mizokui clan but it is difficult to clarify its location and history. But Mizokui clan was a local lord grew at this place from ancient era then it seemed to build their residence and castle centered at Megaki. The site might be left bank of Aigawa river and downstream of Ikuei bridge.

      It seems there is no remnant and only sign board is built at ground of Bussho-ji temple (34°48'23.6"N 135°35'33.8"E).


      I hope this information is helpful for you.

      Kind regards,


    2. Dear Ken,

      I apologize for being very late in thanking you for your very helpful reply. I did not see your reply until today.

      Your information will help me to trace my family history. My grandfather's home was located very close to his family temple at Anrakuji. Therefore, I believe his family served at Megaki Castle, which you have told me belonged to the Mizokui clan.
      I have no words in English or Japanese to thank you enough for your kindness and generosity in helping me.

      Best regards,

  15. Thank you so much for all the hard work you have put into this website - it is helping us daydream about a trip to Japan, and also Tsushima Island! Absolutely love it! We are Australian, but hope we can visit Japan some time very soon!

  16. Great site, thanks