castles

Prefectural capital building in Japan has a moat, ready for mobs of invaders or zombies

Awesomely-defensible Fukui Prefectural headquarters is built on castle grounds.

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Top 20 castles to visit in Japan in 2017

Experience Japanese history through castles both intact and…not intact.

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Top 30 tourist sites in Japan: the most popular sightseeing spots for overseas visitors

From the well-known to the obscure, this year’s annual ranking of top spots has some surprises in store for even the most seasoned travellers.

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Sleep like a samurai – Travel provider offers one-night stay in a Japanese castle

Free package includes dinner modeled after meals eaten by feudal lords

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Nagoya Castle’s concrete keep to be demolished and replaced with traditional wooden structure

After months of debate, Nagoya city council approves 50 billion-yen (US$451 million) budget.

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Right now is the very best time to go to Japan’s “castle in the sky,” and here’s why【Pics, Vids】

The conditions are just right to surround Takeda Castle with a sea of clouds.

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Animated GIFs of traditional Japanese woodworking joints are mesmerising to watch

Exploring the many ways wood pieces can slot into each other is the most strangely satisfying experience we’ve had today!

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Love Ghibli’s Castle in the Sky? Check out these real Laputa-like locations!

Your heart will soar high above the clouds at these travel destinations in Japan.

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VR and GPS combine for new Japanese castle and historical landmark sightseeing app

Introducing the “Street Museum” smartphone app enhanced with VR contents to make your travels that much more memorable.

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Top 20 most popular castles in Japan revealed for 2016

How many of the top 20 most popular Japanese castles (according to TripAdvisor) have you been to?

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This Lego samurai castle would be amazing even if it wasn’t also an awesome pop-up book 【Video】

Extremely talented builder needs neither stone, lumber, nor paper for this mind-blowing project.

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Ancient Japanese earthenware plate with pawprint proves cats have always done their own thing

Centuries-old earthenware plate gets a special assist from a kitty in becoming an ultra-rare, ultra-cute antique.

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How to escape from a burning castle: evacuation drill reveals thrilling slide system

Escaping from a castle turret in Japan involves hurtling down a narrow, flexible chute!

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See Kyoto’s Nijo Castle in its original design with this virtual tour built in Minecraft!

Nijo Castle is one of Japan’s hottest tourist destinations…but for a truly unique historical tour, you need this Minecraft recreation based on the original design!

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Nightingale floors: The samurai intruder alarm system Japan’s had for centuries

For centuries, Japan has taken pride in the talents of its craftsmen, carpenters and woodworkers included. Because of that, you might be surprised to find that some Japanese castles have extremely creaky wooden floors that screech and groan with each step.

How could such slipshod construction have been considered acceptable for some of the most powerful figures in Japanese history? The answer is that the sounds weren’t just tolerated, but desired, as the noise-producing floors functioned as Japan’s earliest automated intruder alarm.

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Why does Engrish happen in Japan?

Over the years, Japan has earned a reputation for its awkward command of English, with results ranging from the perplexing to downright hilarious. The country’s translation screw-ups are so common that they’ve even earned their own collective name, “Engrish.”

But for all the sites that poke fun at Engrish, it’s almost impossible to find one that talks about why it happens. So today we’re offering a bit of explanation along with the laughs, as we look at a sign in Japan that informs English-reading passersby that “Today is under construction.”

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Japan’s 30 best travel destinations, as chosen by overseas visitors

It’s time once again for travel website Trip Advisor’s list of the best places in Japan, as chosen by overseas visitors to the country. One of the things that makes Japan such a fascinated place to travel is its extreme mix of historical and modern attractions, both of which are represented in the top 30 which includes shrines, sharks, and super-sized robots.

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Step into a Ghibli fairytale at this castle in the sky in Hyogo Prefecture

Japan is home to an enormous number of famous ruins and castles, with fascinating histories that transport us back to an era of clan warfare and old allegiances which remain at the heart of local tales today. As strongholds for the Lords and clans of old Japan, many castles have a commanding view of surrounding lands but none more so than this spectacular castle in Hyogo Prefecture. Often referred to as the Machu Picchu of Japan, and looking every bit like Ghibli’s famous floating castle from the animated movie Castle in the Sky, these ruins are expecting an unprecedented number of visitors this year. And with photos as stunning as these, it’s easy to see why.

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Travelers rank Japan’s 20 best castles

An often used device in explaining how crowded major Japanese cities are is to point out that the country has roughly half the population of the U.S. crammed into an area about the same size as California. But there’s another important statistic Japan also exceeds America’s most populous state in. While the Golden State can claim only one castle (and that’s if you’re being generous enough to count the Hearst estate as such), Japan has dozens of suitable samurai strongholds.

Travel website TripAdvisor recently announced its ranking of Japan’s top 20 castles, based on feedback from domestic travelers during the past year. Strap on your swords and do up your topknots as we go through the list.

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