Hikone Castle

Kita Tomomi

Jul 11, 2017

In Hikone City, on the hill at the eastern side of Lake Biwa stands one of the only five castles designated as national treasures in Japan. The Hikone Castle was built at the order of General Tokugawa Ieyasu to get rid of Sawayama Castle. As Hikone Castle marks the 410th anniversary of its founding, the entrance fee has been raised from 600 to 1000 yen per person (S$12.50) until 10 December 2017.

You’ll definitely love to meet the Hikone Castle mascot – the simply adorable “Hikonyan” cat who wears a warrior’s helmet. Hikonyan is so popular, I saw Hikonyan performances in Hikone City at least 3 times every day while I was there!

The beauty of Hikone Castle is enjoyable from all angles. For example, if you sit on a traditional Japanese houseboat that sails around the moat, it’ll look as if Hikone Castle is floating on water too. You should also try taking a rickshaw for sightseeing around the Hikone Castle. The men will pull the rickshaw effortlessly and seem completely unaffected by the combined weight of cart and customer, and that’ll give you a good sense of Japanese tenacity and endurance.

彦根城は、琵琶湖東岸の丘(biwakotougannooka)に築かれた日本に5基しかない貴重な国宝天守(kokuhoutensyu)です。将軍徳川家康公(syougun tokugawa ieyasu kou)の命令により、佐和山城(sawayamajyou)を一掃するために建てられました。2017年で築城410年を迎えることから、2017年12月10日までは入場料が1000円になっています。通常は一般600円です。

ここでぜひ会ってほしいのが、彦根城を代表するマスコットキャラクターのひこにゃん。素朴でキュートな顔に勇ましい兜(kabuto)をかぶったひこにゃんですが、なんと人気にも関わらず彦根城に行けば毎日3回会えるのだそう!また、彦根城にはさまざまな角度から城を堪能(tannou)できる取り組みがされており、屋形船(yakatabune)に揺られながら、水面に浮かぶまた違った顔の彦根城を見物するのも格別です。城周辺をゆったりと観光できる人力車(jinrikisya)もあるので、ぜひ乗ってみてください。人一人分と人力車の重みをものともせず、軽々と走らせてしまう俥夫(syahu)のたくましさに日本の忍耐強さ(nintaiduyosa)を感じるはずです。

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