Hikone Castle – Shiga | Travel Information

Hikone Castle in Shiga Prefecture

Hikone Castle,  in the city of Hikone, Shiga Prefecture is one of the 12 original castle keeps that still exist in Japan, remarkably surviving WW2 and the Meiji Restoration. The Castle is one of the few original castle keeps to become recognised as a Japanese National Treasure, and is without a doubt the most historically and culturally significant building in the entire prefecture. 


The Castle began construction at the start of the 17th Century, in 1603, and took 19 years to complete. Upon completion in 1622, the castle took occupation by the Ii Daimyo, who held it for over 200 years when the Government of Japan took ownership.

The castle keep and defenses materials and design were sourced from the Otsu Castle and Nagahama Castle under order from the Ii Clan. The Keep is considerably small compared to other castles in Japan, most have 5 stories or more, while Hikone Castle has only 3. However, despite it’s shorter height, the views from the top floor are stunning, with beautiful views of Hikone City and Lake Biwa.

The Museum at the base of the hill which the castle is built atop, features a wide array of historic artifacts, such as period pieces of art, literature, furniture, clothing and Samurai memorabilia. 

All and all, if you are planning on visiting Hikone Castle, then the Hikone Castle museum is well worth the visit, especially if you are fascinated by Japanese Feudal history.

You can purchase ticket just for the museum, or you can purchase a combo ticket at a discounted price for access to Hikone Castle Keep/Gardens and Hikone Castle Museum.

Hours and Admission

  • Hours: 8:30am-5:00pm
  • 800JPY (Castle)
  • 1200JPY (Museum+Castle)
  • 500JPY (Museum)

Fun for Children & Families

Good for 1 - 2 People

Good for Groups

Not Wheelchair Friendly

Accepts Cash

Doesn't Accept Credit Cards

Accessing Hikone Castle

Hikone Castle is down the road from Hikone Station, making it remarkably easy to access. As long as you can get to Hikone Station, then you will have no problem getting to the Castle.

This Castle is not suitable for those who are in a wheelchair as there are multiple sets of stairs around the castle grounds and there is no easy path for a wheel chair to take. 

Where To Stay

Hikone Station Hotel

The Hikone Station Hotel is a convenient and cheap place to stay in the city of Hikone, given the fact that it’s right around the corner from the main train station, meaning easy access to all the hot destinations in the city. 

Hotel Route-Inn Hikone

Hotel Route-Inn Hikone is a hotel certainly worth checking into. Although it’s a little out of the way from Hikone Station, the hotel is well worth it. The rooms are quite comfortable with plenty of space, and the hotel offers a fresh western/Japanese style breakfast included in the price.

Hikone Castle Resort & Spa

Hikone Castle is luxury hotel offering stunning views of Hikone Castle. It’s a beautiful hotel and is highly recommended for couples. The Hotel has an onsen room with a direct view of Hikone Castle.