Owning a castle in Japan? A possibility or a pipe dream?

Inuyama Castle Aichi Prefecture
Inuyama Castle, Aichi Prefecture. Japan’s last privately owned castle until 2004.

Europe is dotted with historic castles that can be bought and lived in, but what about Japan? Can you buy an authentic castle in Japan?

In short – probably not.

The overwhelming majority of castles in Japan are owned by either the national or local governments. Osaka Castle, for example, is owned by Osaka City while Himeji Castle is owned by the national government.

There were once as many as 25,000 castles and forts dotted across the country. There was even a castle near Shibuya Station that drew upon the Shibuya River for its moat. The castle was destroyed in the 1500s and a partial stone wall in the Konno Hachimangu Shrine is the only remnant left.

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New buyer found for Yubari Melon Castle

“Melon Castle”, a liquor distilling facility in Yubari City, Sapporo, will be sold to a wholesale/retail company called Base Create. The facilities will be used to package and store goods.

Yubari City had previously agreed to sell the facilities to another buyer, but the sale was canceled in March as the buyer did not make payment. In April, the property was advertised for sale at a reduced starting price of 28,800,000 Yen (360,000 USD). Base Create was the only applicant, and based on their financials and business plan, their offer of 28,900,000 Yen was accepted. The new buyer plans to hire several local residents to help run the facilities.

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