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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[Foreclosed] Japanese Castle in Hokkaido


Bidding started from 16,663,000 Yen

This foreclosed property in Akabira City is a replica of a traditional Japanese castle. The 6-storey reinforced concrete structure was originally called ‘Tokugawa Castle” and was a doll museum. It was owned by the only festival doll manufacturer and supplier in Hokkaido, and the company used the space to display and sell their wares. The doll company still seems to be operating, but they have not used this building for the past five years. It has not been maintained during recent years and has some broken windows and roof damage.

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