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by Bob Kerstetter
Kōchi Castle remains as one of the few original feudal-era castles in Japan. It is located in the City of Kōchi on the Japanese island of Shikoku.
Because of their designs, Japanese castles suffered destruction by fire. Their locations on hill tops attracted lightning strikes. Their importance in defending a region often placed them under the fire of military attack. Most Japanese castles in existence today are replicas rebuilt on original sites since 1950.
Kochi Castle still has its original gates, storehouses and donjon, all made of stone foundations and wood structures. The finish work is exceptional, illustrating the skills of those building castles in the 1600s, 1700s and later. Numerous displays inside the castle show how the castle participated in community life.
Choosing only one castle to see in Japan attempts the impossible. But if must you limit your choices to four or 10 castles, Kochi Castle should be on your short list.