Cherry blossoms and Himeji Castle in Himeji, Japan
© Tororo/Getty Image
Castle on a hill
In honour of Castle Day in Japan, we're featuring Himeji Castle - one of the most pristine examples of traditional Japanese castle architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Castle Day is on April 6 (or 4/6) because the Japanese character for castle (城) is read as 'shiro', and the Japanese pronunciation of 'four' is 'shi' and 'six' is 'ro'. Samurai warrior Akamatsu Norimura built Himeji Castle in 1333 as a fortress. Over the years, the structure has been remodelled many times and buildings were added as it changed hands. The castle even survived World War One unscathed while surrounding areas were bombed mercilessly. Today, it’s perhaps the best-known castle in Japan.