With moats and defensive walls aplenty, Hikone Castle once housed a regal feudal lord or two. On the shores of Lake Biwa, Japan's largest lake, this splendid example of Edo Period architecture (circa 17th century), is one of only 4 castles designated as a Japanese national treasure. Most evocative in springtime, when the fragrant cherry trees are abloom, this popular tourist attraction is an easy side trip from bustling Kyoto, and accessible by train.
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