Image by PRASIT CHANSAREEKORN Getty Images
The original structure, built between 1610 and 1614 by Tokugawa Ieyasu for his ninth son, was levelled in WWII. Today's castle is a concrete replica (with elevator) completed in 1959. Renovations are ongoing. On the roof, look for the 3m-long gilded shachi-hoko – legendary creatures possessing a tiger's head and carp's body. Inside, find treasures, an armour collection and the histories of the Oda, Toyotomi and Tokugawa families. The beautiful year-round garden, Ninomaru-en (二の丸園) has a number of pretty teahouses.
Painstaking reconstruction of the Honmaru Palace (1624–44) using traditional materials and methods commenced in 2009. The project is scheduled for completion in 2018.