This castle is one of the few structures in Japan that has been involved with Christianity.
At the point where trade and propagation between European nations and Japan, the Christian culture and civilization was introduced by the early European communities. Christianity and the medieval culture was then conveyed even more when the Portugese came into Japan, and specifically in Shimabara district.
A feudal lord named Arima Harunobu prospered Western trade and became a Christian daimyo. Since then, he protected Christianity and made the Shimabara district a Christian kingdom.
That leads the daimyo of this region to build this five-tiered tower castle in 1618.
After years of uprising and repression on Christianity, the castle is now a museum, preserving local documents and treasures.
There are small museums that can be visited, which includes Folk Museum, one that exhibits things from 20th century; Sighseeing Revival Hall, a small exhibition of Mount Unzen's eruption; and the west turret that displays traditional japanese doll kokeshi and tenugui towels printed with famous Japanese castles.
One can also tour the samurai district called Teppo-machi, and watch koi fish in Shimeiso house nearby.
The castle is a 5-minute walk away from Shimabara Railway Shimabara Station.
The castle is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM except on dates December 29 to 30.
Admission costs 540 Yen.
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