The newly-renovated feudal-era Himeji Castle was the most popular fortress destination in Japan last fiscal year.
More than 2.86 million people visited the castle in Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, in the 12 months ending in March.
The most popular destination previously was Kumamoto Castle in southwestern Japan.
Foreign tourists to Himeji Castle accounted for over 306,000 visitors. That’s nearly double the figure in 2008, when the number hit an all-time high.
Himeji Castle’s main tower underwent major repairs that took about 5 years to complete.
Himeji City officials say a joint campaign launched with other castles in Japan, as well as Germany’s Neuschwanstein Castle, may have helped attract more tourists.
The officials expect the number of foreigners to continue rising in the years leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
They say they intend to produce pamphlets of the castle in 20 languages to be better prepared to receive more visitors.
Source and image: NHK