Nagoya and Hikone Castles
Japan
Nagoya Castle, is a green concrete replica of the 17th century
structure which the Shogun Tokugawa built for one of his
sons.  The original was destroyed by World War II bombing.
These replicas look very convincing on the outside, and I
found Nagoya Castle to be quite satisfactory.
This is a large castle that was probably invulnerable to attack
from the ground in its era.  But Nagoya is one of Japan's
major cities, and the bombing it received during World War
II would easily have wiped out the castle now seen duplicated.
In contrast, I doubt nearby Hikone was even considered
worth bombing.  So its relatively tiny jewelbox castle from
1622 survived the war.   As an original, Hikone joins with
Matsumoto Castle in receiving the designation of Japanese
National Treasure.
Hikone presents the artistry of castle construction on a small
scale, perfectly combining white, black, and gold in only a
few levels.  Next we will see a far more ambitious castle that
is generally considered to be the finest in Japan.
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's free streaming video of this trip,
"Castles of the Rising Sun", by clicking on:
http://www.adventurepics.com/IBE/video1.aspx?
VF=RisingSun.wmv