Hiroshima Castle, also known as Carp Castle (Rijō), was originally constructed in 1589 by the warlord Terumoto Mori and predates the city itself. It survived the Meji restoration, during which many of Japan’s castles were dismantled, but was destroyed by the atomic bomb. The castle was rebuilt in 1958 and the reconstruction of the outer fortress took place in 1994.
Unlike many Japanese castles, which were built on hilltops, Hiroshima Jō stands on a plain in the centre of the city. Hiroshima developed as a castle town, meaning that the castle was both the physical and economical centre of the city and it was once an important seat of power in Western Japan.
The inside of Hiroshima Jō now serves as a history museum with interesting relics and armour from the city’s past, focusing on the samurai culture. Its main keep is five stories tall, commanding a panoramic view of the city, and its grounds are surrounded by a beautiful moat. The castle’s precincts contain a shrine, ruins and other reconstructed buildings, as well as over 350 cherry trees, making it one of Hiroshima’s top hanami (cherry blossom viewing) spots.
Hiroshima Jō is located within walking distance from Kamiya-chō tram stop.
Opening hours: 9:00 to 18:00 (17:00 from December to February). Admission 370 yen per adult.
- Welcome to Hiroshima – Sightseeing Guide Map
- Lonely Planet: Japan
- Wanderlust Pocket Guides – Best of: Japan