A reconstructed brilliant castle
Hiroshima Castle is a 15-minute walk either from the JR Hiroshima Station or from the Atomic Bomb Dome. The castle was completed in 1589. It is said that a feudal lord during the Warring States period, Terumoto Mori, initiated the construction of the castle after feeling the necessity of having one following a visit to the Osaka Castle upon an invitation from Hideyoshi Toyotomi, a preeminent feudal lord who eventually brought an end to the Warring States period. Though it was designated as a National Treasure in 1931, it was blown out by the atomic bombing in 1945. The tower keep (tenshukaku) was restored completely by the 1958 restoration construction project; however, the exterior is made by concrete. Inside the tower keep is a museum of history that introduces the samurai (buke) culture. The most popular attraction at the museum is the space where visitors can try out wearing samurai clothes and helmets and take pictures freely without being attended by staff members.
Look out the castle’s top floor for a panoramic view of Hiroshima City
The top floor of the castle has an observatory from which a panoramic view of the Hiroshima City can be seen. If the weather is good, you can see the island of Miyajima in the distance. Hiroshima Castle is also known as the castle of carps (Rijyo); many say that this name comes from a geographic name, but some say that the name comes from the fact that in the old days, there were many carps swimming in the moat. Whichever the case may be, today, many carps swim around in the moat. The connected yagura watchtower structures of the ninomaru section–omotegomon gate, waki-yagura, tamon-yagura and taiko-yagura–were restored as wooden structures in 1994; the interior of these structures are open to the public. A gate of sophistication and grace, the pillars of the omotegomon gate are partially made of wood from a thousand years old hinoki tree. The moat and stonewalls remain in the conditions they were at the time of the bombing. Hiroshima Castle has been selected as one of the 100 great castles of Japan. Also, on the grounds of the castle are a large eucalyptus tree and a willow tree which survived the atomic bombing. At night, the tower keep is lit up; the upside down view of the tower keep reflected on the water of the moat is breathtaking.