Japanese Castles: Hiroshima Castle 広島城
Hiroshima Castle in Hiroshima city, also known as "Carp Castle" (Rijo Castle 鯉城) is a 1958 reconstruction of the original castle, constructed in 1590, that was destroyed in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 during World War II.
History of Hiroshima Castle
The original Hiroshima Castle was built by Mori Terumoto (1553-1625), a retainer of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and one of the council of "Five Great Elders" who ruled Japan after the strongman's death, but after the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, Mori was on the losing side and was dispossessed and replaced by Fukushima Masanori, who also lost his post after failing to inform the Tokugawa regime of repairs he made to the castle following a flood in 1619.
To maintain the peace the Tokugawa regime had imposed strict rules concerning extensions or repairs to castles and all plans for such work had to be submitted to the authorities in advance and approved.
Asano Nagaakira then became the new lord and the castle remained in the possession of his descendants until 1868 and the end of the Edo Period. The Mori family fled to Hagi in present-day Yamaguchi Prefecture.
After the Meiji Restoration of 1868 the castle became a major military headquarters, serving as the GHQ for the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895.
The present castle consists of the black-colored keep (tenshu) only and is a 26m-high five-story building. Inside the castle keep is a history museum dedicated to the history of Hiroshima, Hiroshima Castle and other Japanese castles. Only the inner moat of the original three outer moats survives.
The castle grounds contain the Hiroshima Gokoku Jinja and a concrete bunker from which the first radio broadcast out of Hiroshima after the 1945 atomic bombing was broadcast.
Tel: 082 221 7512
Admission: 360 yen
Hours: 9am-6pm daily
Hiroshima Castle Access
Hiroshima Castle is west of Hiroshima Station off Jonan-dori and north of the Hiroshima Museum of Art. Get off a streetcar at Kamiya-cho. Hiroshima Castle is north of the Atomic Dome and the Peace Museum.
Walk due south down Gion Shindo and you will arrive at Genbaku Dome-mae Station. The four-star Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima is close to Hiroshima Castle and a recommended place to stay in the city. Hiroshima Castle is around 10 minutes on foot from Shukkeien Garden to the east and also close to Hiroshima Children's Museum to the south through Chuo Park.
Google Map of Hiroshima Castle