Enjoy the Contrast with the Skyscrapers! A Guide to Hiroshima Castle Highlights
Hiroshima Castle is a popular tourist destination in Hiroshima that is always full of people. There is so much to see on its vast grounds! The view created by the contrast between the castle and skyscrapers is also appealing. Here are some tips on how to enjoy Hiroshima Castle.
1. About Hiroshima Castle
Hiroshima Castle is a castle that was built in 1589. In the past, it was the center of a bustling castle town.
It is sometimes referred to as Carp Castle with various theories about the origin of the name, such as "there were many carp in the moat," and "it is based on the name of the location." It is gracefully adorned by cherry blossoms in the spring and foliage in the fall.
In addition, there are skyscrapers built near the castle, creating a unique view with a mixture of old and new. Be sure to check out the beauty of the castle lit up in the evening, and the moat water reflecting the lights from the skyscrapers.
The Tenshukaku (a structure that is like the symbol of a castle) was once designated as a national treasure but was destroyed by the atomic bomb in 1945. The current Tenshukaku was reconstructed in 1958. Unlike many tenshukaku, which are painted white and black, the Tenshukaku at Hiroshima Castle has wood panels. Many visitors are dazzled by its majestic form.
Materials (including some with English translations) such as models and video are exhibited inside the Tenshukaku. There is also a popular corner where you can have your photograph taken wearing armor and samurai costumes. There is a panoramic view of Hiroshima from the top floor.
Entrance fee: 370 JPY (incl. tax)/adult; 180 JPY (incl. tax)/high school and seniors 65 and older
Ninomaru is to the south of Honmaru (the central area of the castle) where the Tenshukaku is. It is the second most important area in the castle after the Honmaru and was once the base from which warriors left for battle. Don't miss the Omotegomon main gate which surrounds this area and the three Yagura (facilities for inspection and command).
Omotegomon is the entrance to Ninomaru. Like the rest of the castle, the original gate was lost in fire due to the atomic bomb. Although the current gate is a reconstruction, parts of the pillars are made with 1000-year-old hinoki cypress, giving it a stately air. Gomonbashi, a wooden bridge over the moat around the castle leads to Omotegomon. This is a popular spot to capture the moat with the water, bridge, and gate in one picture.
These are the three yagura watchtowers surrounding Ninomaru. The entrance to Hirayagura is right through the Omotegomon, and you can get to Tamonyagura and Taikoyagura through it. You can enjoy each building's architectural style, as well as exhibitions of panels and models.
4. Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine
Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine, which is on the castle grounds, is a shrine dedicated to approximately 92,000 people who perished in wars. It was lost to fire when the atomic bomb was dropped, but was reconstructed in 1956 thanks to the support of local volunteers. It is beloved by citizens to this day, and has the largest number of worshippers in the prefecture for hatsumode, the first visit of the year to a shrine or temple.
It is famous as a shrine that has connections with carp. On the grounds, there is a Shori-no-zo (statue of rising carp) that is said to help those who touch it realize their goals, as well as a Sori-no-zo (statue of two carps) that is said to help in matchmaking. There are also Koi-mikuji (carp fortune slips) so give them a try.
Hiroshima Castle is in an area full of popular spots such as Hiroshima Peace Memorial and Shukkei-in. Be sure to visit when you are in Hiroshima and let your thoughts wander back 400 years in history to when the castle was built.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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