Region
Chugoku
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Hiroshima
Population
2,878,949

Hiroshima Castle

Hiroshima's medieval stronghold.

While many Japanese castles share similar architectural designs, Hiroshima Castle has every imaginable feature associated with a medieval fortress: a large moat, massive stone walls, as well as bridges and baileys to boot.

The catch to this city-center castle is that the original structure was rebuilt in 1958 following its destruction in the bombing of Hiroshima in WWII. But this resurrected National Treasure, fondly nicknamed the “Carp Castle” by locals, is evidence of the once flourishing castle town during the Edo Period.

Destroyed by the atomic explosion in 1945, the main tower was rebuilt in 1958 to look exactly like the original.

Originally constructed in 1589, under the orders of feudal lord Mori Terumoto, Hiroshima Castle served as the political and economic center of the city. Terumoto specifically chose this particular location because of its accessibility to both water and land transportation – a crucial fact to consider during a long civil war. Rumor has it that the famous feudal lord was inspired by the architecture of the Osaka Castle, whose five-tiered donjon also towers above Osaka’s city center.

Why is it called Carp Castle?

Hiroshima Castle is also known as 'Carp Castle'
After losing the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, Mori Terumoto was evicted from the castle and a series of successive lords continued to take over occupancy for 12 generations. From the 17th century until the Meiji Restoration (1869), Hiroshima Castle experienced a period of peace following the chaos and wars of previous decades.

Even during the dismantling of many castles during the Meiji Restoration when timber and iron fittings of these feudal fortresses were sold to raise funds, the Japanese government spared the “Carp Castle” and turned it into a military base for the Imperial Army.

However, as with the rest of the city, the Hiroshima Castle was demolished by the first atomic bomb attack on August 6, 1945. Meant to raise awareness of Hiroshima and it’s history, this designated national historic site rose from ruins in 1958, featuring four floors of museum exhibits.

The castle’s precincts also include the Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine which is bustling with religious ceremonies and seasonal events throughout the year.

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Trivia

Hiroshima Castle is also known as 'Carp Castle'

Why is it called Carp Castle?

Hiroshima castle got its nickname from the surrounding area, previously knows as "Carp Sea Shore" (Koi-no-ura) in Japanese. Spot the many carp fish patrolling the moat surrounding the castle. In fact, carps are a mascot of Hiroshima, you'll spy them everywhere - even the city's baseball team is called the Hiroshima Carps.

How To Get There

Address

Hiroshima Castle, 21-1 Motomachi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken 730-0011, Japan

By train

From Hiroshima Station, take the Hiroshima Electric Railway Line streetcar to Kamiya-cho-higashi Station (a 10-minute ride). From there, it’s approximately 15 minutes by foot.

By bus

The Hiroshima Sighteseeing Loop Bus makes a stop near the castle. Simply get off at Hiroshima Castle (Hiroshima Gokoku Shrine) bus stop.

Where To Stay

UNIZO INN Hiroshima
  • Naka-ku Kamihacchobori 7-25 Hiroshima-Shi, Hiroshima 730-0012
  • 7.3/10
  • 0.4 km
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Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima
  • Naka-ku Motomachi 6-78 Hiroshima-Shi, Hiroshima 730-0011
  • 9.1/10
  • 0.5 km
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Hiroshima Pacific Hotel
  • Naka-ku Kami-Hatchobori 8-16 Hiroshima-Shi, Hiroshima 730-0012
  • 7.5/10
  • 0.6 km
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Hatchobori iBLD
  • Nakaku Hacchobori 4-16 Hiroshima-Shi, Hiroshima 730-0013
  • 9.1/10
  • 0.6 km
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