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Exploring Hiroshima Castle

Beautiful panoramas from Hiroshima's beloved castle

This castle structure with museum inside is a reconstruction of the original 16th century, 5 storey Don-jon. The original was destroyed in the A-bomb Hiroshima blast, but this reconstruction offers an interesting glimpse of its previous glory.

It is well worth a look if you are interested in Hiroshima's cultural past and have an hour or two to spare while visiting the city.

Although there is limited explanation in English on the artifacts and exhibits, there is a basic guide available to visitors of the museum in English.

Many feel it is worth paying the entry fee to view the military armor (and try it on yourself for a picture if you like) and other exhibits whether it is explained in detail or not. There is also a good view from the top.

In nice weather, the castle grounds are a good location for a stroll.

Outside the moat, the castle is a popular place to walk (or jog) as there is a well marked 1.5km path that circles the castle grounds.

If traveling with children, there is a small kids playpark on one side and its a nice place to sit and relax for a while. Kids will also enjoy spotting the fish and turtles that swim in the moat. Across the street is Hiroshima's Central Chuo park if you need more space to run around.

At sunset, the view of the castle offers a stunning perspective and after a winter snowfall or when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, the view from the blossoming trees of the castle is especially beautiful.

The Gokogu Jinja shrine next to the castle is always an interesting place to stop and take some pictures too. On New Year's it is buzzing with people going to pray for a good year and buy good luck charms.

On the 2nd week of January, the Tondo Matsuri bonfire festival is held there to burn the previous year's amulets. Regularly, you can see children observing Shichi-go-san a celebration of turning 7,5 or 3. You may also see new parents with their infants dressed in ornate kimono making a ceremonial visit. It is also a popular place to take pictures on Seijin-no-hi the day when young adults celebrate becoming 20 on the 2nd weekend of January.

In October, the annual Hiroshima International Food festival is held around the castle moat and on New Year's day, the shrine next to the castle is buzzing with people buying good luck charms and making wishes for another good year. It is a festival-like atmosphere with many food and game stalls lining the paths up to the castle grounds.

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