Hiroshima Castle, also called the Carp Castle, is a good example of a castle built on a plain in the center of a city as opposed to hilltop and mountaintop castles. Its main keep is five stories tall, and its grounds are surrounded by a moat. Also within the castle’s precincts are a shrine, some ruins and a few reconstructed buildings of the Ninomaru (second circle of defense).
Hiroshima developed as a castle town, whereby the castle was both the physical and economical center of the city. Built in 1589 by the powerful feudal lord Mori Terumoto, Hiroshima Castle was an important seat of power in Western Japan. It was spared the destruction that many other castles met during the Meiji Restoration and survived into the modern era. Unfortunately though, like the rest of the city, Hiroshima Castle was destroyed by the atomic bomb in 1945. Thirteen years later, its main keep was rebuilt in ferro-concrete with an attractive, partially wooden exterior. Inside the keep is an informative museum on Hiroshima’s and the castle’s history and Japanese castles in general, while panoramic views of the surrounding city can be enjoyed from the building’s top floor.