Having completed all of the peace based activities that we could find in Hiroshima and finding ourselves with a few hours to spare before dinner, we went to find out what else the city has to offer. Our guide book is pretty hazy on things outside the peace zone but we heard that there was a castle nearby and set out to find it. After quite a bit of walking and disappearing down underpasses to cross roads, we finally saw the castle peeking over some trees on the other side of a moat. There was also a fountain that looked like it would be more at home outside a French château.
We were pretty tired by now and took a moment to sit by the moat and the fountain and rest. I’m very glad that we did as in the few minutes that we spent resting, the light went from dull grey and overcast to a rich golden evening light which really emphasised the colours of the trees and the castle making for some really nice pictures.
After I finished taking pictures of the castle reflected on the water we started to walk around the moat surrounding the castle. On the side we started from the path is paved and neat and wide but as you get to the opposite side, it becomes narrow and muddy and doesn’t look like it is frequently visited by tourists. After all you do have to go past the main entrance to get to this path. I’m not sure why we did go past the main entrance, perhaps we thought it was closed. The narrow path brings you to a rear entrance to the castle grounds which apparently do not close (at least not at the same time as the castle).
The grounds are pretty gardens with plenty of nice trees and flowers and open spaces that look good for having a picnic lunch. The castle itself stands in the corner looming imposingly above the trees. Unfortunately the castle was closed and we could only look at the outside of it. Judging by the signs the castle exhibits are quite interesting and would have been a welcome break from the more sombre subject of the rest of the day. I’m really not sure why this charming place is left off the list of attractions in many guide books.
Tired our from walking all day, we headed back to the hotel to plan what we were going to do with our second day in Hiroshima now that we had apparently seen all the sights on our first.