A peaceful town famous for cherry blossoms and a one-of-a-kind wooden arch bridge
Close to Hiroshima ) and Miyakojima, the castle town of Iwakuni has some distinctive features. The beautiful, seasonal flower gardens of Kikko Park , the soaring arches of Kintaikyo Bridge , impressive views from Iwakuni Castle and the unique sacred white snakes of Iwakuni make it a rewarding destination to visit.
- The striking five-arched Kintai Bridge
- Iwakuni Castle and views from Mt. Shiroyama
- Eating Iwakunizushi, local pressed sushi
How to Get There
Reach Iwakuni via local train, Shinkansen bullet train, or via airport.
The Sanyo Shinkansen stops at Shin-Iwakuni Station. The trip from Shin-Yamaguchi Station takes about half an hour, or about 15 minutes from Hiroshima Station. Alternatively, hop on a local train on the Sanyo Main Line to Iwakuni Station. Travel time from Hiroshima is 50 minutes. The two stations are located at opposite sides of the city, so be sure to check your final destination before you travel. By air, it takes about 90 minutes from Haneda Airport to Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport.
A marvel of engineering
Kintaikyo Bridge , with its unique five-arched design, spans the Nishiki River. An enchanting sight in any season, the bridge is particularly stunning in early April when thousands of cherry blossoms bloom along the banks of the river and in nearby Kikko Park .
A commanding castle view
Hike or ride the convenient Iwakunijo Ropeway up to the impressive Iwakuni Castle . Visit the castle museum with samurai armor and artifacts and admire the views across the city from the top floor.
Built in homage to the original castle constructed here in 1608, this 1962 reconstruction captures the essence of the original. See the ruins of the former Iwakuni Castle at this site.
When you head back down, make sure to stop off at Kashiwabara Art Museum, where you'll find interesting exhibitions concerning the lives of local samurai, and the armor they wore. The authenticity of the museum's take on samurai history is underscored by their title for this part of their exhibits: Life and Death Culture.
History and beauty at Kikko Park
A popular site for cherry blossom viewing in spring, Kikko Park is a park with castle ruins remiscent of the Edo period (1603–1867). This calm garden offers not only tranquility but also provides a fascinating insight into local history.
There's much to keep visitors entertained, including three museums, and two former samurai dwellings which can be viewed from outside.
The mystical white snakes of Iwakuni
Iwakuni is home to a rare type of white snake, known as shirohebi. Designated as a Natural Monument of Japan, Iwakuni has been able to breed albino versions of the snakes. The snakes were revered as guardian deities, and it was believed that shirohebi would bring good luck. Find out more at the White Snake Museum, near Kintaikyo Bridge .
The special sushi of Iwakuni
Iwakunizushi is a particular type of pressed sushi made in a distinctive square shape. Layered like a cake, the sushi is filled with colorful ingredients such as cut fish, chrysanthemum leaves, lotus root, sliced egg and shiitake mushrooms.
Iwakuni has also recently become a famous spot for ice cream, with several shops around Kintai Bridge selling an unbelievable variety of flavors, including sakura, green tea, and limited-edition seasonal flavors. It's the perfect way to finish off your trip to the area.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.
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