難波の南蛮、戎橋の夷。

Hiroshima 2- Lordly Trappings

Hiroshima’s geography is a little different from other Japanese cities I’ve visited.  For instance, Osaka sits on a plain with a slight, but visually apparent, shelf-like incline towards the sea, with the straight and easily navigable Yodo River connecting it to Kyoto further inland.  Kyoto sits in a valley basin right at the confluence of two rivers that flow from the mountains.  Kobe sits on a very narrow, steeply inclined ribbon of land between the Rokko mountains and the sea.

Hiroshima, though, sits right on a river delta that fans through the city, filling downtown with myriad channels of water and fingers of land, rather than a single river channel.  Furthermore, the edges of the city are dotted with little round mountains and hills.  It’s a very complex landscape.

Hiroshima Castle sits a bit up the delta, in the northeast corner of downtown.

The castle burned down in the nuclear attack, and was restored in the 1950s. It's now a museum detailing the history of the city, castle, and the confusing succession of lordly families that controlled it.

From the top, one can get a bit more perspective on the city.  Hiroshima is a truly major city, but like most Japanese cities, it isn’t very built up vertically, with only a handful of high-rises.

Looking south to the harbor

Roughly east, in the direction of the main train station

North to the suburbs and mountainous inlands

Roughly west, to what looks like a dense residential district

A bit to the east is Shukkei-en, the 18th century garden estate of the Asano lords.  It’s a relatively small plot, but endlessly faceted and layered with details.

fisk.

When the city was bombed, Shukkei-en was used as a mass grave before being restored.  In a place like this, I can only assume the dead sleep well.

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2 responses

  1. lordkelvin54

    How I loved that afternoon. The garden was full of spirits.

    April 3, 2012 at 1:02 PM

  2. Pingback: Return to Himeji- The Keep Unveiled | perihele

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