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.
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.
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.
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.