Iwakuni: another day, another daytrip

Iwakuni view
After leaving Kochi, I was back on the road to the main island. Shikoku was done and dusted (sort-of, I still want to explore more) — and I went to my Japanese family in Hiroshima. It was so lovely to be welcomed back into their home and feel a bit homey. I’d missed that a bit.

Last time I was in Hiroshima, I was there for a week and I explored the whole city. This time I had only 3 days in Hiroshima, and it was the weekend, so me and my Japanese mom and dad went road trippin’ for a few days! Today I’m looking back to the scorching hot day in Iwakuni!

Iwakuni is a castle town in the Yamaguchi prefecture. It’s shaped by two eras of military presence — the samurai who walked the mighty Kintai-kyo bridge, and the U.S. Marine Corps base in the city today. It’s very rich in history, and has beautiful, lush surroundings. (read more)

Iwakuni above
The Kintai-kyo bridge is definitely worth a visit. It’s a beautiful wooden bridge with 5 arches. Originally this long, magnificent bridge could only be crossed by samurai. These days, the river it spans has been reduced to a trickle, and anyone willing to fork over the admission can go back and forth as they please. The 210m original was built in 1673 using only wood, but the present structure is a 1953 reconstruction — as with much of Iwakuni.

Iwakuni bridgeeIwakuni sushi
We had Iwakuni style sushi for lunch, and I almost burst from eating too much. But dammit, cold soba when it’s so hot out is brilliant!

Iwakuni iris Iwakuni cute posters Iwakuni family
We walked around the Kikko park on our way to the cable car which would take us up the mountain towards the castle. It was starting to get season for the Japanese iris to bloom!

Iwakuni cute kids

Iwakuni greens

What I thought was really funny about this castle is that, although the original castle only stood for seven years, there was excuse enough for a reconstruction during the 1960s. And what’s better: the foundations of the original lie a short distance behind the new one. You can walk up there. Apparently the builders decided to move it closer to the cliff for scenic purposes. And to that, tip my hat. Well done, Japan!

Iwakuni set Iwakuni museum piece Iwakuni museum piecess
Inside the castle is a little museum located, and the scenic views were definitely there!

Iwakuni views Iwakuni under the bridge

Although we got to Iwakuni by car, you can reach this town easily by train. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area, and I think I’d recommend visiting in spring or autumn as the hanami-game is strong in Iwakuni, but it looked fabulous on the leaflets in autumn. Though, of course, luck should be a little on your side.

Iwakuni Hiroshima
For dinner we went back to Hiroshima, as we were all bit rosy-cheeked and happy to have some Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki and a nice, large beer. :)

Iwakuni day dinner

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