Fukuyama Castle (R, Fukyamajō) is a castle on a low hill right across Fukuyama Station. It was originally constructed in 1622 under the command of the cousin of Tokugawa Ieyasu, but its current main keep is a ferro-concrete, postwar reconstruction.

The castle was one of the last ones to be completed in the Edo Period, and was used as a base to protect western Japan. It was abandoned and its buildings demolished in 1873 after the Meiji Restoration. The ruins were further destroyed by the air raids during World War II. The current main keep dates to 1966 and contains a museum displaying the history of the city and castle. Like in most castles in Japan, visitors can enjoy panoramic views from the top floor.

View from the castle's top floor

The spacious park that surrounds the main keep turns into an attractive cherry blossom spot typically around early April and also hosts multiple museums:

The Hiroshima Prefectural Museum of History focuses on how inhabitants of the Seto Inland Sea region lived through the ages and provides an excellent overview into Japan during the feudal period. A large part of the permanent exhibition is devoted to Kusado Sengen, an excavated port town in Fukuyama City. A life-size reconstruction of part of the town and displays of unearthed objects give an insight into the lives of the town's former inhabitants and the tools they used.

Life-size model of the houses in Kusado Sengen

A stone's throw away from the history museum is the Fukuyama Museum of Art, a two story building with a handful of sculptures both inside and outside. The permanent collection showcases artwork by local Fukuyama artists as well as those from around the region, in addition to modern and contemporary art by both domestic and international artists. The sitting areas in the museum have large panel windows that allow for views of the small garden outside and Fukuyama Castle on the hill behind .

The Fukuyama Museum of Literature is housed in an elegantly modern, low building. On the second floor is the permanent exhibition which introduces authors who are from Fukuyama or have connections to the city, principally Ibuse Masuji, author of "Black Rain" which is based on the destruction caused by the bombing in Hiroshima during World War II. There is no English available at the museum, and Japanese skills are required to appreciate the exhibition.

Museum of Art with Fukuyama Castle in the background

Access

Fukuyama Castle Park is located immediately north of Fukuyama Station.

How to get to and around Fukuyama

Hours & Fees

Fukuyama Castle

Hours

9:00 to 17:00 (until 18:30 from April to August); admission ends 30 minutes before closing

Closed

Monday (following day if Monday is a national holiday), December 28-31

Admission

200 yen

Typical Visit Duration

20 to 30 minutes

English

None

Hiroshima Prefectural Museum of History

Hours

9:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30)

Closed

No closing days

Admission

290 yen

Typical Visit Duration

30 to 60 minutes

English

Minimal

Fukuyama Museum of Art

Hours

9:30 to 17:00

Closed

Monday (following day if Monday is a national holiday), New Year holidays

Admission

300 yen (permanent collection), fee for temporary exhibitions varies

Typical Visit Duration

30 to 60 minutes

Fukuyama Museum of Literature

Hours

9:30 to 17:00 (entry until 16:30)

Closed

Monday (following day if Monday is a national holiday), New Year holidays

Admission

300 yen

Typical Visit Duration

20 to 40 minutes

English

None