Iwakuni Castle (⍑, Iwakunijō) was built in 1608, at the beginning of the Edo Period. The site of the castle was chosen for its natural defensive advantages on top of Mount Shiroyama and half surrounded by a natural moat, the Nishiki River. The castle keep is four stories high, and looks out onto the city 200 meters below.

Probably a source of considerable frustration for those who built it, the original castle lasted only slightly longer than the time it took to construct it. Being built over the course of five years, the castle was torn down by decree of the shogun a mere seven years after its completion.

The present reconstruction dates from 1962, and has already outlasted the original castle by a considerable factor. It is a ferro-concrete construction and inside displays samurai swords, armor and other items related to the castle's history. There are also displays on Kintaikyo Bridge and other famous bridges across Japan.

Getting there and around

A ropeway provides access to Iwakuni Castle. The ropeway's lower station can be reached in a five minute walk from the Kintaikyo Bridge, while the castle is another five minute walk from the ropeway's upper station.

Buses travel from both Iwakuni Station and Shin-Iwakuni Station to Kintaikyo bus stop. The trip takes 20 minutes and costs 300 yen from Iwakuni Station (buses every 5-15 minutes), or 15 minutes and 350 yen from Shin-Iwakuni Station (1-2 buses per hour).

How to get to and around Iwakuni

Hours and Fees


9:00 to 16:45 (entry until 16:30); on the last weekday of most months, the ropeway does not operate until 14:00


Irregular closures due to ropeway maintenance, including a prolonged annual closure from January 12 to 27, 2021


270 yen (castle only)
560 yen (ropeway round trip)
970 yen (castle, ropeway and Kintaikyo Bridge)

Typical Visit Duration

60 minutes (including ropeway)