I already knew that the main tower of the castle was gone, because I hadn't seen it from Hakushima the day before, but now I saw that the entire castle had disappeared without a trace. Not even the turrets or front gate survived. Only the moat and the stone foundation remained, presenting a pathetic sight.
Toyofumi Ogura - Letters from the End of the World.
As it got dark I walked over the moat to Hiroshima Castle, the five-storey concrete reconstruction of a fortification that had stood since 1599. There were stone ruins nearby which I took to be the remains of a feudal donjon but turned out to be the foundations of a military barracks, all that was left of the Imperial General Headquarters. A party of Australian teenagers stood by the door, debating the entrance fee.
I crossed what was the West Parade Ground. There was a gold embossed shrine and an A-bombed willow tree, split evenly at the base. An elderly man dressed all in white jogged slowly round the moat.