Iwakuni was formerly the castle town of the Iwakuni han and the rebuilt castle stands atop a hill as a reminder of the city's heritage. The Kikkawa clan ruled the han during the Edo period. The han was originally assessed at 30 thousand koku, and later, 60 thousand.
Iwakuni Station on the Sanyo Main Line is in the center of the city. Other stations on that line are Minami Iwakuni, Fuju, and Tsuzu. The JR Gantoku Line links Iwakuni Station to Tokuyama (since 2003 merged into Shunan) and points beyond, and serves Nishi Iwakuni, Kawanishi and Hashirano stations within the Iwakuni.
The Nishikigawa Railway Seiryu Line has six stations in Iwakuni, including Kawanishi Station.
The Sanyo Highway carries automobile traffic to and from Iwakuni. National highways 2, 187, 188 and 189 bring local traffic to nearby cities.
Kikko Park is also home to a sanctuary for white snakes. These snakes are found only in Iwakuni, and have been designated as special national treasures by the Japanese government. The white snake is a symbol of Benten, the Japanese goddess of wealth. The white snake is considered a sign of good luck in Japan.
In early spring, the sight of cherry blossoms along the Nishiki river is unforgettable. Traditional cormorant fishing can be seen on the river in the summertime. The reconstructed Iwakuni Castle, as well as the preserved temples and buildings at the foot of the hill, provide a glimpse into old Japan. Iwakuni Castle is situated at the top of a small mountain, and can be reached on foot or by cable car. The castle contains a history museum. The castle area also offers a large number of trails for hiking and exercise.
Visitors to Iwakuni may also wish to sample the town's special local version of sushi, which is made in a square mold.
Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni is an air station of the United States Marine Corps. The goal of MCAS Iwakuni is to create peaceful links of friendship between the visiting nation and the host country.