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Unique in Fukushima

Shiramizu Amidado Temple
History & Culture

Shiramizu Amidado Temple

Shiramizu Amidado Temple (Amitabha Hall) was constructed in 1160 by Princess Tokuhime of the Oushu Fujiwara clan, which built the "golden culture" in Oushu (the present Tohoku Region). It is the only building in Fukushima Prefecture that has been designated as a national treasure. Inside the hall stands a wooden statue of Amida Nyorai as well as a number of other Buddhist statues such as Kannon Bosatsu, Seishi Bosatsu, Jikoku Tenno, and Tamon Tenno.The garden, called Jodo Teien (Jodo, or "the pure land", is the Buddhist paradise) is a realm of natural beauty in every season. The scenery is especially breathtaking in summer when the lotus flowers are in bloom, prompting one famous writer to liken the garden to a mythical paradise.

Tsurugajo Castle
History & Culture

Tsurugajo Castle

Tsurugajo Castle allows visitors the opportunity to experience history, nature, and tradition with all five senses.Despite being mostly reconstructed, the surrounding park's stone walls remain in their original state. In 2010, for the first time since it was refurbished in 1965, the castle underwent a cosmetic restoration. Following completion in 2011, the same red-tile roofs seen by the Byakkotai (during the Boshin War and finals days of the Tokugawa shogunate) are now displayed for all to see.This castle is one of the final strongholds of samurai that remained loyal to the shogunate and today stands as a symbol of courage and faithfulness.Within the castle tower's museum, the swords and armor of the castle’s successive lords are on display. Visitors can watch a CG-enhanced theatrical video reflecting on the great history of Aizu.In addition to the historical atmosphere surrounding Tsurugajo, visitors can sense the changes that have occurred throughout history, thanks to the engaging and informative museum within the castle walls. It’s fun to gaze across Aizu from the fifth floor, like a feudal lord admiring his domain—the viewing platform up here provides panoramic views taking in Mt. Bandai and Mt. Iimoriyama.The castle is also a must-see in the springtime when approximately 1,000 cherry trees offer a magnificent display within the castle's grounds.When you’re in the mood for a rest, visit the Rinkaku Tea Rooms for some freshly-prepared matcha green tea. This tea house on the grounds of Tsurugajo was vital in the spread of this traditional art—and had it been destroyed during the Meiji Restoration, tea ceremony as it is known in Japan might have vanished.Tsurugajo Castle is truly a place where the modern visitor can slip into the past and become immersed in history. 

Komine Castle
History & Culture

Komine Castle

Shirakawa Castle (Komine Castle) was heavily damaged during the Boshin War (also known as the Meiji Restoration), and was restored in the 1990s.Komine Castle's restoration marked the first time in over 120 years that a restoration had been attempted on a triple turret (yagura) structure. Blueprints from the late Edo Period were used as references for the repair of this structure.As a result of using these blueprints, it was possible to restore the castle almost exclusively using wood construction techniques. This amazing architecture, along with the extraordinary techniques used to make the stone wall around the castle, make this castle extremely special. There is also an exhibition hall on site.

The Warehouses of Kitakata
History & Culture

The Warehouses of Kitakata

In the Meiji and Taisho eras, Kitakata City experienced a boom in the construction of kura (traditional Japanese storehouses). There are approximately 4,200 still left in the city today. While these were used both as storehouses for businesses in the brewing and lacquerware industries, the building of a kura has traditionally been considered among Kitakata locals as a great symbol of status, and a source of pride.In the Mitsuya District, the rows of brick storehouses are reminiscent of rural Europe, whereas in the Sugiyama district, they have roofs that take the appearance of helmets. Visitors can see a range of kura and other traditional buildings at Kitakata Kura-no-Sato museum, or enjoy exploring the kura of the city on foot or by bike.See here for a 1 day itinerary for visiting Kitakata City.Check out a map of the kura located around Kitakata City.

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