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Unique in Fukushima

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. 

Abukuma Cave
Nature & Scenery

Abukuma Cave

A world of mystical beauty created over millions of years, Abukuma Cave is said to have the greatest variety and the largest number of stalactites in the whole of Asia. It takes about an hour to explore the inner world of the cave and the terrain is easy to navigate on foot.Abukuma Cave is a limestone cave that was discovered in 1969. Inside, visitors can walk the 600-meter-long path to explore and view the beautiful cave formations. Visitors can’t help but be impressed by the beauty of these natural creations formed over the course of 80 million years. The largest hall in the cave, called Takine Goten (Takine Hall), and Tsuki no Sekai (The Moon World), is illuminated with dramatic stage lighting and is particularly impressive.Also not to be missed are the rare cave formations called boxwork, you can identify them by their unique shape; thin blades of minerals coming off the walls and ceilings forming a honeycomb or box-like pattern. Abukuma Cave is the only cave in Japan with boxwork that is open to the public. Another notable stop along the cave path is the Christmas Tree and Silver Frost; both are impressive stalagmites that resemble festive holiday trees. The Christmas Tree is over two meters tall and said to be the largest example in all of Asia.There is an additional thrilling adventure course; experience crawling through narrow passages and climbing a ladder to spectacular views over the cave! This 120-meter-long course runs parallel to the main passage, but please note that visitors may have to crawl on their hands and knees at times.When you have finished exploring the mysterious depths and come back to the surface you can find plenty of restaurants and souvenir shops. Visit from mid-June to July to see the neighbouring hillside covered in 50,000 lavender plants.

Miharu Takizakura
Nature & Scenery

Miharu Takizakura

Miharu is a small town in central Fukushima Prefecture. The town’s name means “three springs” and it is easy to see how it got such a name. With cherry, plum, and peach trees blossoming in spectacular displays every spring, it is almost as if spring has tripled! But the most famous of the trees in Miharu is the Miharu Takizakura tree, which is a nationally recognized Natural Monument.Over ten centuries old, the beautiful Miharu Takizakura is a flowering cherry tree that spreads out in all directions and makes for a breathtaking vista. The cascading blankets of blossoms are how this tree got the name takizakura, or “waterfall cherry tree.” It is even one of the “three great cherry trees” of Japan (along with Usuzumizakura in Gifu and the Jindaizakura in Yamanashi Prefecture).Miharu Takizakura sits in a sakura hollow in order to protect it from the elements while providing excellent drainage. The heavy boughs of the tree are supported by wooden beams and lend to its elegant form. The Miharu Takizakura begins blooming from mid-April. During the day the sight is whimsical, but visit in the evening and you’ll be treated to an almost haunting beauty as the tree is illuminated.Aside from this huge cherry tree (over 12 meters tall and 18 to 22 meters in spread), the area is also blessed with various wildflowers, including cherry and rapeseed flowers. But, of course, the Miharu Takizakura is what the annual 200,000 visitors are there to see. The view from the base of the sakura is considered to be the most beautiful and the Miharu Takizakura often ranks as the best sakura tree in all of Japan.

Ouchi-juku Snow Festival
Events

Ouchi-juku Snow Festival

Ouchi-juku’s rows of thatched-roof houses (which date back to the Edo Period) are transformed into a winter wonderland during Ouchi-juku Snow Festival, which takes place every February. Bright white snow falls and slowly builds up, as candles burn bright in snow lanterns, bathing the old post town in warm light. Various events are held during the two-day festival, the highlight being the fireworks on the first evening.----------------------------Snow Festival Schedule for 2024Getting to Ouchi-juku BY LOCAL TRAIN & BUS 2024:Download in PDF:Ouchi-juku Snow Festival 2024 The Event Scedule & The Special Schedule for Public Transportation Note added on January 9, 2024.We checked with the bus company that operates the Saruyugo Bus to see if reservations can be made. They are accepting reservations through their reservation website or by phone. Reservations have priority. The reservation site was only in the Japanese language, so we strongly recommend that you use the translation function to make reservations.Saruyugo Bus Reservationhttp://london-taxi.jp/saruyu_reserve/

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