Former Takizawa Honjin

Former Takizawa Honjin

This honjin served as a rest house used by daimyo lords when they traveled to Edo (Tokyo) as part of the Sankin-kōtai system of alternate attendance, or when they conducted inspection tours. During the Boshin War, Domain Lord Matsudaira Katamori took command and the Byakkotai defended their city. The building still has sword marks and bullet holes from the war. The Former Takizawa Honjin is recognized as a nationally-designated Important Cultural Property.

Venue Details

Venue Details
Websitehttps://aizuwakamatsu.mylocal.jp/en/trip/spot-list/-/spotdetail/spotinfo/1000000011/3999496
Contact

Former Takizawa Honjin

(+81) 242-22-8525

Best SeasonAll Year
Opening Hours

8:00 am - 5:00 pm (Winter: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm). Reservations are needed to visit in winter.

ParkingNone
Entrance FeeAdults: 300 yen / Children: 100 yen - 250 yen depending on age
Access Details
Access122 Takizawa, Ikki-machi, Aizu-Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture.
View directions
Getting there

By Car: 15 min drive from the Aizuwakamatsu I.C. exit off the Ban-etsu Expressway.

By Bus: Take the Haikara-san or Akabe city loop bus from Aizuwakamatsu Station (JR Ban-etsu West Line) to Iimoriyama-shita bus stop, then walk for 5 min.

Nearby

The World Glassware Hall
Museums & Galleries

Morohashi Museum of Modern Art

This museum, which opened in June 1999, is located a short walk from the Goshiki-numa Ponds, which is one of the most scenic spots in Fukushima Prefecture. Morohashi Museum of Modert Art houses a collection of about 350 of the works of Salvador Dali, the master Spanish surrealist artist, including paintings, prints, and sculptures, as well as about 40 works by such impressionist and post-impressionist artists as Cézanne, Renoir, Chagall, Picasso, and Van Gogh. About 100 works out of this collection are on permanent exhibition, including 37 works of sculpture by Dali. The scale of this collection is unparalleled in the world and really is worth seeing.

The World Glassware Hall
Historical Sites

Shingu Kumano Shrine Nagatoko

Built in 1055, the Nagatoko is Shingu Kumano Shrine's worship hall and translates to “long floor”. It is designated as a Nationally Important Cultural Asset. Built as the main structure during the Heian period to the Kamakura period, its thatched roof is supported by 44 massive pillars, each one 45 cm in diameter. This comprises a single large, open stage with no walls, and is said to have been used for ascetic training by priests, as well as kagura dance festivals. Housed inside a nearby large wooden frame is the shrine bell, which visitors to the shrine are welcome to hit with the wooden rod. There is also a famous copper pot where, allegedly, rice was rinsed before being offered to the gods; it was designated as an Important Cultural Property in 1959. This treasure is housed at the shrine along with many others and are on display for visitors along with national and prefectural designated cultural assets. Also not to be missed in the lion statue in the center of the treasure hall. It is known as a guardian of wisdom and there is a local legend that says if you can pass under the belly of the lion your own wisdom will blossom. It’s a popular place for students to visit before the exam season, and even politicians before election season. Come autumn, the magnificent 800-year-old ginkgo tree is bathed in yellow and makes a beautiful contrast with the Nagatoko. This ancient tree has also been designated as a Natural Monument of Kitakata City. in November of every year, you can even see a special illumination of the ginkgo tree for a limited time.

The World Glassware Hall
Historical Sites

Mt. Iimoriyama

Located less than 4km from Tsurugajo Castle in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima, Mt. Iimoriyama has had a difficult and somewhat dark past. But despite it’s history, the natural beauty of the place remains untarnished. There are many local food stalls set up near the base of the hill, so it’s a good idea to have a snack before you begin the ascent up the stone steps. Also at the bottom is the Byakkotai Memorial Hall; it’s located next to the path up the mountain so it’s easy to find. Inside, guests can observe various artifacts of war and learn about some of Aizu's history. Visitors have two choices to get to the top of the hill: hike up the 183 steps to the summit for free; or pay 250 yen to ride the escalator up (150 yen for children). At the summit stand the nineteen graves of the Byakkotai, White Tiger Corps. The story of these young teenage samurai-in-the-making is legendary in Aizu-Wakamatsu City, and all around this prefecture. The Byakkotai boys were part of the defence against the military forces sweeping through the country during the 1868 civil war. They remained loyal to the leader of their domain and Shogun. On an autumn day during the one-month-long siege on their city, the boys had retreated to Mt. Iimoriyama. From the top of this hill, they caught sight of what they assumed to be Tsurugajo Castle set on fire - a sure sign that the war was lost. In response, they did what they had been taught was the honourable course of action, and took their own lives. In fact, the castle had not been set on fire, and the war was not yet lost. One boy was unsuccessful in his attempt, and was saved by a local woman traversing the hills. His life was saved and his story has become the history we know today. Visitors to Mt. Iimoriyama can stand in the same spot as the boys looking out over the city, or pay respects at the various memorials. The gravesite at the top of Mt. Iimoriyama was built in remembrance of those nineteen boys. Their story resonated with the leaders of the Axis Powers of World War II; near the gravesite are two historic landmarks donated by Nazi Germany and Italy. Down the northern side of the mountain are Uga-shindo, a shrine built in the late seventeenth century which deified a white snake as a god of abundance and fertility. There is also a lovely temple shaped like a turban shell, Sazaedo Temple, that visitors can actually go inside.

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Mt. Iimoriyama
Historical Sites

Mt. Iimoriyama

Located less than 4km from Tsurugajo Castle in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima, Mt. Iimoriyama has had a difficult and somewhat dark past. But despite it’s history, the natural beauty of the place remains untarnished. There are many local food stalls set up near the base of the hill, so it’s a good idea to have a snack before you begin the ascent up the stone steps. Also at the bottom is the Byakkotai Memorial Hall; it’s located next to the path up the mountain so it’s easy to find. Inside, guests can observe various artifacts of war and learn about some of Aizu's history. Visitors have two choices to get to the top of the hill: hike up the 183 steps to the summit for free; or pay 250 yen to ride the escalator up (150 yen for children). At the summit stand the nineteen graves of the Byakkotai, White Tiger Corps. The story of these young teenage samurai-in-the-making is legendary in Aizu-Wakamatsu City, and all around this prefecture. The Byakkotai boys were part of the defence against the military forces sweeping through the country during the 1868 civil war. They remained loyal to the leader of their domain and Shogun. On an autumn day during the one-month-long siege on their city, the boys had retreated to Mt. Iimoriyama. From the top of this hill, they caught sight of what they assumed to be Tsurugajo Castle set on fire - a sure sign that the war was lost. In response, they did what they had been taught was the honourable course of action, and took their own lives. In fact, the castle had not been set on fire, and the war was not yet lost. One boy was unsuccessful in his attempt, and was saved by a local woman traversing the hills. His life was saved and his story has become the history we know today. Visitors to Mt. Iimoriyama can stand in the same spot as the boys looking out over the city, or pay respects at the various memorials. The gravesite at the top of Mt. Iimoriyama was built in remembrance of those nineteen boys. Their story resonated with the leaders of the Axis Powers of World War II; near the gravesite are two historic landmarks donated by Nazi Germany and Italy. Down the northern side of the mountain are Uga-shindo, a shrine built in the late seventeenth century which deified a white snake as a god of abundance and fertility. There is also a lovely temple shaped like a turban shell, Sazaedo Temple, that visitors can actually go inside.

Tsurugajo Castle
Historical Sites

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.

Maezawa L-shaped Farmhouses
Historical Sites

Maezawa L-shaped Farmhouses

The deep snows of the Aizu region meant that, in the past, cut off from other areas for months at a time, its residents had to use all their wits just to make it through the winters. These L-shaped farmhouses known as "magariya" conceal a number of the innovations developed by this local people. As you can see in the layout of the house, the long earth floor stretches out towards the road. Long ago, horses were indispensable in farming, but the deep snow of winter meant that keeping them tied up in external stables was cruel. Therefore, stables were built into the house, meaning that the unfloored working area inevitably became larger. Having this area far from the road made getting to the road through the snow more difficult, as up to a meter can fall overnight. Accordingly, with the aim of reducing work, locating this working area as close as feasible to the road ended up with the house being laid out in an L-shape. Many of these houses were built in Maezawa and throughout Tateiwa Village, as a way of living with horses in the deep snows of the Aizu region. The houses have become more and more comfortable over time, with the "magariya" design lasting until the present day. While this magariya-style farmhouse used to be built everywhere that saw heavy snow, they are gradually disappearing. Accordingly, the Maezawa magariya have been designated as historical cultural assets. In 1985, the village began actively preserving these houses, and this area now attracts many visitors. One of the magariya buildings have been repurposed into a museum in the village where visitors can learn about life in Maezawa.

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