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
Nature & Scenery

Urabandai Highlands

The Urabandai highlands of northern Fukushima Prefecture, are situated at an altitude of 800 meters and surrounded by Mt. Bandai, Mt. Adatara, and Mt. Azuma. The highlands were created by Mt. Bandai erupting in 1888. Urabandai is part of Bandai Asahi National Park and offers a variety of seasonal attractions. Cool weather in summer and deep snow in winter make Urabandai a perfect place for both indoor and outdoor enjoyment. About 300 lakes and ponds, including the Goshiki-numa Ponds and Lake Hibara, are scattered across Urabandai. The harmonious beauty of nature created by the abundant woodlands and lakes will certainly touch the hearts of all visitors.

The World Glassware Hall
Historical Sites

Aizu Hanko Nisshinkan

Aizu Hanko Nisshinkan was the highest level of learning institution of its time. It was established in 1803 by the Aizu Domain for the purpose of fostering Japan's next generation of talented samurais. Children of samurai families entered this school at the age of ten and worked on academic studies and physical exercises to instill both physical and mental discipline. The property, covering about 26,500 square meters in area, used to house such facilities as a martial arts training hall, an astronomical observatory, and Suiren-Suiba Ike, Japan's oldest swimming pool. During the late Edo Period, the school turned out a great deal of excellent talent, including the legendary group of young warriors, the Byakkotai. The facilities, which were burned down during the Boshin War, have been rebuilt faithful to their original design, and now function as a hands-on museum that features exhibits of the magnificent architecture of Edo Period and dioramas of school life as it used to be. Visitors can enjoy practicing some of essential disciplines of the samurai,including tea ceremony, Japanese archery, meditation, and horseback riding, as well as experiencing hand painting of an akabeko (redcow), a traditional good-luck charm of Aizu.

The World Glassware Hall
Historical Sites

The Grave of the Matsudaira Family

The gravesite was constructed in 1657 when Masayori, the heir of the first Aizu lord Hoshina Masayuki, passed away. Tombs for the second lord Masatsune through the ninth lord Takamori, as well as their wives and children, stand side by side. A Buddhist funeral was conducted for the second lord, but the Shinto style was used for all the other lords. This gravesite is one of Japan’s top daimyo family graves, and is known for its history and scale. The Grave of the Matsudaira Family has also been nationally recognized as an Important Historic Site.

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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.

Sazaedo Temple
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Sazaedo Temple

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Isasumi Shrine
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Isasumi Shrine

Aizu Misato Town’s historic Isasumi Shrine, known as a great spot for viewing beautiful irises, holds a festival to celebrate the splendor of these flowers every year. Isasumi Shrine's history is thought to be connected to how the Aizu region got its name - a story that has been recorded in two of Japan’s most legendary books of folklore. According to the tale, around 2000 years ago, four shogun were entrusted with uniting the four areas of land which would become Japan. Two of these shogun happened to be father and son. One was sent to the north-east, and the other to the north-west. When the father and son had completed their work uniting the towns in their respective areas, they met in the middle. They named the area “Aizu” (会津), which can be translated as “The riverbank (津) where we met (会)”. The father and son travelled to Mt. Mikagura-dake, a mountain that borders Niigata Prefecture and Aizu, and prayed to the shinto god of pioneering new lands to protect Aizu, and the rest of Japan. Isasumi Shrine is thought to be built where they met. In spring, the shrine grounds become decorated with the blossoms of one of the most prized cherry trees in Aizu. It is said that this tree, which is named Usuzumi Sakura (“Diluted-Ink Sakura”), has been the sacred tree of Isasumi Shrine since it was brought down from Mt. Mikagura-dake and planted in the shrine grounds as a way of commemorating the efforts of the father and son. The lovely, light scent of the cherry blossom welcomes visitors each spring.

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