Kuimaru Elementary School

Kuimaru Elementary School

Kuimaru Elementary School is a historic Japanese school that was built during the Showa era of Japan, making it over 80 years old!

 

In the 1980s, a modern elementary school was built nearby, leaving this old school house abandoned. Fortunately, this building was preserved and converted into a museum. It happens to be one of only a handful of old fashioned schools left standing in Japan!

 

Here you can explore the old school grounds including a large ginkgo tree that is over 100 years old. A long standing symbol of the school. In Autumn (early to mid-November) the leaves turn a beautiful golden yellow, and when they fall, the school yard is carpeted in these golden leaves.

 

The school building has undergone some light renovations, but the charm of this old building has been beautifully preserved. Inside the building you can wander through the halls and explore the classrooms, you can sit at the little wooden desks, page through some old textbooks and imagine what it would have been like to be a student here around 80 years ago!

 

Fun fact: The school building was once used as a filming location for the 2013 movie Hameln (ハーメルン).

 

After you explore the school if you are feeling a bit hungry, there is a café next door called “Soba Café SCHOLA” that serves 100% buckwheat noodles (soba noodles) as well as other dishes created with 100% buckwheat (soba) flour. These dishes are naturally gluten-free and delicious.

Venue Details

Venue Details
Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/kuimarusho
Contact

0241-57-2124

Best SeasonAll Year
Opening Hours

Open Wednesday through Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Monday and Tuesday

ParkingFree
Access Details
Access〒968-0212 Fukushima, Onuma District, Showa, Kuimaru, 宮前1374
View directions
Getting there

By Car: From Aizu-Wakamatsu you will drive along scenic mountain roads for a little over an hour to reach the historic Kuimaru Elementary School.

By Public Transportation: From Aizu-Wakamatsu Station you can ride the train along the JR Tadami Line which turns into the scenic Aizu Local Train Line after a few stops. There is no transfer, so you will stay on the train until you reach Aizu-Kawaguchi Station. When you exit the train, locate the Oashi Line (大芦線) bus bound for Oashi (大芦), then ride the bus to the Kuimarushimo stop. From here it is about a 3-minute walk to the historic Kuimaru Elementary School.

(You can buy a ticket at Aizu-Wakamatsu station, I recommend purchasing a discounted Aizu area combination train and bus pass for a day or two so that you can explore the area. For more information on what deals are running during your visit: please contact us by email or through our social media platforms, or ask the staff when you arrive at Aizu-Wakamatsu station.)

Nearby

The World Glassware Hall
Hot Springs

Yunokami Onsen

Yunokami Onsen is famous for having one of the only thatched roof station buildings in Japan. The hot spring area is fed from 8 source springs. Each ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) in the town draws its hot water directly from the source. The clear, transparent water is beloved for being soft and gentle on the skin. Many lodges offer just day-use of their baths, making it a great place to enjoy on a whim. There is also a public foot bath located at Yunokami Onsen Station. During the cherry blossom season, visitors can enjoy a warm foot bath while watching the light pink petals fluttering in the wind.

The World Glassware Hall
Nature & Scenery

Kannon-numa Forest Park

Kannon-numa Forest Park (観音沼森林公園) is a picturesque natural area in the Minamiaizu District of Southern Fukushima Prefecture.A wide variety of vegetation, flowers, and birds can be found at Kannon-numa Forest Park. There are nine walking trails, each offering unique sights. The main trail covers about 1.2 km and goes around the Kannon-numa swamp, which is one of the main highlights of the park. The park becomes transformed in each season, with cherry blossoms in spring and hydrangeas in the summer, and it is particularly popular with visitors during the autumn. The colorful trees reflected on the swamp’s waters make for a lovely sight, making it one of the main autumn attractions in the area. The best time to visit to see the autumn foliage is typically from late October to early November. There is also a shrine, Dake Kannondo, believed to have been built over 1,000 years ago.Located about 35 minutes from Ouchi-juku by car, this park is the perfect place to bask in the natural wonders of Shimogo Town. 

The World Glassware Hall
Nature & Scenery

Oze National Park

Oze is home to a plethora of beautiful flowers. These include the Asian skunk cabbage that blossoms in the marshes as the snow melts, and the bright yellow of the Nikko Kisuge, which is reflected in the marshes just when the surrounding mountains become green. The nature of Oze is symbolized by its beautiful flowers, and together with the mountains, lakes, marshes, rivers, forests, and wildlife that lives in this region, create a stunning sight. Chozo Hirano opened up the area around 100 years ago, and because of the protection of its magnificent nature up until now, Oze has become a symbol of nature conservation in Japan. The beautiful nature of Oze presents a different face throughout the seasons, and all continue to charm us. Key points of the sightseeing spot/ recommended points for tours:  In order to both preserve the precious nature of Oze, and to be able to come face-to-face with its splendor, we recommend that you visit on weekdays, and take your time to encounter the nature of Oze. Oze has the Ozenuma Visitor Center and the Oze-Yamanohana Visitor Center as locations from which you can both appreciate Oze's nature, and learn about the environment. At the visitor center, you can learn from displays that explain in an easy-to-understand the formation of the nature in Oze, points to see, and the most up-to-date information about the natural environment. This lets you more fully enjoy the appeal of the nature of Oze.Visits are even more enjoyable when you know more; therefore we recommend visits with a guide who can tell you more about the nature and charm of Oze. We urge visitors to make use of the certified guides who have a wealth of knowledge about Oze's nature, culture, and history, and who can ensure your visit is safe.

You might also like

Maezawa L-shaped Farmhouses
History & Culture

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.

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. 

Isasumi Shrine
History & Culture

Isasumi Shrine

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 northeast, and the other to the northwest.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.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.

Top