Mitsuya District Warehouses & Climbing Kiln

Mitsuya District Warehouses & Climbing Kiln


Be transported back to the elegant Taisho Period at Kitakata’s Mitsuya District. Kitakata is famous as being a town of charming red brick kura (Japanese warehouses). The rich texture and distinctive color of the warehouse bricks are an integral part of Kitakata’s townscape.

In the year Meiji 23 (1890), the connecting kilns of Mitsuya District were opened. As well as roof tiles, bricks made here were also painted a deep red color, giving the area a unique atmosphere and classic scenery. The area was registered as an Industrial Modernization Heritage Site by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The large red brick climbing kiln, located inside the Wakana Family's home, is truly a sight to behold. This district has even been written about on the Michelin Travel website.

Venue Details

Venue Details
Websitehttp://www.kitakata-kanko.jp/contact/(Japanese)
Contact

Kitakata Tourism & Local Products Association (+81) 241-24-5200

(+81) 241-24-5200

http://www.kitakata-kanko.jp/contact/

Best SeasonAll Year
Opening Hours

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Entrance Fee200 yen to enter the Wakana Family warehouse
Access Details
AccessClimbing Kiln of Mitsuya (House of the Wakana Family), Hitsukezawa-3567-2, Iwatsuki-machi, Miyatsu, Kitakata City, Fukushima Pref. 966-0002
View directions
Getting there

By Car:

  • 25 min drive from the Aizuwakamatsu I.C. exit off the Ban-etsu Expressway

By Train:

  • 20 min by taxi from Kitakata Station (JR Ban-etsu West Line)
  • 40 min by rental-cycle from Kitakata Station (JR Ban-etsu West Line)

Nearby

The World Glassware Hall
Shopping & Souvenirs

The World Glassware Hall

The World Glassware Hall is located at the foot of Mt. Bandai, by the side of Lake Inawashiro. About 25,000 handmade glassware items, imported directly from countries all over the world, are exhibited and sold at the World Glassware Hall the museum. You can even try your hand at glass etching, or glass blowing. Next to the Glassware Hall is a local beer brewery and a sweets shop. Local Inawashiro beer has received the gold prize in an international beer competition, and can be purchased on site. In the sweets shop, you can try a line up of famous local delicacies.

The World Glassware Hall
Nature & Scenery

Kagamizakura

Kagamizakura is a huge Sargent's cherry located in the Numanotaira area, Yamato-machi, Kitakata City. Numanotaira is also known as the home of one million Fukujusō (vibrant yellow flowers). Rich with nature, the area contains many wildflowers and wild mountain vegetables. The single Sargent’s cherry is located on the edge of a pond called “Kagami Ike” (lit. Mirror Pond). The age of the tree is unknown but it is estimated to be over 100 years old. The trunk consists of dozens of roots growing from the foot of the tree. The tree's branches spread out widely, making it look as if the tree is leaning over toward the pond. When the flowers of the cherry tree blossom, the scenery with the reflection on the surface of the pond is exceptionally beautiful. The dark pink flowers typical of Sargent’s cherry are simply gorgeous.

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Hanitsu Shrine
Historical Sites

Hanitsu Shrine

This shrine is dedicated to Masayuki Hoshina, who founded the Aizu Domain during the first half of the Edo Period. During the early Edo Period, Hoshima Masanobu – an ancestor of feudal lords from the Aizu Domain – was enshrined at Hanitsu Shrine. The grounds exude a holy atmosphere that can be felt throughout the shrine precincts. The 400 years of history held by this shrine, starting from the Edo Period, will surely be of interest to history enthusiasts and fans of the Aizu Domain alike. During the autumn, the grounds are covered with a gorgeous carpet of bright red leaves. Many tourists and photographers come to visit Hanitsu Shrine in Autumn to capture this scene in their photos.

Tsurugajo Castle
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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.

Former Takizawa Honjin
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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.

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.

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