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
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.

The World Glassware Hall
Nature & Scenery

Tatsuzawa Fudo Falls

Breathe in the cool, crisp negative ion air and relax under the shade of trees as you marvel at the beauty of the Tatsuzawa Fudo Falls. Two waterfalls make up the Tatsuzawa Fudo Falls; Odaki is considered the male fall and is the larger of the two (16 m tall), while the smaller of the two is considered female and called Medaki. The sight is indeed lovely to behold as the silvery waterfalls over the rocks below. The Tatsuzawa Fudo Falls are located in Inawashiro Town and are beautiful year-round. These falls are also a treasure for photographers because of how serene they are surrounded by nature on all sides. In spring and summer, the lush greenery makes the whole forest feel alive; in autumn, the vibrant colors of the leaves reflect off the water and give it a painterly feel. With proper snow equipment, you can even visit in winter and see the stark contrast falls against the white snow. The drive up to the falls is only 15 minutes from central Inawashiro Town, and there’s a small parking lot about a 10-minute hike from the falls. The walk itself is easy and smooth. You’ll first pass Lady Medaki before arriving at the main Odaki falls. And with maple trees framing the waterfall just perfectly, you’ll want to be sure to remember your camera and perhaps a tripod as well. There is even nearby onsen for you to stay and relax afterward. So why not visit the falls to relax your mind and soul, and then go for a soothing dip in the hot springs to rejuvenate your body. You won’t be disappointed with the vista of the falls or the nearby area.

The World Glassware Hall
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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Enzoji Temple
Historical Sites

Enzoji Temple

A symbolic temple of Aizu, Enzoji was built about 1,300 years ago in 807. Fukuman Kokuzo Enzoji Temple (Enzoji Temple for short) was built by Tokuichi Daishi, a noted priest from the Aizu region. The main hall of the temple rises high above a huge crag. From here, the Tadami River can be viewed flowing magnificently through the town. You can also see the various views of each season, with cherry blossoms in spring, mist over the river in summer, red maples in autumn, and snow in winter. The temple has many highlights, such as a treasure house and monuments in memory of poets, inscribed with their poems and haiku. The temple is dedicated to Fukuman Kokuzo Bosatsu (the Bodhisattva of wisdom). There are many legends associated with the temple. For example, one legend tells of how when Kobo Daishi threw wood shavings from the statue of Kokuzo Bosatsu into the Tadami River, they immediately turned into countless Japanese dace fish. Another story is about how a red cow helped with the difficult construction of the temple - a story which led to the widespread acceptance of the "akabeko" red cow as an important symbol of Fukushima. One more story is that of Nanokado Hadaka Mairi ("Naked Man Festival" at Nanukado Temple). The legends are many and varied.

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.

Hanitsu Shrine
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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.

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