Oyakuen Garden

Oyakuen Garden

Oyakuen was used approximately 600 years ago as a villa for the then lord of the Aizu Domain. Subsequently, in the mid-17th century, the lord of the Aizu Domain started growing medicinal herbs within the grounds which he developed to protect the citizenry from epidemics. This lead to the garden gaining the name "Oyakuen", which literally means "medicinal garden."

The traditional garden has been preserved as it was long ago, and Oyakuen has now been designated as an important national asset. The buildings within the grounds were used by the lord as a place of relaxation and for entertainment. Accordingly, Oyakuen still contains buildings devoted to Japanese tea. Visitors can enjoy a cup of herbal tea here even today.

Venue Details

Venue Details
Websitehttps://aizuwakamatsu.mylocal.jp/en/trip/spot-list/-/spotdetail/spotinfo/1000000066/3999496
Contact

Oyakuen Garden

(+81) 242-27-2472

info@tsurugajo.com

Best SeasonAll Year
Opening Hours

8:30 AM - 5:00 PM (Last entrance at 4:30 PM)

Open all year

ParkingFree (61 cars)
Entrance FeeAdults: 330 yen
High school students: 270 yen
Junior high and elementary school students: 160 yen
Related infoEnjoy seasonal views of Oyakuen Garden throughout the year.
Recommended photo spot: The view of the garden from the tea house
Access Details
Access8-1 Hanaharumachi, Aizu-Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Pref. 965-0804
View directions
Getting there

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

By Bus: Take the Haikara-san or Akabe sightseeing loop bus from Aizuwakamatsu Station (JR Ban-etsu West Line) and get off at Oyakuen Bus Stop. From there, walk for 3 min. The gardens are a 15 min walk from Tsurugajo Castle

Nearby

The World Glassware Hall
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.

The World Glassware Hall
Nature & Scenery

Tenkyokaku

Named by the Crown Prince Yoshihito upon its opening in 1907 as “The Palace of Heaven’s Mirror”, Tenkyokaku is a decadently decorated former villa. Imperial Prince Arisugawa Takehito decided to build Tenkyokaku after being impressed by the beauty of Lake Inawashiro during a visit to the Tohoku District. His family, the Arisugawa-no-miya Family, owned the villa until 1952, when it was granted to Fukushima Prefecture. Tenkyokaku has since been used as a meeting hall and a space for lectures and exhibitions. The former villa, its annex and its front gate have been specified as important cultural properties of Japan. Despite being restored in 1984, the building retains many of its original features, including the impressive chandelier which can be seen below. Despite no longer being able to see Lake Inawashiro from the windows of Tenkyokaku, the luxurious renaissance-style architecture and liberal use of all things gold and glittery means that visitors will by all means feel that its name still rings true. For only 520 yen, you can dress up in a traditional outfit and take as many photos as you would like in the building!

The World Glassware Hall
Historical Sites

Yunokami Onsen Station

Yunokami Onsen Station is one of only 2 train stations with a thatched roof in Japan. The station is known for its great location as a cherry blossom viewing spot with a unique atmosphere. There is an irori (sunken fireplace) where tourists can warm themselves up in winter, and a foot bath sourced from natural hot spring water just next to the station. Yunokami Onsen town is a popular place to stay the night for those visiting destinations such as Ouchi-juku and To-no-hetsuri are located in the same area.

You might also like

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.

Former Takizawa Honjin
Historical Sites

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.

Shingu Kumano Shrine Nagatoko
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.

Top