Tsurugajo Castle

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.

Venue Details

Venue Details
Websitehttp://www.tsurugajo.com/language/eng/
Contact

Aizu-Wakamatsu City Tourism Bureau

(+81) 242-27-4005

info@tsurugajo.com

Best SeasonAll Year
Opening Hours

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

Open every day

ParkingAvailable (Space for 200 cars at the west side, 45 cars at the south side, 36 cars at the San-no-Maru entrance)
Related infoAdmission Fees
Park entrance: Free
Castle tower admission: Adults 410 yen; Children under 12-years-old 150 yen
Rinkaku Tea Room Combo Ticket: Adults 520 yen

Kimono rentals available from Tsurugajo Kaikan (3 min walk from the castle)
Access Details
Access1-1 Outemachi, Aizu-Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Pref. 965-0873
View directions
Getting there

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

By Bus: Easily accessible from Aizu-Wakamatsu Station (JR Ban-etsu West Line) via the sightseeing loop bus. The nearest stops on the "Haikara-san" loop bus route are Tsurugajo Kita-guchi (鶴ヶ城北口) and San-no-Maru (三ノ丸) .

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      This trip highlights some of the best Fukushima has to offer and is perfect for those looking to get the most out of the prefecture in a limited time. Take in castles, nature, traditional villages, and more as you treat yourself to local styles of soba and ramen along the way. Renting a car is a must if you want to hit all the spots on this tour. You can take it slow and complete this trip over three days, or skip out an overnight stay in Urabandai area, and do it in two days. Start the day from Fukushima Station with a scenic drive to the the beautiful Urabandai region. We recommend taking the Bandai-Azuma Skyline road so that you can enjoy a mountain drive and check out the great sights at Mt. Azuma-Kofuji. From there, take the stunning sightseeing road Azuma-Bandai Lake Line into Urabandai. Explore the Urabandai area, have lunch, go on a walk around the five-colored ponds of Goshiki-numa, and maybe even take a dip in a hot spring or two. Choose whether take it slow and stay the night in Urabandai area, or whether to press on to Aizu-Wakamatsu City.  Later that day - or the next morning, depending on your schedule - head into the castle town of Aizu-Wakamatsu City where samurai culture is prevalent. The majestic Tsurugajo Castle offers beautiful views of the surroundings from the keep. Check out the nearby Tsurugajo Kaikan to paint an akabeko or two and maybe have some lunch. Then explore the mysterious Sazaedo Temple and the surrounding Mt. Iimoriyama area. From here, we suggest staying overnight in the city. There are plenty of budget hotels in Aizu-Wakamatsu, but if you are looking for something traditionally Japanese, we recommend looking into lodging at the nearby Higashiyama Onsen hot springs town just east of the city. On the next day prepare to jump into the past with a trip to the Ouchi-juku mountain village. You can spend hours here shopping and eating local foods while walking up and down the street lined with traditional thatched-roof houses. Lastly, head to the To-no-Hetsuri Crags, a natural monument filled with towering cliffs overlooking the Okawa River. Cross the nearby suspension bridge which offers breathtaking views of the surroundings. After getting fully refreshed head back to Shin-Shirakawa station by car, drop off your rental car, and connect back to Tokyo or the next stop on your journey!

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                Have you ever wanted to take a cross-prefecture tour of Japan, from Tokyo to the impeccable countryside of Fukushima? Well, now is your chance to travel from the international hub of Tokyo and see what else Japan and—especially—Fukushima have to offer. Enjoy this cross-country tour of Japan any time of the year, over the span of a few days so that you can enjoy things at your pace. You’ll find life outside of Tokyo goes at a much slower pace. Start your trip from Tokyo Station and ride a short distance to Asakusa. See one of the busiest shrine-and-temple locations in Tokyo. You’ll love the bustling atmosphere and the street stalls with their many trinkets and souvenirs. Once you’ve finished in Asakusa, head out of the city and make your way for Tochigi Prefecture’s Nikko. Nikko is perhaps most famous for the three monkey statues that people equate with “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil”. You’ll see these wonderful statues and more while you stop over in Nikko. From there, travel north to Higashiyama Onsen and enjoy the sights form the train along the way. Higashiyama Onsen is Fukushima’s home to some truly great hot springs and Japanese-style inns. Soak up the hot waters and relax your tired muscles. At Tsuruga-jo Castle, you can walk the pristine gardens and enjoy the castle grounds. Be sure to make note of the red-roof tiles of the castle as well, this is the only castle in Japan that boasts having these deep-red tiles. Inside the castle keep, discover the history of the Aizu samurai through the many exhibits and displayed artifacts. Make your way to Nanokamachi-dori Street and admire the local architecture, which is quite different than that from the rest of the area. Search out local hidden gems along the narrow streets and find the perfect souvenir to take home. Enjoy your time in Tokyo, Tochigi, and Fukushima like never before with this route.  

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Nearby

The World Glassware Hall
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Oze Hinoemata Onsen

Oze Hinoemata Onsen has hot springs fed to every household, as well as bathing facilities run by the village for day visits. Aruza Oze no Sato, Hiuchi no Yu, Koma no Yu are all names of hot spring establishments in the town. Hinoemata area is also famous for Kabuki, a form of traditional performing art in Japan. Traditional Kabuki performances with a rich history dating from the Edo Period are still performed to this day on Hinoemata's kabuki stage, which is over 250 years old. There are three performances per year (May 12, August 18, and the first Saturday of September). Explore historical and cultural treasures such as the kabuki stage, the unique shrine featuring a stone statue of Hashiba-no-Banba, itakura (wooden storehouses), the six jizo statues, and the Hinoemata Folk Village by foot. Make sure to try Hinoemata area's 'Yamodo Cuisine': a characteristic cuisine centered on 100% buckwheat noodles, which features dishes such as 'Hatto soba' and rice cakes. Visitors can also enjoy walking and fishing at Hinoemata Mini Oze Park, a spacious park which comes to life with bright colours throughout the year as various flowers take turns to bloom. Oze Hinoemata Onsen is at the gateway to Oze National Park, making it as a base for hiking around Ozegahara Marsh, and for climbing mountains such as Mt. Hiuchigatake, Aizu Komagatake, Teishakuzen, and Tashiroyama.

The World Glassware Hall
Historical Sites

The Warehouses of Kitakata

In the Meiji and Taisho eras, Kitakata City experienced a boom in the construction of kura (traditional Japanese storehouses). There are approximately 4,200 still left in the city today. While these were used both as storehouses for businesses in the brewing and lacquerware industries, the building of a kura has traditionally been considered among Kitakata locals as a great symbol of status, and a source of pride. In the Mitsuya District, the rows of brick storehouses are reminiscent of rural Europe, whereas in the Sugiyama district, they have roofs that take the appearance of helmets. Visitors can see a range of kura and other traditional buildings at Kitakata Kura-no-Sato museum, or enjoy exploring the kura of the city on foot or by bike. See here for a 1 day itinerary for visiting Kitakata City.

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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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Nanokamachi-dori Street

Nanokamachi-dori Street is a quaint shopping street with an olde-worlde atmosphere, located in central Aizu-Wakamatsu City. There is a mix of western-style buildings, and traditional Japanese architecture, including Japanese-style storehouses and wooden town houses, from the Taisho Period (1912-1926). This street is home to a number of shops selling local products such as Aizu lacquerware and Aizu momen (cotton made in the Aizu area). Nanokamachi-dori Street is a great spot to grab a bite to eat, and is also useful as a base to explore Aizu-Wakamatsu City. Suehiro Sake Brewery and Suzuzen lacquerware shop are just two of the esteemed businesses located close to this shopping street.

Sazaedo Temple
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Sazaedo Temple

Sazaedo is a Buddhist temple built in 1796. Its architecture is similar in shape similar to the shell of a horned turban (‘sazae’ in Japanese) hence its name ‘Sazaedo’. The inside of the temple consists of a double-helix slope, meaning that visitors who come to pray won’t meet anybody coming from the opposite direction. This one-way system makes Sazaedo extremely unique. In 1995, it was appointed as a National Important Cultural Property, and in 2018 it was showcased in Michelin Green Guide (1 star, interesting place to visit).

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Take a journey to the past in Fukushima Prefecture’s Ouchi-juku area. This isolated village boasts thatched-roof houses and natural streets making you feel at one with the people wholived here hundreds of years ago. Nestled in the southwestern mountains of Fukushima, Ouchi-juku is a great spot to visit thanks to its unique charm and history. This village was established under the post station system of the Edo period, and played a vital role as a rest stop for travelers. In 1981, the well-preserved streets of Ouchi-juku led to it being designated as an Important Preservation District for a Group of Traditional Buildings. It isn’t difficult to see why—the village looks as it did during its heyday. And with no telephone or electric wires above ground, the view from the top of the hill overlooking the village is marvelous. It is a picturesque village where you can lose yourself to the flow of time. The traveler’s road that used to run through this village was called the Shimotsuke Kaido Route, or the Aizu Nishi Kaido Route. Ouchi-juku not only connected Aizu to Nikko, it also connected Aizu-Wakamatsu to Imaichi, a post town on the Nikko Kaido Route in Tochigi Prefecture. This road was frequented by many travelers as well as by the processions of feudal lords who had to travel to and from Edo periodically. Travelers of the Edo Period rested at the inns of Ouchi-juku to relieve their fatigue. Nowadays, festivals and events help draw in new visitors. The annual Snow Festival in February turns Ouchi-juku into a pretty candlelit scene. Visit in July to see a procession of dancers dressed in traditional Edo Period costumes, and you might even get to wear a happi (festival attire jacket) and join the locals in their celebrations! And when you’re feeling hungry be sure to try some of the local specialties, which include negi soba (fresh buckwheat noodles eaten using a green onion), stick-roasted char fish, and more. There’s a little bit of everything at Ouchi-juku.

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Shingu Kumano Shrine Nagatoko

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