Samurai Spirit Experience
- All Year
- 3 destinations
- One Day
Discover the spirit of the Japanese samurai on this one-day tour of samurai history in the beautiful Aizu region of Fukushima. Feel the history of the past come to life all around you as you experience the places where samurai once walked. This tour can be enjoyed any time of the year and with the ease of trains and buses in the area, you’ll be well on your way to living the samurai life.
Leave from Aizu-Wakamatsu Station and journey to Tsurugajo Castle. The red-tile roof of Tsurugajo Castle is one of a kind. Stroll through the gardens before heading inside the keep to see the artifacts of history. After you’ve finished at the castle, make your way to Aizu Hanko Nisshinkan, the premier school for young samurai of the time. This is where the fledgling samurai received training and education. See what it took for a boy to grow into a samurai. Then move to Aizu Bukeyashiki, the 28-room sprawling estate that once belonged to a samurai family of the region. The preserved estate showcases everyday samurai life as well as some stunning artifacts and gardens. You will be thrilled every step of the way through your trek into the past and your adventure into discovering the soul of the samurai.
Reach Tsurugajo Castle from Aizu-Wakamatsu Sta. in 30 min by bus (or 15 min by taxi).View directions
- Aizu Area
From Tsurugajo Castle, it takes 1 hour by local bus, or 25 min by taxi, to reach Aizu Hanko Nisshinkan.View directions
- Aizu Area
From Aizu Hanko Nisshinkan to Aizu Bukeyashiki, it takes 50 min by bus (or 20 min by taxi).View directions
- Aizu Area
From Aizu Bukeyashiki to Aizu-Wakamatsu Station, it takes 20 min by bus (or 10 min by taxi).View directions
Historical Samurai Tour
Enjoy this one-day trip around Aizu-Wakamatsu City, made possible thanks to the local city sightseeing buses that drive between the major sightseeing spots in the city. No matter what time of the year you decide to visit Fukushima, the Aizu-Wakamatsu area is sure to entrance you with its many sights and attractions. See Mt. Iimoriyama, where the Byakkotai samurai brigade tragically took their lives after the supposed fall of their lord and castle. Visit Sazaedo Temple with its double-helix shaped interior and wonder at the peace and tranquility of the temple grounds and history. Move onto Aizu Bukeyashiki where this expansive samurai household has been well-preserved for visitors to walk through and imagine life as it was. Guests will enjoy this scenic home with its lovely gardens. Compare these gardens with those at Tsurugajo Castle and walk the grounds of this majestic castle. Visit the exhibits inside the castle and learn more about the Byakkotai boys, and the fascinating samurai history of the Aizu region. Finally, Nanokamachi-dori Street will welcome you with its charming rustic buildings and shopping sites; wander the narrow streets to find some truly wonderful hidden gems. Finish your day back at Aizu-Wakamatsu Station.
Cherry Blossoms and Hot Spring Relaxation Tour
Get the full springtime cherry-blossom viewing experience on this two-day adventure through Fukushima. You'll hit all the major sites of the area and then even relax in a luxurious onsen! Your trip begins at Kitakata Station; from there you will walk to the start of the Nicchu Line walking path. This spot is famous for its over 1,000 cherry trees stretching along both sides of the 3 km-long road and park. Nicchu Line makes for a magical vista with cherry petals falling like fresh snow against a backdrop of springtime colors and fresh air. From there, travel on to Kyu Kai Honke Zurashiki to see the early 20th-century kura-style residences. Admire the architecture and quality lacquer work on the building. Finish the day with a sake brewery museum tour at Yamatogawa Brewery. No springtime cherry blossom viewing party in Japan is complete without the famous Japanese alcohol. Finish your two-day trip at the fantastic Higashiyama Onsen town where you can relax at any number of hotels or ryokan-style inns. It’s a truly Japanese spring experience.
Explore the Heights of Aizu
It’s time to visit the dizzying heights of Aizu on this one-day tour that can be enjoyed any time of the year. Travel by train to Aizu-Wakamatsu Station and make your way for Michi-no-Eki Ozekaido Mishima-juku (Roadside Station). At this countryside road stop, you’ll find snacks, local handicrafts and produce galore, not to mention fantastic paulownia wood crafts. Be sure to pick some up. From Michi-no-Eki Ozekaido Mishima-juku (Roadside Station), take a short 10-minute walk to the lookout point for the Tadami Bridge. This is the number one place to look out at the bridge from and you’ll be entranced by the scenery - time your trip right and you might be able to see the Tadami Line train passing over it. The majestic mountains almost seem to hug the bridge and the landmark makes a beautiful contrast against a backdrop of nature. After you’ve finished bridge-watching, head south to ride a ferryboat across a jagged ravine at Mugenkyo no Watashi. The splendor of the natural craggy rocks and trees that cling to them will astound you from your seat at water level. Get a sense of size of these beautiful mountains and cliffs.
Ouchi-juku Gourmet Tour
Have a gourmet adventure in Ouchi-juku, Aizu. The Aizu area of Fukushima Prefecture is known for its eclectic and delicious foods, not to mention the absolutely fantastic scenery. Enjoy this one-day itinerary that you can do at any time of year by public transport. Walk your way through Ouchi-juku and admire the local sights and cuisine. You’ll arrive at Ouchi-juku by bus from Yunokami Onsen Station. The unique architecture will be a feast for your eyes but the real feasting will begin once you arrive at Misawaya. At Misawaya, you can experience any of the three amazing shops; take a lunch of authentic buckwheat noodles, called soba, or try some of the local Japanese sake, or if alcohol isn’t your thing, why not enjoy a refreshing cup of hot green tea? Refresh yourself at Misawaya and then venture out to Honke Kanouya. While there might not be much to munch on at Honke Kanouya, you can instead please your other senses with the local handicrafts of the area. Find some delightful souvenirs to take home. Finish off your visit just around the corner from Honke Kanouya; here you’ll find Sabo Yamadaya Café, a lovely café that fully displays the charms of the Aizu region in their décor and food. You should definitely try some of their snow-cured coffee (yukimuro coffee) while you’re there!