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.
Kitakata Gourmet Tour
It is time for a taste of Kitakata like never before. Add in these stops to your day tour of the area and be satisfied by the many tastes of the region. The best part? This tour can be taken at any time of the year, by bus or by taxi. You’re in for a treat when you visit these stops. Start at Kitakata Station, famous for one of Japan’s most popular ramen—Kitakata ramen! In fact, Kitakata has more ramen shops per area than any other place in Japan. It will be easy to find a place to tuck into a hot bowl of the delicious noodles but before you go, why not learn more about the tasty dish? At the Kitakata Ramen Shrine you can do just that. Learn about the history of this culinary delight and see the process that ramen has undergone to become such a favorite all around the country. After you’ve had your fill of learning it’s time to fill up on ramen itself. At Shokudo Hasegawa, you can enjoy the gentle taste of the broth and how the texture of the noodles complements the toppings of the ramen. Now that you’ve had something salty it’s obviously time for a sweet treat! And what better place than Okuya Peanut Factory? Here, you can try peanut-flavored soft-serve ice cream; the creamy, gentle sweetness of the peanut soft-serve is sure to melt away any worries you have. Once you have filled up on the tastes of Kitakata, it’s time to head back to Kitakata Station.
The Coast of Fukushima
Refresh yourself along the coast of Fukushima with this one-day plan, which includes three of Iwaki's best spots. You can enjoy these places any time of the year, so it’s perfect to fit into your pre-existing travel plans. Start out at Iwaki Station and make your way down to Aquamarine Fukushima. This beautiful aquarium and aquatic museum will take your breath away with its amazing exhibits of sea creatures and habitats. Let your imagination run free as you walk through the interior and discover something new everywhere you look. After you’ve finished at Aquamarine Fukushima, make your way to Shiramizu Amidado Temple. This temple is a National Treasure of Japan and was first commissioned by a princess. It has a unique history and the atmosphere lends itself well to relaxation and introspection. Once you’ve found inner peace, head over to Natsuigawa Valley. The pristine river waters and cool countryside breeze will relax your body and rejuvenate your spirit. No matter where you turn to, the coastal area of Fukushima is sure to astound you. This plan is best enjoyed by renting a car from Iwaki Station.
The Famous Sights of Aizu
Spend a day traveling to the most famous sights of the Aizu region of Fukushima by train. Begin your trip in Kitakata City, famous for its delicious ramen, sake made from the best quality mountain water, and traditional Japanese crafts. Specializing in the local Kitakata-style, there are more than 100 ramen shops in the area—the most per capita in the world! Kitakata is also famous for horse-drawn carriage tours and the city center where over 4,200 traditional kurazashiki storehouses remain or have been converted into inns, shops, and breweries. You can even visit the local ramen shrine of Kitakata that doubles as a ramen museum. Learn all about this famous and much beloved food. From the Kitakata Ramen Museum travel to Tsurugajo Castle, famed for its beautiful red tiles and the tragic history of the Byakkotai samurai brigade. After a brush with history, move on to the charming shopping street of Nanokamachi-dori Street. There are plenty of wonders and shops for you to explore in the area. Take a few hours to find souvenirs and take photos. You'll be spoiled by the sights and wonder of everything that Aizu has to offer you.