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Tsuruga Castle's beauty resembles a crane (tsuru) with its pure white walls and red roof tiles. Its official name is Aizu Wakamatsu Castle. It is one of Tohoku's top sakura spots and attracts a lot of visitors during the cherry blossom viewing season. In 1867, when the Edo shogunate returned the political power to the emperor, Japan's last civil war, the "Boshin War" broke out, in which the forces of the ruling shogunate fought the forces of the new government. This castle was the grounds of this fight. The former shogunate army was under fierce attack from the new government's forces, from which they fled into Tsuruga Castle. It is a strong castle that withheld the battle for a whole month.
- 1-1 Otemachi, Aizuwakamatsu-shi, Fukushima
- Contact No.
- From JR Aizu-Wakamatsu Station, take Machinaka Shuei bus "Haikara San" to Tsuruga-jo Iriguchi, 5 min walk from there.
- Opening Hours / Holidays
- Opening hours: 8:30-17:00 (last entry 16:30) *Extended hours during sakura period
Open all year round
- Official Website
- Time Required
- 2 hours
- Admission fee
- Entrance to Castle Tower for adults is 410 yen
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
Rokabashi Bridge Crossed by Hideyoshi Toyotomi
The Rokabashi was built to be cut off in the event of an enemy's attack. The beautifully painted red bridge that spans over the fort and the moat was once a structure with a roof. Even Japan's famous shogun Hideyoshi Toyotomi once crossed this bridge when he visited Tsuruga Castle.
Tsuruga Castle is the only castle in Japan with red roof tiles. It is counted as one of Japan's exceptionally beautiful castles, so take a walk around and have a look at the building from its surroundings.
Hashiri Nagaya Seen from the Castle Tower
"Hashiri Nagaya (long houses)" seen from the castle tower are something that should not be missed. The turret, from which enemies were fought with guns, was connected to the castle tower and many warriors went back and forth through here. These once existed in all four directions; however, today there is only a reconstructed structure on one side.
View of Mt. Iimori with the Legend of Byakkotai
During the Boshin War, a troop of young boys called Byakkotai fought along. They commited mass suicide on Mt. Iimori, which can be seen from the castle tower. This was because when the castle was covered by fog, they mistakenly thought the castle was burning. This tragic story is legendary and has been passed on throughout Japan.
Enjoy Some Matcha and Japanese Sweets at Tea House Rinkaku
It is 200 yen to enter the tea house Rinkaku, which was built by Shoan, son of Sen-no-Rikyu, who created the basics of Japanese tea ceremonies. Matcha and Japanese sweets can be enjoyed for 500 yen. It's ideal for a break from exploring the castle.
Famous Castle for Sakura
The period when Tsuruga Castle is most beautiful is from mid- to late April. It is a place you should definitely visit if you are in Japan during this time. It is known as one of the top sakura spots within the Tohoku region.