Showing posts with label aizuwakamatsu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label aizuwakamatsu. Show all posts

Monday, January 7, 2008

Oouchijuku - Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima

Map Location

This is a historic Japanese village.

Its not far from Aizuwakamatsu. Some people arrived by taxi, I'm guessing from the nearby railway station.

It was just a little bit busy when we were there, but not overly crowded.

At least in winter the houses were mostly pretty closed up to keep the cold out. We'd recommend going into one of the restaurants to eat since they are nicely decorated inside aswell. Perhaps in summer you can see inside more easily.

There is a hill behind the town where you can go to get a view over the town.

To no Hetsuri, Fukushima

Map Location

This is a very pretty little river walk just south of Aizuwakamatsu. Its not far from the train line which looks like a very nice way to see the area.

Tatenoyu Minshuku, Fukushima

Map Location very roughly! Our car navigation system could find it when we entered the phone number 0241-68-2648, you can book at their website Tatenoyu.

This is a very nice little hotel in Fukushima about 2 hours from Nasushiobara. Its our first Minshuku so we cant compare too well. But in absolute terms it is very good.

I'm not totally sure what the difference between a Minshuku and a Ryokan is, but I think its the fact that Minshuku are family run. This one is run by an extended family.

We went in early January and there was quite a bit of snow, but it was never difficult driving.

The room was good, with a nice view of the snowy surroundings. The onsen was good. Pretty with nice views of the mountains. Dinner was fantastic! There was a little beef hotpot at our table sashimi, unagi custard, barbequed fish (cooked in the room), fish soup (serve yourself from the pot cooking over the fire), many excellent little vegetable dishes including a sensational mashed potato and seemingly never ending tempura coming one piece at a time. It was a lot of food and it was very good. (my suggestion, and I know what I'm talking about here, don't eat two bowls of rice early in the meal!). They grow all their own vegetables and it shows, they were excellent.

There was karaoke after dinner, but all the guests, including us disappeared quickly when it started leaving the host family to sing (for a short while).

This would be a great place to stay when visiting Aizuwakimatsu, which is just a short way north. Locally, you can visit the excellent Oouchijuku and To no Hetsuri. There are other attractions in the area that we did not get to.

And the best think of all about our night at this place? The whole thing cost 8000 yen each for a couple! This place is thoroughly recommended.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Lake Inawashiro, Fukushima

Map Location

This is a beautiful, big lake near Aizuwakamatsu.


We didn't spend so long here, but its obviously a good place to have a relaxing time away from it all. I think we'll be back.

There are nice quiet camp grounds (even on the public holiday). There are sandy beaches that look good for swimming. There is a boating area where a lot of powerboats and jetskis are available.

There is also a migratory bird sanctuary which is visited by white swans in winter, but there were no birds there in September when we visited.

Tsurugajo Castle, Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima

updated: May 12, 2008
Map Location

This is my favourite castle to visit so far in Japan.


The castle is beautiful and well maintained. There is a good display inside and the view from the top is excellent in every direction. The gardens are also very beautiful, especially the walk around the top of the moat. There is also a little teahouse in the grounds.


I guess the most famous thing about Tsurugajo is a samurai troop called "The White Tigers". They were made up of 16 and 17 year olds. As near as I can tell they were a division in training but were largely massacred in a brave defence of their castle. The most famous part was 20 of them who were on top of a hill looking down and thought they saw the castle overrun and on fire so they all committed suicide. It turns out they were wrong and the castle wasn't overrun or on fire. Their suicide success rate was 95%!

Next door there is a museum. The museum is dedicated to the history of the area going right back to early human development. There is a good printed guide in English.

More Aizuwakamatsu Photos

update: this is also a very good place to visit in winter and especially spring for cherry blossom. In 2008 the blossom was at its best on the weekend of Apr 19th, 1 week after Nasushiobara and 3 weeks after Tokyo.

More Photos
photo location to be cleaned up soon. Sorry for the mess!

Hotel Fushimiso, Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima

Map Location

As usual we set off on our trip without having booked any accommodation. Since this was a long weekend, I felt sure we'd be sleeping in the car.

Not so! We found this hotel pretty easily.


The people were very friendly. Though I feel pretty sure 50% of the banter of the old ladies from the hotel were bawdy gaijin jokes. But I feel equally sure they were being genuinely nice and friendly too.

The hotel was only 8,000 yen per night. That is 16,000 yen for the two of us with dinner and breakfast included.


Our room as small, neat, clean and slightly run down. It had a great view of a small river that ran behind the hotel but it was mostly only visible through glass.


The onsen was quite nice. It was fully enclosed and Cassandra and I are developing a real interest in outside onsens with great views. But no complaints about the onsen in this hotel.

Dinner was great. It was 9 little course. Each one of them very good. We requested the meal in our room, but I suspect we were supposed to go to a little dining room to eat. They asked us to eat our breakfast there. Breakfast was also very good.

Overall, great little hotel.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Aizu Sake Historic Museaum - Fukushima

Map Location

We have long wanted to go to a Sake Factory. This is more of a museum than a factory tour. Its a worthwhile activity while you are in Aizuwakamatsu.

The building is quite old and still in operation. There is an exhibit of how sake is/was made. Also you can walk through part of the actual factory. At the end and start of the route you can try and buy lots of their sake.


More photos from Aizuwakamatsu

Japan Tourist also has an excellent site with info about this area.