Tsurugajo Castle

Time for tea and leisure on the grounds of japan‘s only red-and-white castle

Tsuruga Castle, also known as Wakamatsu Castle, is a historic landmark located in Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. It has a rich history that spans almost seven hundred years, with several reconstructions taking place over the years. The castle was originally built by the feudal lord Ashina Naomori in the 14th century and has since become a symbol of the region’s cultural heritage.

Don’t Miss: The view from the top of the castle tower, Rinkaku Teahouse in Tsuruga Castle Park, and the exhibitions within the castle.

The castle offers a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding area from its top tower. Visitors can admire the picturesque landscape of Aizuwakamatsu and the majestic Mount Bandai in the distance. The view is particularly breathtaking during the cherry blossom season in April when the castle’s grounds are adorned with beautiful cherry blossom trees in full bloom.

Within Tsuruga Castle Park, visitors can also find Rinkaku Teahouse, a traditional Japanese teahouse that offers a peaceful retreat for tea lovers. The teahouse is located in a serene garden and provides a tranquil setting to enjoy a cup of tea while immersing oneself in the beauty of nature. The teahouse is a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike, offering a unique opportunity to experience a traditional tea ceremony in a historic setting.

The castle itself houses various exhibitions that provide insights into the history and culture of the region. One of the main attractions is the exhibit about Tsuruga Castle, which showcases its architectural features and the various reconstructions it has undergone over the centuries. The exhibit also explores the lifestyle of the samurai, showcasing artifacts such as swords and armor. The information is presented in both English and Japanese, making it accessible to a wider audience.

One of the most distinctive features of Tsuruga Castle is its striking red tile roof. Unlike other Japanese castles that typically have black roofs, Tsuruga Castle stands out with its vibrant red tiles. The color was restored to its original red tile in 2011, reminiscent of a crane (tsuru) in flight, hence the castle’s name. The white walls and red roof create a visually striking contrast, adding to the castle’s unique charm.

Tsuruga Castle is not only a historical landmark but also a peaceful and enjoyable place for a day of sightseeing. The castle is open year-round, allowing visitors to explore its grounds and immerse themselves in the rich history of the region. Throughout the year, various events take place in the park surrounding the castle, such as the Aizu Painted Candle Festival and cherry blossom viewing, adding to the vibrant atmosphere of the area.

For those interested in further exploring the history and culture of the region, the Fukushima Prefectural Museum is located near Tsuruga Castle. The museum features a permanent exhibition on Japan’s history, providing a deeper understanding of the country’s past. Additionally, the museum hosts temporary exhibits that change regularly, offering visitors a chance to discover new aspects of Japanese culture and heritage.

To reach Tsuruga Castle, visitors can take a bus, ride a bicycle, or walk from Aizu-Wakamatsu Station. From Tokyo, the JR Tohoku Shinkansen can be taken to Koriyama, and then a train change to Aizu-Wakamatsu Station. From there, it is possible to walk or cycle to the castle, or take a bus to Tsurugajo Kitaguchi bus stop.

In conclusion, Tsuruga Castle is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, nature lovers, and anyone seeking a tranquil retreat in the heart of Japan. Its rich history, stunning architecture, and beautiful surroundings make it a truly unique and captivating attraction. Whether it’s exploring the castle’s exhibitions, enjoying a cup of tea at Rinkaku Teahouse, or simply taking in the breathtaking views, a visit to Tsuruga Castle promises a memorable experience filled with cultural immersion and natural beauty.

Address And Maps Location:

1-1 Ote-machi, Aizuwakamatsu-shi, Fukushima-ken

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