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Stone marker for Tsurugajo Castle. Although the castle's official name is Wakamatsu Castle, it is popularly called Tsuruga-jo Castle within the city of Aizu-Wakamatsu. Outside Fukushima though, it is popularly called Aizu-Wakamatsu Castle.
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Otemon Gate to Kitade-maru 大手門. The castle was first built by Ashina Naomori in 1384 when he built a structure called Higashi Kurokawa Yakata.
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Otemon Gate stonework. The castle was occupied by a number of clans. But it was Gamo Ujisato, originally from Hino, Shiga Prefecture, who made the castle great and established the castle town of Aizu-Wakamatsu.
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Otemon Gate stonework with stairs, one unique feature of the castle. The castle was attacked by Imperial forces during the Boshin War in 1868. The castle was dismantled in 1874.
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Most next to Otemon Gate
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Foilage on the slopes of Honmaru
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Kitade-maru 北出丸
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Foilage on Kitade-maru 北出丸
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Monument on Kitade-maru 北出丸
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Foilage and stone gate
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Tsubakizaka Slope which is a bridge to the castle tower. 椿坂
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Castle map. I recommend entering through the Kitaguchi entrance and exiting from the San-no-maru entrance or vice versa. Both entrances has a High-color bus stop nearby. The castle is too far to walk from Aizu-Wakamatsu Station, so take a bus.
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Tsubakizaka Slope which is lined with cherry trees. 椿坂
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Taikomon Gate where there was a multi-story turret which had a taiko drum used to signal the coming of a lord or for emergencies. 太鼓門
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Taikomon Gate stonework
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Right beyond the Taikomon Gate is a tourist info office, cafe, restrooms, and benches.
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Wakamatsu Castle as seen from the rear.
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Tsuruga-jo Castle as seen from the rear.
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These stairs on the castle's stone walls are called Musha-bashiri. They enabled the warriors to run up to the turrets quickly during attacks. It is one distinguishing feature of the castle. 武者走り
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Family crests of all the warrior clans who occupied Wakamatsu Castle.
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Honmaru Uzumimon Gate which leads to the castle tower. There was a turret here on the stone foundation. 本丸埋門
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Honmaru Uzumimon Gate and tenshukaku castle tower.
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Castle tower as seen from Honmaru Uzumimon Gate
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Castle tower as seen from Honmaru Uzumimon Gate. In the lower right is the ticket office to enter the castle tower. Castle tower admission is 400 yen for adults. Or pay 500 yen to include the ticket to see the Rinkaku Tea House. Open 8:30 am to 5 pm.
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Castle tower as seen from the west side full of cherry trees. Tsuruga-jo Castle Park is one of Japan's 100 Best Cherry Blossom Spots.
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Castle tower as seen from the west side in the Obikurawa 帯郭
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Castle tower as seen from the west side in the Obikurawa 帯郭
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Wakamatsu Castle tower, called tenshukaku. In 1590, Gamo Ujisato became the castle lord and he built a 7-story castle tower completed in 1593. He renamed the castle Tsuruga-jo and renamed the town from Kurokawa to Wakamatsu.
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The castle tower was reconstructed as a ferroconcrete building in Sept. 1965 on its original site.
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Tsuruga-jo Castle tower. It is lit up at night.
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Tsuruga-jo Castle tower
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On the west side is this Kurogane-mon Gate with steel doors. This is another way into the the main Honmaru grounds. During the Boshin War, the castle lord directed his troops from here. 鉄門
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After entering the Kurogane-mon Gate, you can see the Hoshii-yagura turret 干飯櫓 on the left which is connected to the castle tower via the Minami Hashiri-nagaya Longhouse 南走長屋. Both were reconstructed in April 2001.
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It took about 3 years to reconstruct this Hoshii-yagura turret using traditional construction methods. It was the castle's largest turret mainly used to store food.. 干飯櫓
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Stone sink to wash the mouths of horses. A horse riding ground was nearby. 馬洗石
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Kurogane-mon Gate on the left, connected to the castle tower on the right via the Hashiri-nagaya Longhouse which houses a gift shop 南走長屋.
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Kurogane-mon Gate on the left, Hashiri-nagaya Longhouse, and castle tower.
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In 1591, Lord Gamo Ujisato (from Hino, Shiga) built a 7-story castle tower and renamed it Tsuruga-jo Castle. "Tsuru" means crane. A major earthquake in 1611 damaged the tower, so Lord Kato Akinari rebuilt the castle tower with 5 stories in 1639.
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Aizu-Wakamatsu (Tsuruga-jo) Castle, Fukushima Pref. The reconstructed castle tower (ferro-concrete) is based on the 5-story castle tower Kato Akinari built in 1639. "Wakamatsu" was named after a place in Hino, Shiga by Ujisato.
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Wakamatsu Castle, Fukushima. Totally modern on the inside (renovated in 2004), the castle tower is a history museum. It displays swords and portraits of the Byakkotai Battalion of teenagers who valiantly butneedlessly committed suicide on Iimoriyama Hill.
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"Wakamatsu" means young pine.
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Wakamatsu Castle and pine trees.
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Numerous pine trees are planted within the castle grounds. At night, the castle is lit up.
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Wakamatsu Castle has only these buildings standing. No other turrets, towers, or palace buildings remain.
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Stone foundation for Gosankai, a three-story building used as a secret meeting place. Before the castle was dismantled, this building was moved to Amida temple within the city.
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Aizu-Wakamatsu Castle
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Tsurugajo Castle. The castle tower entrance can be seen.
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Pine tree and Tsuruga-jo Castle. 鶴ヶ城
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Wakamatsu Castle as seen from Honmaru
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The castle tower (donjon) stands over 36 meters high. Its stone wall is 11 meters high.
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The castle tower was renovated on the inside in 2004.
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Hashiri Nagaya Longhouse connects to the castle tower.
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Heads up view
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Stone foundation of castle tower
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Honmaru 本丸
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Ridge of castle moat on the south side.
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Tsukimi Yagura turret (Moonviewing Turret) 月見櫓
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Top of Tsukimi Yagura turret (Moonviewing Turret). It was a two-story turret used to store weapons. It also offered a great view of the moon. 月見櫓
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Chatsubo Yagura turret (Tea Pot Turret). There was a two-story turret which stored tea ceremony implements and weapons. 茶壷櫓の跡
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View from Chatsubo Yagura turret
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View of Wakamatsu Castle from Chatsubo Yagura turret
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Castle most and Rokabashi Bridge 廊下橋
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Rokabashi Bridge connects the Honmaru to the Ni-no-Maru. Originally, this bridge could be cut down in the event of an attack. 廊下橋
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Kojo no Tsukihi Poetry Monument dedicated to the poem "Kojo no Tsukihi" written by college student Tsuchii Bansui after he saw how the castle lay in ruins after the Boshin War. 荒城の月碑
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Entrance to Tsuruga-jo Castle tower (tenshukaku).
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Castle tower stonework with the characteristic stone steps.
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Castle tower stonework
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Inside castle tower. This scene depicts a storage room for salt. Unfortunately, photography is not permitted inside the castle tower's museum area.
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The 5th and top floor of castle tower has a nice lookout deck all.
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Lookout deck on castle tower. Great views all around.
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Honmaru as seen from the top of the castle tower.
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Honmaru as seen from the top of the castle tower. 本丸
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The nagaya longhouse corridor leading to the reconstructed Hoshii Yagura turret.
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Hashiri Nagaya Longhouse in the foreground, then the Kurogane-mon Gate, the reconstructed Minami Hashiri Nagaya Longhouse, and the reconstructed Hoshii Yagura turret at the far end. We can walk inside these structures as well.
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Mt. Bandai is on the right.
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Looking east. These are cherry trees below.
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Tourist info office below.
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Looking toward Kitade-maru.
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Shadow of castle tower.
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Alps
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The main Honmaru entrance
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Inside the Hashiri Nagaya corridor is a gift shop. This is connected directly to the castle tower and also connects to the reconstructed Hoshii Turret.. 走長屋
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The gift shop also has a gallery of local crafts such as lacquerware.
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This is over the Kurogane-mon Gate.
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Inside the Kurogane-mon Gate is a mini theater.
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Inside the reconstructed Minami Hashiri Nagaya Longhouse. It is a long corridor with a few small storage rooms. 南走長屋
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Inside the reconstructed Minami Hashiri Nagaya Longhouse. Impressive reconstruction.
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A small room along the Minami Hashiri Nagaya Longhouse.
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An open window along the Minami Hashiri Nagaya Longhouse.
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Inside the reconstructed Hoshii Yagura Turret on the lower floor.
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A warrior dummy shows how a hole in the wall is used.
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Stairs to go to the upper floor of the Hoshii Yagura turret.
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Upper floor of the Hoshii Yagura turret. 干飯櫓
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A warrior dummy shows how stones can be dropped through the stone hole on the floor.
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Stone-dropping hole.
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Upper floor of the Hoshii Yagura turret. It is used as an exhibition room. 干飯櫓
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Roof of nagaya longhouse.
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Tsurugajo Inari Shrine
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Entrance to Rinkaku Tea Ceremony House 茶室麟閣
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Rinkaku Tea Ceremony House. 茶室麟閣
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Rinkaku Tea Ceremony House. Shoan, the son of tea master Sen Rikyu (who was ordered to committ seppuku by Hideyoshi), came here to practice tea in the late 16th century under the auspices of Lord Gamo Ujisato who himself was a tea expert. 茶室麟閣
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Inside Rinkaku Tea Ceremony House
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Rokabashi Bridge 廊下橋
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Rokabashi Bridge 廊下橋
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Rokabashi Bridge 廊下橋
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San-no-Maru entrance to Tsurugajo Castle 三の丸
     
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