Last additions - Aizu-Wakamatsu 会津若松市
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Byakkotai souvenirsDec 06, 2007
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SazaedoDec 06, 2007
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SazaedoDec 06, 2007
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Painting depicting Byakkotai suicide on Iimoriyama HillDec 06, 2007
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SazaedoDec 06, 2007
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Dec 06, 2007
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Byakkotai enshrined in Uga ShrineDec 06, 2007
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Sazaedo, a unique wooden, hexagonal structure which you will see when coming down from Iimoriyama.Dec 06, 2007
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Byakkotai statue outside the Byakkotai Memorial MuseumDec 06, 2007
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Uga Shrine 宇賀神社Dec 06, 2007
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Opened in 1956, the Byakkotai Memorial Museum has numerous artifacts related to the Byakkotai as well as the Shinsengumi. Photography inside is not allowed. Admission 400 yen.Dec 06, 2007
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Another monumentDec 06, 2007
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About the monument from Rome.Dec 06, 2007
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Monument from a German, Hasso von Etzdorf (1900 - 1989).Dec 06, 2007
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Monument message in Italian. After WWII, the US Occupation authorities wanted this monument removed. But all they did was remove the engraved message (later restored).Dec 06, 2007
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Monument from Rome, Italy, given in 1928 by Mussolini. The column is from the ruins of a palace in Pompeii.Dec 06, 2007
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Byakko Kannon statueDec 06, 2007
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Statue faces Tsuruga-jo Castle which can be seen in the distance.Dec 06, 2007
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Arrow points to Tsuruga-jo Castle.Dec 06, 2007
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Statue of a teenage samurai looking at Wakamatsu Castle.Dec 06, 2007
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A recent addition is this statue of a teenage samurai looking at Wakamatsu Castle.Dec 06, 2007
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Site where they committed seppuku (hara-kiri). 自刃の地Dec 06, 2007
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Grave of Iinuma Sadakichi, the only Byakkotai warrior who survived and told the story of this valiant teenage group.Dec 06, 2007
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Grave of Iinuma Sadakichi (Sadao) (1854-1931). His grave was built here in 1957 for the 90th anniversary of the Byakkotai's demise. 飯沼貞吉Dec 06, 2007
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Slope where they committed seppuku (hara-kiri). 自刃の地Dec 06, 2007
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Monument for teenage samurai who died in battle.Dec 06, 2007
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Names of Byakkotai members, all 14 to 17 years old.Dec 06, 2007
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About Iinuma Sadakichi (later changed his first name to Sadao)Dec 06, 2007
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A short walk away is the grave of Iinuma Sadakichi, the only Byakkotai survivor who had slit himself, but was rescued by a villager passing by when everyone else had killed themselves.Dec 06, 2007
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On the left of the gravestones, there is a monument for a poem composed by Lord Matsudaira Katamori, the last Aizu lord and whom the Byakkotai died for. 幾人の 涙は石にそそぐとも その名は世々に 朽じとぞ思う幾人の 涙は石にそそぐとも その名は世々に 朽じとぞ思う
Ikutari no namida wa ishi ni sosogu tomo sono na wa yoyo ni kuji to zo omou
"No matter how many people pour their tears on these stones, these names will never fade from the world."
Dec 06, 2007
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Tombs of those Byakkotai who died in action.Dec 06, 2007
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Tombs of those Byakkotai who died in action.Dec 06, 2007
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Their names, age, and "senshi" 戦死 (died in battle) are engraved on the stones.Dec 06, 2007
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On the right side are more gravestones. These are 31 Byakkotai members who died in battle. 戦死Dec 06, 2007
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This has become a national shrine, almost as important as Sengakuji where the 47 masterless samurai are buried.Dec 06, 2007
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Byakkotai gravestones. Each one shows the name, age, and method of death called "jijin" (died with one's own sword 自刃).Dec 06, 2007
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Byakkotai GravesDec 06, 2007
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Byakkotai GravesDec 06, 2007
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Graves of the 19 teenage Byakkotai warriors who killed themselves with their own swords.Dec 06, 2007
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Approach to the Byakkotai gravesite.Dec 06, 2007
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Byakkotai Gravesite. It is on a flat area which also has several other Byakkotai monuments including those from other countries.Dec 06, 2007
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In despair, the boys decided to kill themselves rather than die in the hands of the enemy. Photo: Escalator to go up Iimoriyama Hill.Dec 06, 2007
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The Byakkotai were outnumbered and forced to retreat. Twenty of them escaped to Iimoriyama Hill where they saw what looked liked a burning Tsurugajo Castle. Photo: Pay a small fee to take the escalator up the hill. Or climb up the steps for free.Dec 06, 2007
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Escalator to go up Iimoriyama Hill. Their tombstones are on this hill near where they killed themselves. Their story has become legend.Dec 06, 2007
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Entrance to Iimoriyama Hill, site of the Byakkotai "White Tiger" Battalion gravesite. In 1868, a unit of teenage warriors called Byakkotai (White Tiger Battalion) fought against the Emperor-backed Imperial forces encroaching their domain of AizuDec 06, 2007
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Portrait of Lord Gamo UjisatoDec 05, 2007
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Kotokuji templeDec 05, 2007
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Explanation of the kanji characters on the tombstone. From top to bottom, the characters are for "Sky, wind, fire, water, and earth."Dec 05, 2007
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The tombstone has five segments each with a kanji character. 五輪塔Dec 05, 2007
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Lord Gamo Ujisato's grave. This is a secondary grave, where his hair is buried. His main grave is at a temple in Kyoto where he died at age 40.Dec 05, 2007
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Lord Gamo Ujisato's grave.Dec 05, 2007
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Poem monument reads 限りあれば吹かねど花は散るものを心短き春の山風Dec 05, 2007
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Path to Lord Gamo Ujisato's gravesiteDec 05, 2007
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Grounds of Lord Gamo Ujisato's gravesite within Kotokuji temple. Since Ujisato was a Christian lord, it is ironic that he be buried in a Buddhist temple in Kyoto and Aizu-Wakamatsu.Dec 05, 2007
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Entrance doors to Lord Gamo Ujisato's gravesite within Kotokuji temple which is a Zen temple of the Rinzai Sect.Dec 05, 2007
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Family crest on door. (Not the Gamo crest.)Dec 05, 2007
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Ujisato was married to Oda Nobunaga's second daughter Fuyuhime. He died at age 40. One theory says that he was poisoned by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Entrance to Lord Gamo Ujisato's gravesite within Kotokuji temple in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima..Dec 05, 2007
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Marker and side road to Lord Gamo (Gamoh) Ujisato's gravesite. Near Aizu-Wakamatsu City Hall. Gamo Ujisato (1556-1595) was a feudal lord from Hino, Shiga Pref. He built Tsurugajo Castle and named the town Wakamatsu, after a place in his hometown.Dec 05, 2007
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Hand-painted candlesDec 05, 2007
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Sculpture near the Fukushima Prefectural MuseumDec 05, 2007
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Fukushima Prefectural MuseumDec 05, 2007
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Shopping streetDec 05, 2007
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Aizu-Wakamatsu manholeDec 05, 2007
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Aizu-Wakamatsu City Hall 会津若松市役所Dec 05, 2007
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Bus stopDec 05, 2007
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Hi-color town bus, very convenient and cheap (500 yen for a day pass) to reach the city's major sights. It runs every 30 min. or so. ハイカラさんDec 05, 2007
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Inside the Akabei town bus.Dec 05, 2007
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Hi-color town bus stopDec 05, 2007
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"Akabei" town bus which goes in the opposite direction of the Hi-color town bus. The same day pass can be used for both buses. あかべぇDec 05, 2007
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Entrance to pedestrian underpass in front of Aizu-Wakamatsu StationDec 05, 2007
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Entrance to pedestrian underpass in front of Aizu-Wakamatsu Station with Byakkotai (White tiger) paintingDec 05, 2007
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Aizu-Wakamatsu StationDec 05, 2007
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Byakkotai statue at Aizu-Wakamatsu StationDec 05, 2007
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Aizu-Wakamatsu Station at twilightDec 05, 2007
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Aizu-Wakamatsu Station 会津若松駅Dec 05, 2007
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Aizu-Wakamatsu Station 会津若松駅Dec 05, 2007
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Aizu-Wakamatsu Station 会津若松駅Dec 05, 2007
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San-no-Maru entrance to Tsurugajo Castle 三の丸Dec 04, 2007
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Rokabashi Bridge 廊下橋Dec 04, 2007
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Rokabashi Bridge 廊下橋Dec 04, 2007
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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Dec 04, 2007
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Inside Rinkaku Tea Ceremony HouseDec 04, 2007
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Entrance to Rinkaku Tea Ceremony House 茶室麟閣Dec 04, 2007
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Tsurugajo Inari ShrineDec 04, 2007
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Stone-dropping hole.Dec 04, 2007
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Rokabashi Bridge 廊下橋Dec 04, 2007
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A warrior dummy shows how stones can be dropped through the stone hole on the floor.Dec 04, 2007
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Upper floor of the Hoshii Yagura turret. 干飯櫓Dec 04, 2007
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Rinkaku Tea Ceremony House. 茶室麟閣Dec 04, 2007
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A warrior dummy shows how a hole in the wall is used.Dec 04, 2007
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A small room along the Minami Hashiri Nagaya Longhouse.Dec 04, 2007
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Roof of nagaya longhouse.Dec 04, 2007
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Inside the reconstructed Hoshii Yagura Turret on the lower floor.Dec 04, 2007
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Upper floor of the Hoshii Yagura turret. It is used as an exhibition room. 干飯櫓Dec 04, 2007
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Inside the reconstructed Minami Hashiri Nagaya Longhouse. Impressive reconstruction.Dec 04, 2007
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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Dec 04, 2007
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Stairs to go to the upper floor of the Hoshii Yagura turret.Dec 04, 2007
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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Dec 04, 2007
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The gift shop also has a gallery of local crafts such as lacquerware.Dec 04, 2007
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This is over the Kurogane-mon Gate.Dec 04, 2007
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AlpsDec 04, 2007
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An open window along the Minami Hashiri Nagaya Longhouse.Dec 04, 2007
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Looking toward Kitade-maru.Dec 04, 2007
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Shadow of castle tower.Dec 04, 2007
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Looking east. These are cherry trees below.Dec 04, 2007
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Honmaru as seen from the top of the castle tower.Dec 04, 2007
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Inside the Kurogane-mon Gate is a mini theater.Dec 04, 2007
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Mt. Bandai is on the right.Dec 04, 2007
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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.Dec 04, 2007
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Castle tower stoneworkDec 04, 2007
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The main Honmaru entranceDec 04, 2007
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The nagaya longhouse corridor leading to the reconstructed Hoshii Yagura turret.Dec 04, 2007
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Lookout deck on castle tower. Great views all around.Dec 04, 2007
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Castle tower stonework with the characteristic stone steps.Dec 04, 2007
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Tourist info office below.Dec 04, 2007
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The 5th and top floor of castle tower has a nice lookout deck all.Dec 04, 2007
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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Dec 04, 2007
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Honmaru as seen from the top of the castle tower. 本丸Dec 04, 2007
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View from Chatsubo Yagura turretDec 04, 2007
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Entrance to Tsuruga-jo Castle tower (tenshukaku).Dec 04, 2007
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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Dec 04, 2007
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Castle most and Rokabashi Bridge 廊下橋Dec 04, 2007
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Ridge of castle moat on the south side.Dec 04, 2007
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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.Dec 04, 2007
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Honmaru 本丸Dec 04, 2007
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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Dec 04, 2007
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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Dec 04, 2007
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Stone foundation of castle towerDec 04, 2007
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View of Wakamatsu Castle from Chatsubo Yagura turretDec 04, 2007
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Hashiri Nagaya Longhouse connects to the castle tower.Dec 04, 2007
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The castle tower (donjon) stands over 36 meters high. Its stone wall is 11 meters high.Dec 04, 2007
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Pine tree and Tsuruga-jo Castle. 鶴ヶ城Dec 04, 2007
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Tsukimi Yagura turret (Moonviewing Turret) 月見櫓Dec 04, 2007
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Wakamatsu Castle as seen from HonmaruDec 04, 2007
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Tsurugajo Castle. The castle tower entrance can be seen.Dec 04, 2007
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Aizu-Wakamatsu CastleDec 04, 2007
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Wakamatsu Castle has only these buildings standing. No other turrets, towers, or palace buildings remain.Dec 04, 2007
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Heads up viewDec 04, 2007
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The castle tower was renovated on the inside in 2004.Dec 04, 2007
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"Wakamatsu" means young pine.Dec 04, 2007
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Wakamatsu Castle and pine trees.Dec 04, 2007
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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.Dec 04, 2007
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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.Dec 04, 2007
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Kurogane-mon Gate on the left, Hashiri-nagaya Longhouse, and castle tower.Dec 04, 2007
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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.Dec 04, 2007
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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.Dec 04, 2007
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Numerous pine trees are planted within the castle grounds. At night, the castle is lit up.Dec 04, 2007
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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.Dec 04, 2007
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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Dec 04, 2007
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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Dec 04, 2007
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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.Dec 04, 2007
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The castle tower was reconstructed as a ferroconcrete building in Sept. 1965 on its original site.Dec 04, 2007
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Stone sink to wash the mouths of horses. A horse riding ground was nearby. 馬洗石Dec 04, 2007
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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.Dec 04, 2007
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Tsuruga-jo Castle tower. It is lit up at night.Dec 04, 2007
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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.Dec 04, 2007
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Castle tower as seen from the west side in the Obikurawa 帯郭Dec 04, 2007
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Tsuruga-jo Castle towerDec 04, 2007
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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.Dec 04, 2007
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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Dec 04, 2007
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Castle tower as seen from the west side in the Obikurawa 帯郭Dec 04, 2007
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Family crests of all the warrior clans who occupied Wakamatsu Castle.Dec 04, 2007
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Honmaru Uzumimon Gate and tenshukaku castle tower.Dec 04, 2007
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Wakamatsu Castle as seen from the rear.Dec 04, 2007
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Castle tower as seen from Honmaru Uzumimon GateDec 04, 2007
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Right beyond the Taikomon Gate is a tourist info office, cafe, restrooms, and benches.Dec 04, 2007
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Tsuruga-jo Castle as seen from the rear.Dec 04, 2007
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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Dec 04, 2007
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Tsubakizaka Slope which is a bridge to the castle tower. 椿坂Dec 04, 2007
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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Dec 04, 2007
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Tsubakizaka Slope which is lined with cherry trees. 椿坂Dec 04, 2007
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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.Dec 04, 2007
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Taikomon Gate stoneworkDec 04, 2007
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Kitade-maru 北出丸Dec 04, 2007
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Foilage on Kitade-maru 北出丸Dec 04, 2007
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Foilage and stone gateDec 04, 2007
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Monument on Kitade-maru 北出丸Dec 04, 2007
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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.Dec 04, 2007
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Foilage on the slopes of HonmaruDec 04, 2007
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Most next to Otemon GateDec 04, 2007
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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.Dec 04, 2007
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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.Dec 04, 2007
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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.Dec 04, 2007
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