Most viewed - FUKUSHIMA 福島県
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Belly dancer at Fukushima Waraji Matsuri.1616 views
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Belly dancer at Fukushima Waraji Matsuri.1124 views
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Belly dancer at Fukushima Waraji Matsuri.1104 views
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My YouTube video featuring Diverse dance troupes on the streets of Fukushima in the evening at the annual Fukushima Waraji Matsuri. This is the evening parade (Dancing Soda Night) on Aug. 8, 2009.522 views
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JR Miharu Station on the Ban'etsu-to Line, two stops from JR Koriyama Station on the Tohoku shinkansen line.430 views
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My YouTube video featuring hula dancers in waraji straw sandals, hip-hop, belly dancers, and more during the 1st Waraji Day Dance Contest on Ekimae-dori near Fukushima Station on Aug. 8, 2009 at 12:30 pm. Also, giant waraji races.410 views
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Main entrance to Spa Resort Hawaiians, a huge water park and onsen hot spring amusement facility built in 1966. I visited for the first time shortly after they reopened on Feb. 8, 2012.380 views
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Bishamon-numa Pond, Fukushima Pref. Bandai-Asahi National Park 毘沙門沼307 views
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Colorful koi carp fish in Bishamon-numa Pond, Fukushima Pref. 毘沙門沼270 viewsBandai-Asahi National Park
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Benten-numa Pond, maximum depth 6 meters. 弁天沼265 viewsBandai-Asahi National Park
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View from Spa Resort Hawaiians.239 views
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Monument from Rome, Italy, given in 1928 by Mussolini. The column is from the ruins of a palace in Pompeii.229 views
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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.226 views
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Nihonmatsu Castle, also popularly called Kasumigajo Castle, is on a low hill amid the flat plains of central Nihonmatsu, Fukushima. It is one of Japan's 100 Famous Castles as well as one of Japan's 100 Famous Cherry Blossom Sites.209 views
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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.207 views
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Sannomaru keep. 三の丸跡191 views
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This is Maluhia Yukari, the leader of the hula girls. She was a pivotal in taking the lead following the 3/11 disasters and promoting Spa Resort Hawaiians on tour. She retired in June 2012. マルヒア由佳理183 views
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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.177 views
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Byakkotai souvenirs175 views
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Aonuma Pond 青沼162 views
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Back on the hilltop ridge. That's the Takizakura on the lower left.157 views
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Family crests of all the warrior clans who occupied Wakamatsu Castle.156 views
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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 Aizu156 views
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JR Fukushima Station on the west side (Nishi-guchi).155 views
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San-no-Maru entrance to Tsurugajo Castle 三の丸151 views
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Cherry blossom petals fall in the wind.149 views
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About the Poetry monument for Takamura Chieko. 高村 智恵子147 views
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The whole water park is heated to tropical temperatures even when it is freezing outside.144 views
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Monument from a German, Hasso von Etzdorf (1900 - 1989).143 views
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Poetry monument for poet Takamura Chieko (1886-1938). 高村 智恵子143 views
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Held on the first Fri. and Sat. of Aug., the Fukushima Waraji Matsuri is mainly an evening parade of dancers. During Aug. 7-8, 2009, the 40th Fukushima Waraji Festival was held. I saw it on the second day.141 views
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The huge water park at Spa Resort Hawaiians. All the water is from a hot spring. The pool water is lukewarm.141 views
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The water slides cost extra money. 200 yen per slide.138 views
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Rokabashi Bridge 廊下橋137 views
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136 views
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Fukushima Waraji Matsuri135 views
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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).132 views
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JR Nihonmatsu Station132 views
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Great dancers and great show!131 views
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During April when the spring flowers are in bloom, a convenient shuttle bus runs from JR Fukushima Station to Hanamiyama Park. A short bus ride.130 views
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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 1639.124 views
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Many of the dancers wore waraji-related things.124 views
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Tsuruga-jo Castle as seen from the rear.123 views
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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.121 views
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Graves of the 19 teenage Byakkotai warriors who killed themselves with their own swords.120 views
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Painting depicting Byakkotai suicide on Iimoriyama Hill118 views
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Sazaedo117 views
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My video of Spa Resort Hawaiians. Visit Fukushima, visit Spa Resort Hawaiians!117 views
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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).116 views
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116 views
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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.114 views
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Portrait of Lord Gamo Ujisato114 views
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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.114 views
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Fukushima Waraji Matsuri112 views
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About the monument from Rome.110 views
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One wing of Hotel Hawaiians was still undergoing repairs to cracks.110 views
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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.109 views
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Byakkotai Gravesite. It is on a flat area which also has several other Byakkotai monuments including those from other countries.109 views
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Most next to Otemon Gate107 views
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Shortly after Joban Hawaiian Center opened in 1966, famous singer Aunty Genoa Keawe from Hawaii performed here.107 views
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The steps lead to Minowa Gate. 箕輪門107 views
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Slope where they committed seppuku (hara-kiri). 自刃の地106 views
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Sample rock foundation unearthed from the Niwa clan's residence.105 views
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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 1874.104 views
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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.104 views
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Approach to the Byakkotai gravesite.104 views
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Wakamatsu Castle as seen from the rear.103 views
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Kotokuji temple103 views
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Foilage on the slopes of Honmaru102 views
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Aizu-Wakamatsu manhole102 views
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Honmaru Uzumimon Gate and tenshukaku castle tower.101 views
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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101 views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."
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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.100 views
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From JR Yumoto Station, free shuttle buses run to Spa Resort Hawaiians.100 views
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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.99 views
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99 views
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Inside the train going from JR Iwaki Station to Yumoto Station. Very nice and clean.99 views
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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98 views
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Statue of a teenage samurai looking at Wakamatsu Castle.98 views
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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.97 views
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Byakkotai statue outside the Byakkotai Memorial Museum97 views
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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96 views
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Inside Rinkaku Tea Ceremony House96 views
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Byakkotai statue at Aizu-Wakamatsu Station96 views
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On the right side are more gravestones. These are 31 Byakkotai members who died in battle. 戦死96 views
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Site where they committed seppuku (hara-kiri). 自刃の地95 views
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Arrow points to Tsuruga-jo Castle.95 views
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This girl's homemade happi coat says "Waraji Matsuri."95 views
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Fukushima Hanamiyama Park 95 views
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Photo gallery95 views
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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94 views
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Free shuttle bus to Spa Resort Hawaiians departs in front of JR Yumoto Station.94 views
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Names of Byakkotai members, all 14 to 17 years old.93 views
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Sazaedo, a unique wooden, hexagonal structure which you will see when coming down from Iimoriyama.93 views
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Miharu Takizakura weeping cherry tree in Miharu, Fukushima Prefecture. Over 1,000 years old.93 views
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Fukushima Hanamiyama Park spring flowers 93 views
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Rowboats for rent at Bishamon-numa Pond. 毘沙門沼92 views
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This has become a national shrine, almost as important as Sengakuji where the 47 masterless samurai are buried.92 views
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Sazaedo92 views
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Inside Hawaiian gift shop.92 views
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Ganbappe Fukushima! 92 views
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Tourist map of Yumoto Spa.92 views
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Miharu Takizakura weeping cherry tree in Miharu, Fukushima Prefecture.92 views
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The color of the water is stunningly beautiful.91 views
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Byakkotai Graves91 views
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Byakkotai Graves91 views
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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.90 views
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Another monument90 views
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Awards ceremony. The festival ended at about 9:30 pm.90 views
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Panorama of Nihonmatsu Castle's Honmaru.90 views
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Miharu Takizakura weeping cherry tree in Miharu, Fukushima Prefecture. Over 1,000 years old.89 views
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Nihonmatsu Castle's Minowa Gate was reconstructed in Aug. 1982 at a cost of 200 million yen. 箕輪門89 views
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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88 views
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Sazaedo88 views
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Clear view of Mt. Shinobuyama 信夫山88 views
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Marvelous views of cherry blossoms from Nihonmatsu Castle's Honmaru.88 views
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Nature trail to other ponds.87 views
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Inawashiro Station 猪苗代駅87 views
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Nihonmatsu Castle's old stone wall originally built by Gamo Ujisato.87 views
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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86 views
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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..86 views
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About Iinuma Sadakichi (later changed his first name to Sadao)86 views
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Fukushima manhole. I think it's waraji straw sandals.86 views
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Hand-painted candles85 views
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Monument for teenage samurai who died in battle.85 views
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Byakko Kannon statue85 views
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The new Monolith Hotel opened on Feb. 8, 2012.85 views
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Miharu Takizakura weeping cherry tree in Miharu, Fukushima Prefecture. Over 1,000 years old.85 views
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Weeping cherry tree and Nihonmatsu Castle's Minowa Gate.85 views
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Kitade-maru 北出丸84 views
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Rokabashi Bridge 廊下橋84 views
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Entrance doors to Lord Gamo Ujisato's gravesite within Kotokuji temple which is a Zen temple of the Rinzai Sect.84 views
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Tombs of those Byakkotai who died in action.84 views
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Layout of Spa Resort Hawaiians.84 views
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Nanohana rape blossoms. In the distance are gift shops.84 views
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Gift shop84 views
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Aizu-Wakamatsu Station 会津若松駅83 views
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Hawaiian gift shops.83 views
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Hanamiyama Park, Fukushima city.83 views
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The 5th and top floor of castle tower has a nice lookout deck all.82 views
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Monument for the Nihonmatsu Shōnentai82 views
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About Hanamiyama Park.82 views
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Monument on Kitade-maru 北出丸81 views
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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 40.81 views
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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.81 views
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Their names, age, and "senshi" 戦死 (died in battle) are engraved on the stones.80 views
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Tsubakizaka Slope which is a bridge to the castle tower. 椿坂79 views
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Uga Shrine 宇賀神社79 views
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Also see my YouTube video here.79 views
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Fukushima Hanamiyama Park spring flowers 79 views
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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.78 views
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Grave of Iinuma Sadakichi, the only Byakkotai warrior who survived and told the story of this valiant teenage group.78 views
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Statue faces Tsuruga-jo Castle which can be seen in the distance.78 views
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Byakkotai enshrined in Uga Shrine78 views
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Also see my YouTube video here.78 views
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Miharu Takizakura weeping cherry tree in Miharu, Fukushima Prefecture.78 views
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Fukushima Hanamiyama Park spring flowers 78 views
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Tsubakizaka Slope which is lined with cherry trees. 椿坂77 views
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A warrior dummy shows how stones can be dropped through the stone hole on the floor.77 views
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Eateries. This one is named Lau Lau, but no lau lau is served.77 views
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Foilage and stone gate76 views
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Foilage on Kitade-maru 北出丸76 views
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Spa Garden Pareo has outdoor pools and a sauna. In winter, the air is freezing cold.76 views
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Nihonmatsu manhole, Fukushima Pref.76 views
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Benten-numa Pond. 弁天沼75 views
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Right beyond the Taikomon Gate is a tourist info office, cafe, restrooms, and benches.75 views
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Castle tower as seen from Honmaru Uzumimon Gate75 views
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Rokabashi Bridge 廊下橋75 views
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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.75 views
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Tombs of those Byakkotai who died in action.75 views
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Notice anything unusual about these hula dancers?75 views
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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74 views
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The gift shop also has a gallery of local crafts such as lacquerware.74 views
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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."74 views
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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.73 views
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Look at their footwear. They are wearing a pair of waraji straw sandals.73 views
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Miharu Takizakura weeping cherry tree in Miharu, Fukushima Prefecture. 73 views
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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.72 views
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A recent addition is this statue of a teenage samurai looking at Wakamatsu Castle.72 views
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72 views
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Also see my YouTube video here.72 views
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Wading pool.72 views
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Wading pool.72 views
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Spring Park, a lukewarm hot spring pool.72 views
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Statue of the Nihonmatsu Shonentai Teenage Corps who fought and died in the Boshin War, in front of Nihonmatsu Station, Fukushima.72 views
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Fukushima Hanamiyama Park spring flowers 72 views
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Taikomon Gate stonework71 views
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After completing earthquake repairs, the water park re-opened on Feb. 8, 2012. Admission was half price.71 views
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Besides the pools, there are real hot spring baths where you have to go in naked. Cameras not allowed though.71 views
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The tombstone has five segments each with a kanji character. 五輪塔70 views
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70 views
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The water slides cost extra money. 200 yen per slide or a day pass for 2,200 yen.70 views
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70 views
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Statue of the Nihonmatsu Shōnentai (二本松少年隊) or the Nihonmatsu Teenage Corps at Nihonmatsu Castle, Fukushima.70 views
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Nihonmatsu Teenage Corps at Nihonmatsu Castle, Fukushima. They were age 12 to 17 who fought and died in the Boshin War.70 views
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Many cherry trees in front of the Monument for the Nihonmatsu Shōnentai.70 views
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Nihonmatsu manhole, Fukushima Pref.70 views
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Map of Hanamiyama Park. It's kind of hard to figure out.70 views
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A small room along the Minami Hashiri Nagaya Longhouse.69 views
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69 views
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69 views
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69 views
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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68 views
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68 views
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Hula lesson for kids at the Beach Theater in the Water Park.68 views
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The castle tower was reconstructed as a ferroconcrete building in Sept. 1965 on its original site.67 views
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Tsurugajo Castle. The castle tower entrance can be seen.67 views
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Honmaru as seen from the top of the castle tower.67 views
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