Most viewed - FUKUSHIMA 福島県
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Belly dancer at Fukushima Waraji Matsuri.1596 views
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Belly dancer at Fukushima Waraji Matsuri.1103 views
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Belly dancer at Fukushima Waraji Matsuri.1084 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, 2009.515 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.417 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.403 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, 2012.372 views
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Bishamon-numa Pond, Fukushima Pref. Bandai-Asahi National Park 毘沙門沼285 views
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Colorful koi carp fish in Bishamon-numa Pond, Fukushima Pref. 毘沙門沼248 viewsBandai-Asahi National Park
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Benten-numa Pond, maximum depth 6 meters. 弁天沼243 viewsBandai-Asahi National Park
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View from Spa Resort Hawaiians.232 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.208 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.206 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.200 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.194 views
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Sannomaru keep. 三の丸跡184 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176 views
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Byakkotai souvenirs167 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.162 views
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Family crests of all the warrior clans who occupied Wakamatsu Castle.149 views
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JR Fukushima Station on the west side (Nishi-guchi).148 views
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Aonuma Pond 青沼147 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 Aizu147 views
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Back on the hilltop ridge. That's the Takizakura on the lower left.145 views
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San-no-Maru entrance to Tsurugajo Castle 三の丸144 views
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Cherry blossom petals fall in the wind.142 views
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About the Poetry monument for Takamura Chieko. 高村 智恵子140 views
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The whole water park is heated to tropical temperatures even when it is freezing outside.136 views
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Poetry monument for poet Takamura Chieko (1886-1938). 高村 智恵子136 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.134 views
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Rokabashi Bridge 廊下橋130 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.130 views
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The water slides cost extra money. 200 yen per slide.127 views
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JR Nihonmatsu Station125 views
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Great dancers and great show!124 views
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Fukushima Waraji Matsuri119 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.118 views
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Tsuruga-jo Castle as seen from the rear.116 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 1639.114 views
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Graves of the 19 teenage Byakkotai warriors who killed themselves with their own swords.112 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.111 views
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Monument from a German, Hasso von Etzdorf (1900 - 1989).111 views
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Painting depicting Byakkotai suicide on Iimoriyama Hill110 views
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My video of Spa Resort Hawaiians. Visit Fukushima, visit Spa Resort Hawaiians!110 views
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Sazaedo109 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.107 views
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Portrait of Lord Gamo Ujisato107 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).107 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).107 views
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Many of the dancers wore waraji-related things.107 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.106 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.102 views
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One wing of Hotel Hawaiians was still undergoing repairs to cracks.102 views
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Most next to Otemon Gate100 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.100 views
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Shortly after Joban Hawaiian Center opened in 1966, famous singer Aunty Genoa Keawe from Hawaii performed here.100 views
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Slope where they committed seppuku (hara-kiri). 自刃の地98 views
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Sample rock foundation unearthed from the Niwa clan's residence.98 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 1874.97 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.97 views
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Wakamatsu Castle as seen from the rear.96 views
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Kotokuji temple96 views
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Approach to the Byakkotai gravesite.96 views
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Fukushima Waraji Matsuri96 views
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Foilage on the slopes of Honmaru95 views
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About the monument from Rome.95 views
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Honmaru Uzumimon Gate and tenshukaku castle tower.94 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93 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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From JR Yumoto Station, free shuttle buses run to Spa Resort Hawaiians.93 views
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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.92 views
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Inside the train going from JR Iwaki Station to Yumoto Station. Very nice and clean.92 views
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The steps lead to Minowa Gate. 箕輪門92 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.91 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.90 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90 views
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Statue of a teenage samurai looking at Wakamatsu Castle.90 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89 views
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Inside Rinkaku Tea Ceremony House89 views
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Byakkotai statue at Aizu-Wakamatsu Station88 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87 views
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Aizu-Wakamatsu manhole87 views
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On the right side are more gravestones. These are 31 Byakkotai members who died in battle. 戦死87 views
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Site where they committed seppuku (hara-kiri). 自刃の地87 views
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Arrow points to Tsuruga-jo Castle.87 views
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Byakkotai statue outside the Byakkotai Memorial Museum87 views
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Free shuttle bus to Spa Resort Hawaiians departs in front of JR Yumoto Station.87 views
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Rowboats for rent at Bishamon-numa Pond. 毘沙門沼85 views
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Names of Byakkotai members, all 14 to 17 years old.85 views
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Sazaedo, a unique wooden, hexagonal structure which you will see when coming down from Iimoriyama.85 views
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Inside Hawaiian gift shop.85 views
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Ganbappe Fukushima! 85 views
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Tourist map of Yumoto Spa.85 views
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The color of the water is stunningly beautiful.84 views
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This has become a national shrine, almost as important as Sengakuji where the 47 masterless samurai are buried.84 views
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Sazaedo84 views
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Byakkotai Graves83 views
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Byakkotai Graves83 views
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Awards ceremony. The festival ended at about 9:30 pm.83 views
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Photo gallery83 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.82 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81 views
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Clear view of Mt. Shinobuyama 信夫山81 views
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Nature trail to other ponds.80 views
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Inawashiro Station 猪苗代駅80 views
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Sazaedo80 views
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This girl's homemade happi coat says "Waraji Matsuri."80 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79 views
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Hand-painted candles78 views
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About Iinuma Sadakichi (later changed his first name to Sadao)78 views
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Monument for teenage samurai who died in battle.78 views
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The new Monolith Hotel opened on Feb. 8, 2012.78 views
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Kitade-maru 北出丸77 views
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Rokabashi Bridge 廊下橋77 views
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Layout of Spa Resort Hawaiians.77 views
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Aizu-Wakamatsu Station 会津若松駅76 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..76 views
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Hawaiian gift shops.76 views
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The 5th and top floor of castle tower has a nice lookout deck all.75 views
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Tombs of those Byakkotai who died in action.75 views
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Panorama of Nihonmatsu Castle's Honmaru.75 views
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Monument for the Nihonmatsu Shōnentai75 views
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Fukushima Hanamiyama Park 75 views
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Monument on Kitade-maru 北出丸74 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.74 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74 views
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Their names, age, and "senshi" 戦死 (died in battle) are engraved on the stones.73 views
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Byakko Kannon statue73 views
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Miharu Takizakura weeping cherry tree in Miharu, Fukushima Prefecture. Over 1,000 years old.73 views
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Marvelous views of cherry blossoms from Nihonmatsu Castle's Honmaru.73 views
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Fukushima Hanamiyama Park spring flowers 73 views
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Tsubakizaka Slope which is a bridge to the castle tower. 椿坂72 views
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Another monument72 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.72 views
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Also see my YouTube video here.72 views
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Miharu Takizakura weeping cherry tree in Miharu, Fukushima Prefecture.72 views
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Nihonmatsu Castle's old stone wall originally built by Gamo Ujisato.72 views
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Gift shop72 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.71 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 40.71 views
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Uga Shrine 宇賀神社71 views
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Also see my YouTube video here.71 views
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Fukushima manhole. I think it's waraji straw sandals.71 views
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Tsubakizaka Slope which is lined with cherry trees. 椿坂70 views
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A warrior dummy shows how stones can be dropped through the stone hole on the floor.70 views
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Grave of Iinuma Sadakichi, the only Byakkotai warrior who survived and told the story of this valiant teenage group.70 views
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Statue faces Tsuruga-jo Castle which can be seen in the distance.70 views
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Byakkotai enshrined in Uga Shrine70 views
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Eateries. This one is named Lau Lau, but no lau lau is served.70 views
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Weeping cherry tree and Nihonmatsu Castle's Minowa Gate.70 views
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About Hanamiyama Park.70 views
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Foilage and stone gate69 views
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Foilage on Kitade-maru 北出丸69 views
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Spa Garden Pareo has outdoor pools and a sauna. In winter, the air is freezing cold.69 views
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Miharu Takizakura weeping cherry tree in Miharu, Fukushima Prefecture. Over 1,000 years old.69 views
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Benten-numa Pond. 弁天沼68 views
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Right beyond the Taikomon Gate is a tourist info office, cafe, restrooms, and benches.68 views
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Castle tower as seen from Honmaru Uzumimon Gate68 views
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Rokabashi Bridge 廊下橋68 views
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Tombs of those Byakkotai who died in action.68 views
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Notice anything unusual about these hula dancers?68 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67 views
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The gift shop also has a gallery of local crafts such as lacquerware.67 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."67 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.66 views
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Look at their footwear. They are wearing a pair of waraji straw sandals.66 views
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Miharu Takizakura weeping cherry tree in Miharu, Fukushima Prefecture. Over 1,000 years old.66 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.65 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.65 views
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A recent addition is this statue of a teenage samurai looking at Wakamatsu Castle.65 views
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Also see my YouTube video here.65 views
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Wading pool.65 views
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Wading pool.65 views
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Spring Park, a lukewarm hot spring pool.65 views
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Taikomon Gate stonework64 views
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After completing earthquake repairs, the water park re-opened on Feb. 8, 2012. Admission was half price.64 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.64 views
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Nanohana rape blossoms. In the distance are gift shops.64 views
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The tombstone has five segments each with a kanji character. 五輪塔63 views
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The water slides cost extra money. 200 yen per slide or a day pass for 2,200 yen.63 views
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Many cherry trees in front of the Monument for the Nihonmatsu Shōnentai.63 views
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Hanamiyama Park, Fukushima city.63 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61 views
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A small room along the Minami Hashiri Nagaya Longhouse.61 views
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Hula lesson for kids at the Beach Theater in the Water Park.61 views
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Nihonmatsu manhole, Fukushima Pref.61 views
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Tsurugajo Castle. The castle tower entrance can be seen.60 views
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Honmaru as seen from the top of the castle tower.60 views
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Stone-dropping hole.60 views
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Tsurugajo Inari Shrine60 views
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Aizu-Wakamatsu Station 会津若松駅60 views
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A trio of belly dancers.60 views
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Castle tower as seen from the west side in the Obikurawa 帯郭59 views
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Tsuruga-jo Castle tower. It is lit up at night.59 views
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The castle tower was reconstructed as a ferroconcrete building in Sept. 1965 on its original site.59 views
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A warrior dummy shows how a hole in the wall is used.59 views
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Miharu Takizakura weeping cherry tree in Miharu, Fukushima Prefecture.59 views
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Fukushima Hanamiyama Park spring flowers 59 views
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