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Tohoku

Articles and travel guides on the Tohoku Region (東北地方 Tōhoku-chihō): Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, Yamagata

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  • Fukushima Prefecture

    Fukushima is the southernmost prefecture of the Tōhoku Region in northern Honshū and consists of three subregions: the Aizu Region (会津), or Aizu...
  • Tohoku Travel Guide

    The Tohoku Region (東北地方 Tōhoku-chihō), sometimes referred to as Ōu Region (奥羽地方 Ōu-chihō), comprises the following prefectures: Akita (秋田県...
  • Aizuwakamatsu Travel Guide

    Aizuwakamatsu is a city in western Fukushima Prefecture, northern Honshū, and the most important city in the Aizu basin, with a population of...
  • Iimoriyama

    Mount Iimori (飯盛山 Iimoriyama) is located east of Aizuwakamatsu JR Station in the town of Aizuwakamatsu in western Fukushima. In 1868, it was the...
  • Miharu Castle

    Miharu Castle (三春城) is located in Miharu-machi in the Abukuma Mountains, 10km east of Koriyama in Fukushima Prefecture. Being an old castle town,...
  • Osorezan

    Osorezan (恐山, Mount Osore, 879 m), often transliterated as "Mount Fear" or "Mountain of Terror", is a composite volcano located on Shimokita...
  • Aizu Bukeyashiki

    The Aizu Buke-yashiki (会津武家屋敷) are the reconstructed samurai mansions of the chief retainers of the Aizu-Matsudaira, the Saigō family. The Saigō...
  • Aizu Sake Museum

    The history of sake-brewing in Aizu goes back to the sixteenth century, when Gamō Ujisato (蒲生氏郷, 1556-1595) came into Aizu by order of Toyotomi...
  • Oyakuen

    Oyakuen (御薬園) is also known as “Aizuwakamatsu’s Royal Garden“. The second Chinese character 薬 (kusuri or yaku) means “medicine” and refers to the...
  • Matsudaira Tombs

    The Matsudaira Tombs (松平家廟所) are located in the southeastern part of Aizuwakamatsu, close to Higashiyama Village, on a hill not far from the Aizu...
  1. Miharu Castle

    Miharu Castle (三春城) is located in Miharu-machi in the Abukuma Mountains, 10km east of Koriyama in Fukushima Prefecture. Being an old castle town, Miharu has many temples and a picturesque town center held in traditional Japanese style. The castle lies on a hill called Shiroyama and faces the eastern boroughs of the town. Almost none of the original buildings survived, only the Hanko Gate (Hanko was a school founded by the Tamura clan) is still on display at the entrance to Miharu elementary school. During the Edo Period (1600-1868) the residence of the daimyō was situated on the grounds...
  2. Osorezan

    Osorezan (恐山, Mount Osore, 879 m), often transliterated as "Mount Fear" or "Mountain of Terror", is a composite volcano located on Shimokita Peninsula in the north of Aomori Prefecture. It is part of the Shimokita Peninsula Quasi-National Park. Lake Usori (宇曾利湖) is in the centre of its caldera. Osorezan is notorious as a place where the spirits of the dead are believed to linger on their way to the Buddhist paradise. Lake Usori Lake Usori is surrounded by steaming banks with countless vents emitting sulphuric gas. The only plant life able to survive in the wasteland are rhododendrons....
  3. Aizuwakamatsu Travel Guide

    Aizuwakamatsu is a city in western Fukushima Prefecture, northern Honshū, and the most important city in the Aizu basin, with a population of about 125,000 residents. Established as a castle town of the Aizu Domain (会津藩 Aizu-han) in 1592, much of the city burned in the Boshin Civil War (1868-69) in the wake of the Meiji Restoration. Famous for its lacquerware, the city also produces sake, textiles, lumber, and furniture. Aizuwakamatsu takes great pride in its samurai past and its history of martial arts, as well as its ties with the Tokugawa clan. The Hoshina clan (保科氏), who later ruled...
  4. Aizu Sake Museum

    The history of sake-brewing in Aizu goes back to the sixteenth century, when Gamō Ujisato (蒲生氏郷, 1556-1595) came into Aizu by order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣秀吉) and invited sake brewers into the domain. Since the climate as well as the local main ingredients, water and rice, are perfectly suitable for sake brewing, the industry soon spread across the entire Aizu basin. By the year 1667, the number of sake breweries in town amounted to 326. During the reign of Matsudaira Katanobu (松平容頌, 1750–1805), the fifth Matsudaira lord, a new wave of master brewers flooded into the domain, resulting in...
  5. Oyakuen

    Oyakuen (御薬園) is also known as “Aizuwakamatsu’s Royal Garden“. The second Chinese character 薬 (kusuri or yaku) means “medicine” and refers to the fact that medicinal plants and herbs were grown there. The garden was originally built from 1429 to 1441 as a villa for Ashina Morihisa, the tenth lord of the Aizu-Ashina clan (会津蘆名氏), on a spot with natural spring water that was believed to cure all sorts of ailments. In 1670, Hoshina Masatsune (保科正経) started to grow medicinal plants, in particular Korean ginseng, and encouraged the residents of Aizuwakamatsu to follow his example. Matsudaira...
  6. Aizu Bukeyashiki

    The Aizu Buke-yashiki (会津武家屋敷) are the reconstructed samurai mansions of the chief retainers of the Aizu-Matsudaira, the Saigō family. The Saigō had served the Matsudaira since the middle of the seventeenth century. The reconstructed manor is based on plans dating back to end of the eighteenth century and is illustrative of the retainer’s high social status. The mansions comprised 38 rooms and were not only home to the extended Saigō clan, but also to dozens of soldiers and servants. In the Boshin War, when the pro-imperial forces of the Satsuma and Chōshū domains attacked Aizu, the women...
  7. Matsudaira Tombs

    The Matsudaira Tombs (松平家廟所) are located in the southeastern part of Aizuwakamatsu, close to Higashiyama Village, on a hill not far from the Aizu Bukeyashiki samurai mansions. The hill contains the tombs of eight out of nine generations of the Matsudaira lords, from the second to the ninth daimyo of Aizu: Hoshina Masatsune (保科正経, 1669–1681) Matsudaira Masakata (松平正容, 1681–1731) Matsudaira Katasada (松平容貞, 1731–1750) Matsudaira Katanobu (松平容頌, 1750–1805) Matsudaira Kataoki (松平容住, 1805) Matsudaira Katahiro (松平容衆, 1806–1822) Matsudaira Katataka (松平容敬, 1822–1852) Matsudaira Katamori (松平容保,...
  8. Iimoriyama

    Mount Iimori (飯盛山 Iimoriyama) is located east of Aizuwakamatsu JR Station in the town of Aizuwakamatsu in western Fukushima. In 1868, it was the location of a mass suicide of a Byakkotai unit consisting of twenty teenagers, all sons of Aizu samurai fighting against the invading pro-imperial forces of the Satsuma-Chōshū Alliance. It houses the graves of this and other Byakkotai units, the Byakkotai Museum as well as the Sazaedo, a hexagonal pagoda with a spiralling ramp that allows you to ascend and descend inside the wooden structure. You approach the hill from the Aizu bus station and...
  9. Fukushima Prefecture

    Fukushima is the southernmost prefecture of the Tōhoku Region in northern Honshū and consists of three subregions: the Aizu Region (会津), or Aizu District, in the west with the principal city of Aizuwakamatsu, the Nakadōri Region (中通り), or the Ken-nan District, in the centre with the principal cities of Kōriyama and the prefecture’s capital, Fukushima, and the Hamadōri Region (浜通り), or the Soma-Futaba-Iwaki District in the east facing the Pacific Ocean, with the principal city of Iwaki. Geography Fukushima is bounded by Yamagata and Miyagi prefectures to the north, by the Pacific Ocean...
  10. Tohoku Travel Guide

    The Tohoku Region (東北地方 Tōhoku-chihō), sometimes referred to as Ōu Region (奥羽地方 Ōu-chihō), comprises the following prefectures: Akita (秋田県 Akita-ken) Aomori (青森県 Aomori-ken) Fukushima (福島県 Fukushima-ken) Iwate (岩手県 Iwate-ken) Miyagi (宮城県 Miyagi-ken) Yamagata (山形県 Yamagata-ken) It encompasses the entire northern end of the island of Honshū and comprises the ancient provinces of Mutsu (陸奥国Mutsu no kuni) and Dewa (出羽国 Dewa no kuni). It is largely mountainous, with numerous basins, mountain valleys, and small coastal plains. Most towns and cities are concentrated along the Pacific and Sea of...
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