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Ikkimachiyahata, Aizuwakamatsu 965-0003 Fukushima Prefecture
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Aizu Samurai Spirit Guided Tour
Cultural Tours

Aizu Samurai Spirit Guided Tour

Learn the history of the "last samurai" in Japan.<br><br>Visit Tsurugajo Castle and learn about its rich history.<br><br>Experience Kyudo, Japanese archery, at the Samurai school.<br><br>See the tombs of the Byakkotai and hear their tragic story.<br><br>Tour with an expert English speaking guide.
$399.24 per adult
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Warner L wrote a review Oct 2019
Pasadena, California660 contributions117 helpful votes
At the top of this hill there is much to be seen besides the graves of the young boys, there other graves and to the side you have access to other sites; reviewed separately
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Date of experience: October 2019
RetireeBob wrote a review Jun 2019
Wollongong429 contributions119 helpful votes
The is located about 3.5 km from the CBD, a 15min drive (traffic depending). There is a Car park at the foot of the hill. The hill is referred to locally as a small mountain (about 310 meters above sea level). There is a stair case of some 170 stairs (I'm told) or a more inviting escalator that runs adjacent to the stairs (fee). The significance of the site (as it was explained to us) relates to an ancient 19th C battle where a group of 16 and 17-year-old boys known as the 'White Tiger Corps' misinterpreted the meaning of smoke coming from the Shogun's castle (~4km away). The boys thought that the Shogun had been defeated so they all committed seppuku rather than surrender. The boys are buried on the hill. There is a Buddist temple (Aizu Sazaedo) erected on the hill which is constructed of timber and has an unusual double helix spiral ramp that takes you up to the top and down again without backtracking any when inside the Temple. The Temple is plastered with Japanese incriptions printed on sheets of paper and stuck to the internal structure of the spiral. There are put here by pilgrims who visit the site. There is a stream flowing from the hill side straight out of the rock face, which along with the magnificent Cedar trees makes for a pleasant spot to take in the views. The site is very steep and can be difficult to access the whole site if you have mobility issues.
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Date of experience: April 2019
2 Helpful votes
petertaylor57 wrote a review Sep 2018
Auckland Central, New Zealand305 contributions71 helpful votes
This place celebrates the 'White Tiger Brigade', or Byakkotai in Japanese. Apparently, they were to defend the lake above the city as the Samurai wanted these boys, aged in their mid-teens, away from the fighting proper. Unfortunately, when the lake area was overrun, they fell back over the mountain only to see their beloved city in flames and the castle besieged. Then, saying 'Things that must not be shall not be', they promptly slit their bellies open, or fell on each others sword, and act highly revered by Japanese and making this a place of pilgrimage. What a waste! You can see their graves and where they committed suicide, which overlooks the city. The story is better than the attraction and I guess, OK, if you like that kind of thing.
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Date of experience: September 2018
Anon A wrote a review Jul 2018
London, United Kingdom142 contributions129 helpful votes
This i sa very interesting local history site relating to the mid 19th century upheavals in Japan. I won't repeat all the history listed in other reviews, other than to say this hill is the historical site of the tombs of the 20 boy warriors who committed ritual suicide thinking that Aizu had fallen. In addition, the hill offers an excellent view of Aizuwakamatsu. A couple of other tips: - When we went there were local historians offering free guided tours, albeit in Japanese. Between my poor Japanese, their limited English and hand gestures we were able to get by. It did add to the experience as the signage is not the best. Although the gentleman would no accept payment, we bought drinks for him. - An interesting addition is the selection of statues from the 1930s including cultural gifts from European fascist states. One statue from Mussolini was a typical Italian fascist depiction of a character holding the fasces (roman rod of authority from which fascism is derived) An interesting piece of local history
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Date of experience: July 2018
1 Helpful vote
thelonious22 wrote a review Nov 2017
Seongnam4,066 contributions605 helpful votes
It is more of a small hill than a mountain. So it was odd seeing an escalator (which charged a ridiculous 250 yen) that went to the top when the climb wasn’t even a ten minute walk. Shops lined both sides of the path to the top selling nothing interesting but with aggressive vendors for Japanese standards. The view of the town from the top was quite nice and makes the visit worthwhile. The sights near the top, however, would require some knowledge of local history to fully appreciate. There is a memorial for 20 young warriors who served under the local feudal lord who committed suicide. There wasn’t much English explanation there, so that was all I could gather. Some random monuments are nearby like the plaque from Nazi Germany. On the way down, Sazaedo Pagoda was worth a look for its unique hexagonal spiral design.
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Date of experience: October 2017
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