Iimoriyama

Iimoriyama, Aizuwakamatsu: Address, Phone Number, Iimoriyama Reviews: 4/5

Mountains • Points of Interest & Landmarks • Historic Walking Areas
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4.0
313 reviews
Excellent
59
Very good
181
Average
69
Poor
3
Terrible
1

Warner L
Pasadena, CA668 contributions
WELL WORTH THE TRIP UP THE HILL
Oct 2019
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
Written October 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

RetireeBob
Wollongong427 contributions
A Tragic Historical Site with a Modern Peacefulness to It.
Apr 2019 • Couples
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.
Written June 23, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

petertaylor57
Auckland Central, New Zealand305 contributions
Something only the Japanese would idolise.
Sep 2018 • Solo
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.
Written September 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Anon A
London, UK142 contributions
Interesting local history site
Jul 2018 • Family
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
Written July 26, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

thelonious22
Seongnam4,272 contributions
Wroth it for the town view from the top
Oct 2017 • Solo
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.
Written November 9, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

austranomads
Australia54 contributions
SITE OF HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE
Oct 2016 • Couples
This is a place of historical significance to the area and well worth a visit to feel the spiritual significance, view the city below and help understand the thinking of the youths there at the time.
Getting to the site it by way of stairs or walking elevator.
Written November 26, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Asterix135
Toronto, Canada180 contributions
Interesting if you know something about Japanese history
Jul 2016 • Family
Other reviews have explained a bit about the history of this place, so I won't repeat that here.

The mountain site itself is kind of interesting if you have some ability to read Japanese, as the few English explanations are not all that helpful. There's a definite melancholy feel to the place if you think about why it's a tourist attraction. It's also a bit surprising to see monuments from Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy near the graves.

Byakkotai/Iimoriyama is the place Aizu is best known for in Japan, and in that sense is worth visiting if you've in the area.

Sazaedo (the pagoda), though is not really worth the 400yen entry fee.
Written July 13, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Bob W
Tokyo, Japan67 contributions
Interesting historical site
Jun 2016 • Couples
Historical site of the tombs of the 20 Byakkotai who got cut off from the rest of their division during the battle of Tonoguchihara of the Boshin war who looked down from the mountain to see the city in flames; thinking that Aizu had fallen, the 20 committed ritual suicide at Iimoriyama. (One was rescued and survived). The Byakkotai was a reserve unit and consisted of teenage boys.
Excellent view of the city of Aizuwakamatsu from the mountain.
Walking shoes would be comfortable to climb the many stairs up the mountain to the site; however, there is a motorized conveyor ramp up the mountain for those who cannot or do not want to make the climb. (It costs 250 yen to take the conveyor ramp up; the walk down is mostly a sloped, paved path.)
Written June 17, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

bibi_ngo
Manila, Philippines51 contributions
Sentimental & Historical
Aug 2015
The place has a lot of more sentimental in addition to historical value. Best enjoyed if you can read and understand the few Japanese signs around.
This is the hilltop where a group of very young boys who served as warriors to the then lord of Tsuruga Castle committed suicide under the wrong notion that the castle has fallen and gone into flames. This group called Byakkotai (literally, White Tiger Corps) has been the subject of many anime, stories, movies, plays which portray loyalty and love of country - a trait lacking in many young Japanese today. Interestingly, one man - Iimori, to whom the hill was eventually named after - survived, through whom we know the story of the Byakkotai today.
Written May 7, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Terri S
Bothell, WA247 contributions
History and views
Oct 2015 • Family
Well worth the climb for the view and monuments (or take the people mover like I did). This area has monuments given from foreign counties and notable grave sights. It is best known for a war a long time ago where a band teenage warriors thought they saw the castle in the distance on fire. Thinking all was lost in the war, they honorably committed suicide. You can see the castle in the distance but you have to negotiate some very old and steep stairs to do so once at the top.
Written October 22, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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