Tsuruga Castle Aizuwakamatsu

Aizuwakamatsu Castle 会津若松城

Aizuwakamatsu Castle History

Aizuwakamatsu Castle, also known as Tsuruga Castle (鶴ヶ城) is located in the city of Aizuwakamatsu in Fukushima Prefecture in the Tohoku region of north eastern Japan.

A fortress has stood on the site since 1384, when Ashina Naomori built the original castle known as Kurokawa Castle (黒川城).

Tsuruga Castle, Fukushima, Tohoku, Japan.
Tsuruga Castle, Fukushima, Tohoku, Japan

Date Masamune, the warlord based in Sendai, and captured the castle in 1589 after a siege but was forced to tender it to Toyotomi Hideyoshi just a year later.

Gamo Ujisato (1556 - 1595) redesigned and strengthened the castle and renamed it Tsuruga Castle, though it was popularly referred to as Aizuwakamatsu Castle.

Aizuwakamatsu Castle was the seat of the powerful Aizu clan, enthusiastic supporters of the Tokugawa regime throughout the Edo Period of Japanese history. The first father of the Aizu clan was Hoshina Masayuki, a grandson of Ieyasu Tokugawa, his family became known as the Matsudaira.

Aizuwakamatsu Castle was besieged during the Boshin War of 1868, which saw the overthrow of the Tokugawa and the castle, badly damaged was demolished in 1874.

The present tenshu or keep is a ferro-concrete reconstruction dating from 1965 which contains a museum and a viewing gallery with good views over the surrounding area. The museum has exhibits of Japanese armor, swords and other samurai-related articles.

There are seven stories and the castle has much in common with the design of both Nagoya Castle and Osaka Castle.

The grounds of the castle still contain the original walls and moats, lovely cherry trees as well as Kasamainari Shrine and Rinkaku Teahouse.

Oyakuen - the reconstructed villa of the Aizu lords - is a short walk from Tsuruga Castle.

Tsuruga Castle, Fukushima Prefecture.
Aizuwakamatsu Castle aka Tsuruga Castle, Fukushima Prefecture
Tsuruga Castle, Fukushima.
Photograph of Tsuruga Castle taken in 1868, this image was used when the keep was reconstructed in 1965.

Aizuwakamatsu Castle
Tel: 0242 27 4005
Admission: 410 yen (320 yen for Oyakuen)
Hours: 8.30am-5pm (last entry 4.30pm)

Access To Aizuwakamatsu Castle

From Tokyo Station ride the Tohoku Shinkansen to Koriyama (90 minutes) and then change to the Ban'etsu West Line to Aizu-Wakamatsu Station (70 minutes).

From Sendai take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Koriyama (37 minutes) and then change to the Ban'etsu West Line to Aizu-Wakamatsu Station (70 minutes).

From JR Aizu-Wakamatsu Station, the castle is a 30-minute walk or 10 minutes by bus or 20 minutes by Aizu Loop Bus to Tsurugajo Kitaguchi.

Aizuwakamatsu (Tsuruga) Castle Map

View Sendai & Tohoku Map in a larger map

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