The word hetsuri means “steep cliff” in the local dialect.
To no Hetsuri is a large rock wall, spanning approximately 100 meters, that has been eroded over millions of years by the river, wind, and rain. The area is also dotted by mysterious rocks.
idge on foot. To-no-Hetsuri is a nationally designated natural monument; the busiest season is autumn, during the changing of the leaves.
It is also part of Fujimi Park, and is beautiful when the wisteria flowers are in season.
A fine spot in Shimogo-machi, located to the south of Aizuwakamatsu City.
Ouchijuku was once a prosperous post town located along the west Aizu Highway, a main road running from Aizuwakamatsu to Imaizumi City in Tochigi Prefecture.
The traditional post town has been preserved by the residents, and continues to thrive.
The atmosphere of an Edo period post town has been preserved here. Thatch-roofed houses built hundreds of years ago still line the street, creating a reflection of the past.
In 1981, Ouchijuku was designated a National Preserved Traditional Structure.
The white castle of Aizuwakamatsu has a history of over 600 years; it is also known as Tsurugajo Castle.
It is located south of central Aizuwakamatsu City. Its history spans back to the Ashina Clan, who built it during the Warring States.
Over time, the ruling clans have included the Uesugi, Gamo, Kato, Hoshina, and the Matsudairas. Changes to the castle were made up until the area’s upheaval in the civil war that occurred at the end of the Edo period.
The Matsudaira clan in Aizu sided with the Tokugawa Shogunate in the Boshin Civil War. Stories of tragedy were left in the wake of the battle that occurred here at the castle and in the surrounding castle town.
The castle tower was burnt to the ground in the Meiji period, but was rebuilt in 1965. The inside of the castle is now a museum, open to the public.
Lord Ashina built a villa in this area during the Muromachi period. Lord Hoshina, the second lord of the Matsudaira family, started an herb garden here in 1670.
When the third lord of the Matsudaira family assumed power in 1696, he ordered that a genuine garden be built, using Enshuu style techniques, including the use of boats on the pond.
The pond in the garden is shaped like the Japanese kanji for “heart”; in the middle of the pond stands a small plot of land, where the Rakujuen tea house stands.
The herb garden includes trees such as Japanese Yew and Japanese Umbrella Pine, which are more than 500 years old. More than 300 kinds of medicinal plants are also cultivated here. Each season has different beautiful flowering plants to enjoy.
In 1932, the garden was designated a National Site of Scenic Beauty by the government, as representative of style of landscaped garden popular with the Tokugawa Shogunate.