Our Experience at Tsuruga-jo Castle at Samurai City Fukushima, Japan


On the day that we visit the Ouchi-juku Fukushima, we directly went to Tsuruga-jo Castle at Aizu Wakamatsu Fukushima, the samurai city. We arrived at the castle at 12:30 in the afternoon and start exploring as soon as we set our foot inside the premises of the castle.

The Tsuruga-jo castle is at Fukushima Prefecture. Fukushima is famous because of the massive earthquake that destroys the Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011 and leads to a crisis in the northeastern region of Japan. Japan did their best to clean and rebuild the Fukushima Prefecture. Despite the tragic history of Fukushima, there are many tourist attractions that you can see at Fukushima Prefecture.

One of these beautiful tourist attractions is the Tsuruga-jo Castle at Aizuwakamatsu Fukushima. This castle was built in 1384 as an ordinary Japanese building. However, the castle was later on handled by so many different military commanders rulers of the Aizu region as the castle is in the ideal position at the center of Tohoku Area. After the Boshin war in 1868 also known as Japanese Revolution civil war, the castle was destroyed by a rebellion seeking to return political power to the imperial court against the Meiji Government (the early government of the empire of Japan) and taken control of the Tokugawa shogun (the Japanese military government) who also put an end to Japan’s primitive era. The castle was rebuilt and modernized in the 1960s and completed during 2011.

Tsuruga jo Castle, Japan.
The Tsuruga-jo Castle Aizuwakamatsu Fukushima Japan.

We came from Niigata Prefecture and chose to ride our car which gives us almost 3 hours of travel time going to the castle. Another option is through a bullet train/ shinkansen if you are coming from Tokyo, and the one-way trip takes around 90 minutes before you reach Fukushima.

We passed a lot of tunnels going to Fukushima. There is no traffic, and our car is running 80 to 90 km/h. Since the road going to Fukushima is nearby mountains, there are signages about the warning on landslides and animals that might cross the street.
I also saw an emergency telephone along the road.

When we arrived at the castle, there are manageable numbers of visitors as we chose to visit on Monday. The parking area is enough to accommodate large numbers of tourists. You need to walk for at least five minutes from the parking area to the ticket booth of the castle.

Way to the Ticket booth Tsuruga-jo Fukushima, Japan.
Way going to the ticket booth of Tsuruga-jo Castle.

We bought our ticket that cost 510 Yen per adult. Kids are still free to enter the castle. We have two kids ages 6 and three years old.

As you enter the castle, you need to follow security protocols for a smooth visiting such as; bringing drinks from the restaurants is not allowed, mobile phones should turn off, camera or photography is firmly not advisable, bringing of pets and cigarette smoking inside the castle are strongly prohibited.

Ticket Booth of Tsurugajo Castle Fukushima Japan.
The ticket booth of Tsuruga-jo Castle.
Tsuruga-jo Castle Fukushima Japan.
Our Tsuruga-jo Castle Tickets.

Tsuruga-jo Castle has its own Tsuruga-jo Castle Park, with extensive lawns and cherry trees which are more attractive when they are in bloom. Stone walls became an attractant too for the tourist which previously served as a defensive armor of the castle.

The inside of the castle is more on the story of the samurai. From what I remember, the following are what we saw inside the castle; On the ground floor is where the displayed of samurai sword taken place and a copy of an antique helmet. On the second floor is a story of Nisshin-Kan education. The third floor is where the story of the upheaval of the late Tokugawa Shogunate period. Explanation on a Military Government of Kyoto and the beginning of the battle of Aizu. There are portraits of 19 members of Byakkotai Troop displayed on the wall. The surrender of the Aizu clan. A video playing which explains the samurai passed to different generation. And on the fourth level shows the land of Aizu’s Ancestors. The fourth floor is the last level serve as the viewing deck to see the top view of Aizuwakamatsu. There is a coin-operated telescope on the upper level of the castle to enjoy the scenic view of Fukushima.

Near the castle, is the Rinkaku Teahouse, where the feudal lords used to hold the tea ceremony. It is surrounded by a small garden too and visitors can opt to have a tea party as well by themselves. Inside the castle is the Fukushima museum and Aizu Sake Museum which is a five minutes walk.

The Tsuruga-jo Rinkaku Teahouse Fukushima Japan.
The Tsuruga-jo Rinkaku Teahouse.

After we tour Tsuruga-jo Castle and Feudal Teahouse, we went to its Souvenir shop. Inside the souvenir shop is the Fukushima Museum.

Souvenir shop of Tsuruga-jo Castle Fukushima Japan.
The Souvenir shop inside the Tsuruga-jo Castle. At the other end is the Fukushima Museum inside the Tsuruga-jo Castle.

Tourists who want to go inside the museum will be asked to remove the shoes before entering, they will provide the paper bag for the shoes to carry it while touring the museum.

Truruga-jo Museum Fukushima Japan.
The entrance of Tsuruga-jo museum.

Visitors can see inside the museum a famous wooden drum in Japan, a Japanese antique wooden long gun, famous Japanese clothes such as Kimono and Samurai. A plan of the Tsuruga-jo castle emphasizing the roofs of the castle. They elaborated that the roof of the castle built of an unusual type of tile like ceramics and clay, stone-coated metal roofing, asphalt Shingles or “kawara.” There is a video playing inside the museum explaining the surroundings of the Tsuruga-jo castle which you can see when you reach the top level of the castle.

The vending machine at Tsuruga-jo Castle Aizuwakamatsu Fukushima Japan.
After we saw the museum, we headed to the restaurant inside Tsuruga-jo Castle. Visitors can input the order and payment via a vending machine.
Japanese Kare at Tsuruga-jo Restaurant Japan.
These are what we ordered for snacks at around 1:30 in the afternoon. Delicious Japanese Kare and hot ramen.

A pamphlet guide or booklet guide in different languages can see inside the restaurant. Just beside the restaurant is a tourist information booth. Tsuruga-jo restaurant also is offering free wi-fi for all the tourists in multi-lingual. For complete information, tour package options and opening/closing schedules of Tsuruga-jo Castle official websites here.

Tourist Information Booth at Tsuruga-jo Aizuwakamatsu Fukushima Japan.
Tourist Information Booth at Tsuruga-jo Aizuwakamatsu Fukushima.

We left the Castle at 2:10 in the afternoon. Everyone enjoyed the tour inside the castle. Another educational culture in Japan is added to our experience. A well-preserved castle and rich in the history of Japan.