Far from the tourist trail, those who venture here will be rewarded with hiking trails and mountain shrines, hot springs and down-to-earth locals who will proudly explain the town's strong samurai history.
“Aizu people are just fantastic; not as fiery as those on the coast but hardy, down-to-earth and very welcoming, especially after some local sake!”
Samantha Hall, Tailormade Groups Manager
In 1868 Shogun loyalists suffered a decisive defeat at Tsuraga-jo Castle. Looking down from Iimoiryama Hill and seeing the castle engulfed in flames, a group of 19 teenage Aizu warriors committed harikiri. But they'd made a mistake; the flames were outside the castle walls and the castle had not actually been taken. Nevertheless the story of the dedicated boys lives on in Aizu Wakamatsu as samurai legend.
Today visitors can soak up samurai culture at the reconstructed Tsuraga-jo Castle, as well as the old samurai residences and Nisshinkan, the school attended by the harakiri teenagers. Iimoriyama Hill is also a popular tourist attraction.
As you wind your way though Aizu Wakamatsu's little streets, be sure to stop at one of the local sake breweries. Aizu is naturally blessed with three important qualities for sake making; high quality rice, pure water springs and cool weather. Suehiro is one of the largest sake producers in Tohoku and there are hourly tours around the brewery in the centre of town.
Aizu Wakamatsu is in Fukushima Prefecture but over 100km from the Daiichi nuclear reactor with a large mountain range in between, so please do not fear, there is no radiation threat here.
To find out more about Aizu Wakamatsu please read tour leader Tom Orsman's blog post about his trip to Aizu in summer 2011.
Weather in Aizu Wakamatsu
The Climate Guide for Aizu Wakamatsu, Japan is perfect for planning your holiday. Monthly weather averages give the best indication of what the weather is usually like for every month of the year including figures for temperature, rainfall and sunshine.
|Max Daytime Temperature (°C)||1||1||5||12||17||20||24||25||21||15||9||4|
|Min Night-time Temperature (°C)||-7||-7||-4||1||6||12||16||17||13||6||0||-4|
|Hours of Sunshine (Daily)||4||5||5||6||6||5||5||6||4||4||4||4|
|Hours of Daylight (Daily)||10||11||12||13||14||15||14||14||12||11||10||10|
|Heat and Humidity Discomfort||None||None||None||None||None||None||None||Low||None||None||None||None|
|Days with some Rainfall||26||24||23||18||18||21||23||22||21||18||19||24|
|Monthly Rainfall (mm)||52||63||82||116||124||202||225||269||262||125||87||48|
|UV Index (Maximum)||2||3||5||7||8||10||10||10||8||5||3||2|