Northern Honshū (Tōhoku)

The towering 1965 reconstruction of Tsuruga-jō sits in sprawling grounds framed by the original moat and some ruins of the old castle walls. Inside is a museum with historical artefacts from battles and daily life, but the real drawcard is the view from the 5th-floor lookout. On the castle grounds is Rinkaku teahouse, with a small garden, where you can enjoy a cup of matcha (¥600).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Honshū (Tōhoku) attractions

1. Aizu Bukeyashiki

1.71 MILES

This is a superb reconstruction of the yashiki (villa) of Saigō Tanomo, the Aizu clan’s chief retainer. Wander through the 38 rooms, which include a…

2. Iimori-yama

2.41 MILES

On the eastern edge of Aizu is Iimori-yama, the mountain where the White Tigers (Byakkotai) samurai killed themselves during the civil war of 1868. You…

3. White Tigers Memorial Hall

2.57 MILES

At the foot of Iimori-yama, this museum tells the story of the dramatic suicides of the teenage samurai who died during the Bōshin civil war of 1868, and…

4. Sazae-dō

2.85 MILES

Halfway up Iimori-yama, Sazae-dō is a weird and wonderful hidden gem in a Buddhist temple complex. Built in 1796 the 16.5m-high hexagonal wooden structure…

5. Yamatogawa Sake Brewing Museum

12.33 MILES

Step into the Yamatogawa Sake Brewing Museum to peek inside a kura (mud-walled storehouse) that dates from 1790 and, until 20 years ago, functioned as a…

6. Kitakata Kura-no-Sato

12.44 MILES

This collection of 10 kura (mud-walled storehouses) has been arranged as a small local museum, as well as the obligatory gift shop or two.