Thursday, April 30, 2009

Aizu Travel Guide

Aizu Travel Guide
basic information
Tsuruga Castle

Aizu, located in western Fukushima Prefecture, is a region with a long samurai tradition that is proudly put on display for visitors. A story well known throughout Japan, a group of young soldiers from Aizu committed ritual suicide upon thinking that their castle, Tsuruga Castle, had been taken by the enemy in a battle accompanying the end of Japan's feudal age in 1868.

Though the soldiers had been mistaken and their castle was still standing, the Aizu forces did indeed eventually lose the battle. The imperial forces, who they had been fighting, abolished the Aizu domain and tore down Tsuruga Castle. The castle has since been restored and is now open to the public.

References to Noguchi Hideo, perhaps the area's most famous citizen, can be seen around town. Born and raised in Aizu, Noguchi was a famous Japanese doctor in the early 1900s who made significant advances in the study of syphilis. Tourists may find his face familiar, as Noguchi's portrait adorns the 1000 yen bill.

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