Enjoy a gottso feast in the Samurai City
Once a stronghold of the Tohoku region, Aizu was long-governed by feudal warlords. Aizu is a castle town surrounded by mountains and blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, including the pristine scenery of Lake Inawashiro and Mount Bandai. The food and sake culture of Aizu has developed in conjunction with the four seasons of the year and is deeply tied to the bounty of the land.
Regional foods: Kozuyu
Kozuyu is said to have originated as a dish served ceremonially for the departure of feudal lords who were required to spend every other year in the capital. The feudal lords are now gone, but kozuyu is still served at auspicious occasions. Prepared in a soup stock with dried food such as scallops, kozuyu is key to understanding Aizu cuisine. Enjoy this ceremonial dish appropriately served in a traditionally crafted lacquer bowl.
Regional foods: Dengaku
Dengaku is skewered tofu and vegetables grilled with sweet soybean paste and was originally eaten by samurai on the battlefield. Another food of Aizu is wappa-meshi—rice, seasonal vegetables, and other ingredients steamed together in a wooden container. To this day, sake brewing continues in the traditional manner that was developed during the Edo period. As you try each local dish, enjoy how the flavors of the surrounding nature are brought to life.
Scenery: Tsurugajo Castle
Aizuwakamatsu’s old samurai residences evoke an image of a bygone warrior era, and the agrarian scenery of rice paddies against the background of Mount Bandai and the Iide Mountains captures the essence of Aizu’s landscape. Tsurugajo Castle, a symbol of the city, provides a wide view of the changing beauty of the seasons in Aizu Basin and the old castle town.
Activities: Harvesting Cabbages under the Snow
he foods eaten in Aizuwakamatsu follow the seasons: asparagus in spring, tomatoes in summer, rice and sake in autumn, and Aizu Jidori free-range chicken in winter. Enjoy the fresh seasonal offerings prepared using traditional methods and tools. Visitors can also learn these traditions themselves, from the harvesting of ingredients to the process of making lacquerware.
Sightseeing route: Historical Higashiyama Hot Springs Village
Aizuwakamatsu is also known as the Samurai City, and samurai enthusiasts can take a tour of symbolic Tsurugajo Castle and stroll through the old castle town. Buy directly from farms that once supported the Aizu lords, or even pick the produce yourself. Visit Lake Inawashiro with its vast farmlands and lakefront areas for a refreshing trip in nature, then return to the city to stay at a hot spring and wash away the fatigue of the day’s travels.
|Name||Aizu-Wakamatsu Tourism Bureau|