Then we walked over to the Aizu Samurai Residences.
The main house is the residential + office of the top-ranking Edo period Aizu retainer, Tanomo Saigo. His house was super super big with 38 rooms and was home to the Saigo Clan and also his retainers and servants.
But what was really memorable was that during the Battle of Aizun the women of Tanomo's family committed mass suicide.
One of the reconstructed main hall depicts a scene of the women’s suicide, with Saigō Tanomo’s wife too weak to kill herself imploring a Tosa officer wearing a red wig headdress to set an end to her life, a request he graciously complies with even though he is an enemy. [copied from some website]. Apparently the women did not want tob urden their fighting husbands, fathers, and relatives in battle. It's something I cannot really understand... but I guess women of their generation and era think differently?
First visit was to Kondo Isami's grave.
Yes, I'm a huge Shinsengumi fan ever since I watched the 2004 NHK Taiga drama Shinsegumi many many years ago. That's also why Aizu was on one of my travel bucket list.
Anyway, apparently Kondo Isami has at least 4 grave sites and it's believed that the first of them was this grave in Aizu that was set up and supervised personally by Hijikata.😭😢. The route from the bus stop to his grave is a slow ascend, near the end the road goes into a foresty area but it's not that difficult to walk.
It's a very quiet and peaceful place that I'm glad I visited.
After lunch we bought the 1 day bus pass to travel around Aizu-Wakamatsu.
They have 2 types of buses that run the same route but on opposite directions. I'm still kind of confused over the buses, but somehow we got to where we wanted to. What's interesting is that they have many different types of buses and all look kind of different from each other.