Watch colorful carp swimming in this waterway alongside traditional samurai residences
Hagi is known for its historical charm and preserved samurai residences. One of the most enchanting areas in Hagi is the Aiba Waterway, where visitors can witness the beauty of colorful carp swimming in the clear water alongside traditional Edo period houses.
The Aiba Waterway, constructed in 1744, was originally used to transport goods by boat, supporting the flourishing economy of Hagi Castle Town. Today, it serves as a picturesque attraction that showcases the rich history and culture of the area.
Walking along the Aiba Waterway at sunset is a must-do activity for visitors to Hagi. The golden hour casts a warm glow on the water, creating a serene and romantic atmosphere. As you stroll along the narrow streets, you can admire the traditional samurai residences that line the waterway, standing as a testament to the town’s feudal past.
For a more leisurely experience, you can also take a bike ride along the Hashimoto River during spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The pink petals create a stunning contrast against the clear blue sky, making it a perfect setting for a relaxing bike ride. Along the route, you can make a stop at Hagi yaki pottery shops and explore the craftsmanship that has been passed down through generations.
To access the Aiba Waterway, it is best to take a taxi or rent a cycle. The waterway is located about two kilometers away from the heart of Hagi Castle Town and Higashi-Hagi Station. Rent-a-cycle shops can be found near Higashi-Hagi Station, providing a convenient way to explore the area.
As you ride through the neighborhood, you will be greeted by the sight of willows overhanging the narrow waterway during the summer months. The lush greenery creates a refreshing and tranquil ambiance, offering a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.
One of the highlights of visiting the Aiba Waterway is the opportunity to visit the samurai residences that are scattered along its path. Crossing the small stone bridges, you can enter these traditional houses and get a glimpse of how people lived during the Edo period. The Aiba Waterway played an important role in their daily lives, providing water for various purposes. One of the must-visit residences is the former Yukawa residence, where you can see a beautiful water garden created by water channeled from the Aiba Waterway.
Inside these residences, you can see how the architecture and design have remained unchanged since the Edo period. The tatami mat floors, sliding doors, and traditional decorations transport you back in time, allowing you to immerse yourself in the rich history of Hagi.
After your visit to the Aiba Waterway, you can relax and unwind at a local café. Aibagawa no Ie café is a popular choice among visitors, offering delicious cakes and pots of tea. The café overlooks a traditional Japanese garden, providing a tranquil setting to reflect on your trip and savor the flavors of Hagi.
In conclusion, the Aiba Waterway in Hagi is a hidden gem that offers a glimpse into the town’s historical past. From the colorful carp swimming in the water to the traditional samurai residences, every corner of the waterway is filled with charm and beauty. Whether you choose to walk along the waterway, take a bike ride, or explore the samurai residences, a visit to the Aiba Waterway is an unforgettable experience that showcases the rich history and culture of Hagi. So, don’t miss the opportunity to witness the beauty of this hidden gem and immerse yourself in the charm of traditional japan.
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