Stone Pavement of Old Aizu Road
The Aizu Road was an arterial road that connected the Aizu and Echigo districts during the Edo period. The road started at Aizu Wakamatsu and ran beyond Torii Mountain Pass to Tsugawa, headed to the north crossing the Agano River, and lead to Shibata through Suwa Mountain Pass and the Yukuchi, Tsunagi and Akadani districts.
All the sloped roads for passing through Suwa Mountain Pass were paved with stones between 1661-1672 when the Aizu domain built them. Even today, stone paved roads remain intermittently from Tsunoshima Village to Suwa Mountain Pass, preserving the appearance of roads in those days. The road is about 2m wide, covered with granite rubble and natural stones with steep slopes covered with stones in steps to prevent the road from collapsing.
This road is also called a ‘Lord’s Road’ because the lords of the Shibata and Murakami domains passed in alternate attendance in the Edo period.
Writers, artists and commoners probably also used this road often. Ikku Jippensha, who went through the mountain pass in 1814, wrote: “There are no hard and toilsome mountain passes like this on the road between Aizu and Echigo Shibata.” (“Golden Straw Sandals”)
A pair of mileposts are completely preserved at the entrance to Fukutori Village along the road, on the way to the mountain pass from Yanagi-shinden and going down the mountain pass to the north on the way to Ikuchi. This area is the only place in Niigata Prefecture that has a stone-paved road and mileposts preserved together.