Ju-rokkyo Bridge spans Nippashigawa River that flows into Aizu Basin. Until Asaka Sosui Irrigation Channel was built, Nappashi-gawa River had been the only river flowing out of the Lake Inawashiro which is fed by many streams. According to 1809 Shinpen Aizu Fudoki (new version of Aizu local historical and cultural gazetteer), the origin of the bridge is the timber bridge over 15 mounds which Priest Kukai built in the stream. Having rotted down many times, the bridge was reconstructed to be a stone bridge with twenty-three piers. The present bridge is a Stony-typed sluice for water controll, which was built by Inawashiro Hydropower Company in early Taisho Era (1912-1926) at the time of the construction of a power station, and now serves as a floodgate. The old stone bridge being removed, there remain no traces of what the former one looked like. On the west of the bridge stands a bronze statue of Cornelis Johanes Van Doorn, the Dutch enginee who designed Asaka Irrigation Channel, next to Tonokuchi floodgate control office.
■Takizawa Tohge Pass
One of the famous spots of Aizu in the old days, the pass was sung about in a song - “Finally, here we are (at Takizawa Tohge), sake for parents and water for children.” These days, there is much less traffic on the old highway crossing over the pass after a bypass, Route 49, connecting the pass with Aizu Wakamatsu was laid. However, with half the distance of Route 49 the route is actually a shortcut to Aizu Wakamatsu. The trouble is there are many curves on it, but the traffic is less and it is only half the time to Aizu Wakamatsu.
■Se-aburi Tohge Pass
The route running across the pass is the shortest courte to connect Higashiyama Onsen hot sprig and Sakigawahama beach on the west cosast of the Lake Inawashiro. The pass commands a view of the Lake Inawashiro, Mt. Bandai and Mt. Adatara. Under your eyes the city of Aizu Wakamatsu stretches. The road is being widened and large vehicles can get through it.
The Lake Inawashiro is all of 49 kilometers around and its area is 104 square kilometers. It doesn’t have many islands but Okinajima for its size. Okinajima is a part-time island, which is a peninsula at low water. The view of the lake from Route 49 is said to be the best throughout the highway which goes half way around the lake. Okinajima means an Old Man’s Island. In the old times, an old couple lived on the island for quite a while. Hence the name. The island is uninhabited these days. There stands a small shrine called Okina Myojin, and it is said that a number of Buddhist monks visited the island and spent all their time conducting practices.
There is a yacht harbor and a pleasure boat landing on the beach along Route 49. The gently shelving shore and the gentle waves make Nagahama fit for swimming. It attracts many tourists in summer. In winter, swans and ducks come flying and spend the winter here. You can take a close look at the birds which creep up for food. Nagahama used to play an important role for water transportation. It had been the principal port when land roads were still undeveloped before the beginning of the Showa Era.
■Tenkyokaku Imperial Villa and Geihinnkan-Imperial
Family the Takamatsu-no-miya ’s Former Villa at Okinajima
(National Important Cultural Asset):
At the time of the visit to Aizu on behalf of the Emperor Meiji in 1907 (the 40th year of Meiji Era), Prince Arisugawa admired the beauty of the land and built a western-style summer home the next year. This is said to have been modeled after a Renaissance-style building on Oyster Bay in Portsmouth. The building was named Tenkyokaku after a verse in one of Li Po’s poems by Emperor Taisho. Geihinkan, an imperial guest house, built in 1922 by Princess Yasuko, Prince Takehito Arisugawa’s wife, is a wooden single-storied house of purely Japanese style. Roofed with copper, fully framed and furnished with “hinoki” cypress and built without a single nail, it boasts its quality. The house is also known as the place where Emperor and Empress Showa spent their one-month honeymoon. After the war, the Takamatsu imperial family granted all the buildings and the grounds to Fukushima-Ken.
■Minamigaoka Bokujo stock farm
Going further from Nagahama beach on Route 49 past Tenkyokaku, you will reach Minamigaoka Bokujo where you can have a close-up look at animals such as horses, donkeys and sheep. It has various leisure facilities and you can experience horseback riding, archery and patting. There are also courses for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in winter. Not only tourist spot, Minamigaoka Bokujo is a farm with a full scale production of dairy products. Furthermore, their Mongolian mutton barbecue and Russian bread are also attracting hungry tourists.
■Noguchi Hideyo Kinenkan
Dr. Hideyo Noguchi, a bacteriologist who left brilliant achievement in medicine, was born in Sanjogata, Inawashiro in 1876 (the 9th year of Meiji Era.) His birth house is preserved in the museum together with his belongings. The house with a door plate saying the 6th year of Bunsei, Edo Era (1823) is a thatch-roofed single story house for middle class farmers. The house retains the open hearth in which Hideyo fell and got his left hand burnt, and the alcove pillar on which he carved his resolution at the time of his departure for Tokyo. The house is highly valued in that it can offer clues of what Hideyo was like. Alone he went across the Pacific to the United States. Starting with the study of snake venom, he succeeded in pure-cultivating Treponema pallidus. After many difficulties he left many achievements in the research of pathogens of Oroyanetsu and yellow fever. This museum built in Hideyo’s commemoration thus shows his birth house, the articles he used and the heart-touching letter written by his mother Shika addressed to Hideyo.
(World glass museum/shop)
Going toward Aizu Wakamatsu on Route 49, you will find a big gable-roofed building on the right. That is Sekaino Glass-Kan. It is a shop and museum of glass products from various countries of the world. Articles sold in the shop on the main floor range from two-hundred yen accessory to a luxurious chandelier costing more than a hundred million yen. The second floor features a collection of glass- craft works from all over the world and is one of the prominent glass exhibition halls in the country.
(local beer brewery)
This is the first brew house in Fukushima-Ken, which focuses on the local beer and has become a new tourist spot. It is equipped with the brewing machines from Germany, the home of beer, and the workers received training in Germany, as well. A Meister brewer, the equivalent of a toji in sake brewing, is invited to supervise the brewing.
(buckwheat processing center)
The facility is equipped with a soba drier and a store room which can be observed from outside. Iwahashi-Kan, a shop and restaurant on the same site serves soba noodles which are handmade from the local buckwheat. The shop carries fresh local vegetables, edible wild plants and other agricultural and aquatic products directly from the producers.
(Folklore Museum) (Important Cultural Property designated by
the national and the Fukushima-Ken governments, National Important Tangible Cultural Property)
An old house of a village head in the late-Edo Period, standing next to Noguchi Hideyo Memorial Museum offers an idea of the customs and the lifestyle of the feudal times. The gallery displays about 24,000 househoold and kitchen items and farming implements such as wax-making tools and sashiko quilted work coats. The museum thus collects the articles reminiscent of Aizu predecessors who diligently held the tradition, culture and occupation, and survived harsh winter in this beautiful land with the Lake Inawashiro in front and Mt. Bandai to the rear.
■Tenkyodai/Showa-no Mori Park
The ground stretching on the southern slope of Mt. Bandai was reformed into a place of rest and relaxation and named Showa-no Mori Park taking the opportunity of the tree planting in the presence of Emperor and the Empress Showa in May, 1970. The park commands a fince view of the Lake Inawashiro and the mountains of the southern Aizu and the Nasu Range. About the center of the park stands a stone slab with the Emperor’s haiku inscribed on it. The haiku reads “Now that I have planted a pine seedling, fondly am I looking back at the Lake Inawashiro.”
The pasture stretches under Tenkyodai to the south adjoining the old battle field Suriagehara. Cows and sheep are put out to pasture and the sight of them grazing will amuse you. Beside the meadow is a fish grabbing pond, a cosmos, a sunflower field, and a sweet potato digging farm. The field looks different in each season.
■Sanchu-hi stone monument(Municipal historic site)
A little above the prefectural school for physically handicapped and mentally retarded children in the pine woods along the Hanita-zeki irrigation channel, inconspicuously stands a stone monument. The monument was erected in commemoration of the three samurai who were killed while defending their master in the1589 battle (the 17th year of the Tensho, Atsuchi Momoyama Era) between Morikuni Inawashiro and Masamune Date. The three loyal samurai are retainers of Ashina clan; Moriharu Kanagami, Tanetsune Saze, and his adopted son Tsuneo. To pass down their faith through the generations, Katataka Matsudaira, the lord of Aizu Han, built the monument. The epigraph on it is a collection of the handwriting by a great Tang calligrapher Yan Zhenqing who is also known to be a loyal subject. Access on foot is recommended as the road to it is narrow.
■Midori-no Mura Park
This is a place where you can experience a country life by fishing in a mountain stream or fish-grabbing in a pond. There is also an expanse of seasonal flowers like rape blossoms, sunflowers, and cosmos. The Freshwater Fish Aquarium exhibits about five thousand freshwater fish of sixty species from all over the world including the Amazon and Japan as well.
100 Shirominami, Inawashiro-machi, Yama-gun, Fukushima-Ken 969-3192Phone: 0242-62-2117 Fax: 0242-62-5175c/o Inawashiro Town Office, Commerce, Industry,
and Tourism SectionInawashiro Tourism Promotion Planning Committee