(Ginkgo tree at Domeki) (Municipal Natural Monument)
The ginkgo tree used to stand in the precincts of Toko-ji temple. However, only a Jizo-do (a house for the guardian deity of children) remains at the site. The ginkgo is estimated to be about 1,000 years old.Chisato is the area that offers entrances to Inawashiro and the Bandai Kogen heights. There are JR Inawashiro station and Inawashiro Bandai Kogen Interchange for Ban-etsu Expressway, and Routes 49 and 115 run through the area.
|■JR Ban-etsu Saisen Line- Inawashiro Station
Ban-etsu Saisen Line runs by the Lake Inawashiro, and goes past the old cities Aizu Wakamatsu and Kitakawa for the terminal Niitsu with the view of Aganogawa River on its side. Some say the line is number one in Japan for its variety in scenery. It has been 100 years since the railway was laid. Inawasrhiro Station is the starting point for many sightseeing areas such as the Bandai heights, Bandai Azuma Sky Line and the ski areas around Mt. Bandai. Phone: 0242-62-2249
|■Inawashiro Tourist Association
Located next to Inawashiro Station, the association operates as a tourist information center covering not only the town of Inawashiro but also the Bandai Heights, Bandai Azuma Sky Line and ALTS Bandai Resort. When you visit Inawashiro for sightseeing, skiing or snowboarding, please stop in for information. Phone: 0242-62-2048
|■Ban-etsu Expressway -Inawashiro Bandai Kogen Interchange
The expressway joins with Joban Expressway at Iwaki, crosses Tohoku Expressway at Koriyama and meets with Hokuriku Expressway at Niigata on the Japan Sea. Thus the opening of Ben-etsu Expressway brought a new route liking Western Japan with Tohoku District avoiding the Greater Tokyo Metropolitan area. The section between Koriyama Junction and Inawashiro Bandai Kogen I.C. ascends 310 meters in height while passing through five tunnels across a mountain range, the spine of the mainland Japan. Careful driving is required due to changeable weather though wide with two lanes in each direction. Phone 0242-65-2995
A primary national road running almost in parallel with Ban-etsu Expressway, Route 49 connects Iwaki on the Pacific Ocean and Niigata on the Japan Sea. Though the traffic on Route 49 is slower than that on the Expressway, the road commands a better view of the Lake Inawashiro and the mountains. It runs along Shidahama and Nagahama beaches, Noguchi Museum, and Okinajima area. If you have time take the route either for going or coming back for change.
The scenic road links Inawashiro with Soma which is known for a famous folksong, Soma Umaoi. It goes across the 1,200m high Tsuchiyu Pass and connects to Bandai Azuma Lake Line, Sky Line and Bonari Green Line.
|■Country of Old-time Wedding
‘Country of Old-time Wedding’ is the concept on which Inawashiro is planning a town event with the participation of the citizens. The town holds the event yearly to reproduce the early Showa Era ‘shugen’ , a wedding. Time-honored customs and practices are faithfully reproduced and acted out by the townspeople at the former Yamauchi residence, a town’s cultural property, which is likened to a bride’s home. In the event called ‘Oshin-san-no Yome-iri’ (Oshin’s marriage), the then clothes and household goods are used, and the bride is dressed and made up following the way of the time.
(Songs and dances of congratulations for a wedding)
Inawashiro Sanbaso is a series of folksongs sung and danced to in a group by the celebrators at a wedding. Through the course, three songs ‘Shonei-bushi,’ ‘Medeta,’ and ‘Matsuzaka’ are sung in a melody and intonation characteristic of Inawashiro, and celebrators give various performances to the accompaniment of the songs. Of the three, ‘Shonei-bushi’ is a funny and pleasant one, in which one dances on a flat piece of cushion, musicians play instruments in a funny manner, some sing extempore, and others beat time with dishes and bowls.
|■The Origin of Inawashiro Soba Noodle
The rich nature, clean air, and clear water together with the climate characteristic of great change in temperature has enabled the production of soba of good quality in Inawashiro. Its output is number one in Fukushima-Ken. Inawashiro Soba has a long history, and the ancient soba dating back to the latter period of Heian Era through Kamakura Era was unearthed at Soza Site in the grounds of Soba-no Sato Center. In 1998 Inawashiro declared itself a Town of Soba. Aiming at consistent production, processing and sale of soba, the town has made efforts to increase production and have it known as health food nationwide.
|◆IInawashiro Soba Matsuri Festival
Every November, a festival to advertise the first soba of the year takes place. In the festival, a hundred percent buckwheat noodles freshly ground, kneaded and cooked are served. Experts show soba-noodle-making, and also soba kojo recitation is given by those who maintain the local traditions. You can taste sobagaki (buckwheat mash), imojiru (potato and vegetable soup) and sobagayu (buckwheat porridge) free. More and more people come to see and eat, and experience the festival. (Inquiry: Inawashiro Shin Soba Matsuri Executive Committee in the Inawashiro Town Office, Agriculture and Forestry Section 0242-62-2111)
|■Inawashiro Soba Noren-no Kai
(Association of soba restaurant keepers)
Moderate firmness and tastiness that have eaters “ooh” and “ah” characterize Inawashiro soba. Soba restaurant keepers in the town get united with each other under Soba Noren-no Kai and serve soba that never betrays reputation.
|Soba restaurant in Inawashiro|
|Inawashiro Soba Noren-no Kai (area code: 0242)|
|Hotel New Bandai||62-3200||Sumiyoshikan||65-2221|
|Kimagure Sobashichi||66-3017||Asakaya Shokudo||64-3607|
|Soba-dango||Horaido Seika Sweets||64-3717|
Soba Ice cream
Soba and walnut pound cake
|Dried soba/uncooked soba||Shimizuya Seimen||64-2228|
|Uncooked soba for Shugen soba||Kogane Soba||62-2207|
100 Shirominami, Inawashiro-machi, Yama-gun, Fukushima-Ken 969-3192
Phone: 0242-62-2117 Fax: 0242-62-5175c/o Inawashiro Town Office, Commerce, Industry,
and Tourism SectionInawashiro Tourism Promotion Planning Committee