The sandy beach is dotted with pine trees, located at the mouth of Nagase River on the north shore of the Lake Inawashiro. Though close from Route 49, the shallow beach is not very crowded unlike Shidahama beach or Nagahama beach. The beach becomes alive with campers in summer, but is quiet in other seasons. It is rather popular with photo lovers and painters for the view of Mt. Bandai and the Lake Inawashiro.
During the coldest period of winter, so-called Shibuki-gori is seen around the sand bank of Nagase River. The west wind scatters the spray from the waves onto the trees on the beach, and it freeze on them. Hence, the natural work of ice, a rare phenomenon. The trees covered with ice are no less beautiful than Juhyo (frost-covered trees), and you will never get tired of the sight of them. Furthermore, floating ice, and rising ice resembling Omiwatari (for which the Lake Suwa is famous), are seen at the beach.
■Kobiragata Tenmangu shrine
(The main building is Town’s Important Cultural Asset)
The shrine, one of the three major Tenmangu (the shrine dedicated to Sugawara-no Michizane, the patron saint of scholarship) in Japan, sits in the pine woods on Tenjinhama beach. Legend says that the father of a famous renga (verse linking) master Kanenori Inawashiro visited the Tenmangu to pray for having a child, and finally had a son Kanenori. The Muromachi Era (14th Century) poet is said to have laid a foundation for present day waka (31-syllable poem).
The main building of the shrine was originally built in 948, and was removed to the present site in 1682 by Masatsune Hoshina, the second lord of Aizu. The building, small in scale in Nagare-zukuri style, has elaborate patterns carved in relief and open work. A festival takes place on the 24th and 25th of June according to the old lunar calendar. Hoping for success in entrance examinations, many students pay a visit to the shrine these days.
(old arithmetic problems and answers * Not open to public)
Mathematic problems worked out by a native mathematician in Meiji Era are recorded on a wooden board, which was donated to the shrine. The questions are varied - in algebra, continued fractions, arithmetic progression, and integral numbers. The figures on it are painted in colors. The work has artistic merit as well as mathematical merit.
■Thanks for Asaka Sosui irrigation channel
As we have many people from abroad active in the field of professional baseball or soccer these days, so we did in the Meiji Era in various efforts toward modernization. Among them was a Dutch engineer Cornelis Johanes Van Doorn, whose achievement has been forgotten for a long time even in his home. However, His 150th birthday was celebrated in Koriyama City, far away from his home.
Van Doorn was invited by the Japanese government in 1872 and undertook the teaching of port construction and river improvement. He left his name by his distinguished services of irrigating the Aska Plain, a barren land at that time, with the water from the Lake Inawashiro. He utilized the natural drop of the land and successfully led water for 52 kilometers. His achievement became a foundation of the development of present day Koriyama.
Local people erected his bronze statue by the lock gate at Jurokkyo Bridge praising his efforts. There are interesting anecdotes concerning the statue. One is that since Holland and Japan were hostile during the world war, the local people hid the bronze statue secretly in the mountain against the supply order of the government which required offering of metal products for military use. Another is later in the period in June 1979 the city of Koriyama set up Van Doorn’s tombstone in Amsterdam. An elementary teacher visited Holland and found his grave with nobody to attend it. Hearing this, Koriyama City raised 28 million yen and held a large-scale memorial service for the repose of the spirit of the engineer, and erected a grand tombstone.
Greatly impressed by the fact that there was a citizen who had contributed to the development of Japan, the mayor in Holland named a newly constructed road Van Doorn Street after him.
Presently, Asaka Sosui with a new sluice gate is also used for hydroelectric power generation, and its electricity is supplied to the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. The former sluice gate was remodeled into a restaurant, Papa Francesca. The old generators are exhibited in this restaurant and Mt. Bandai Eruption Memorial Museum.
■Ginkgo Tree in Miyakozawa
(Natural Monument designated by the town)
The largest ginkgo tree in the town is 25 meters high and estimatedto be 700 years old. The tree is designated as Fukushima-Ken’s cultural property.
The shrine dedicated to the deity of safe birth is also called “Onbasama” by the local people. The present shrine was rebuilt in 1924.
■Ichiri-zuka (mile stone) in Yoji
In former times a series of a pair of mounds were heaped up to mark distance by ri (one ri is about 4 kilometers) along major roads. In Inawashiro two pairs remain in original condition along the former Nihaonmatsu highway on both sides of the road - one is in Yoji village and the other at Gojoranba. They are of great historical interest and are designated as historic sites by the town.
■Nakayama Tohge Pass
Heading for Aizu from Koriyama, weather often changes suddenly at Nakayama Tohge Pass. Although this pass used to be a perilous spot where preparation for the winter was necessary, passage has become much easier these days due to the opening of Nakayama Tunnel. However, since the road climbs nearly 500 meters in a short distance, unexpected snowfall and compacted snow on the road still trouble drivers in winter.
Passing through the Nakayama Tunnel, you will find a windmill turning - a windmill for the generation of electricity to be used for snow-melting and tunnel lighting. Soon the view of the Lake Inawashiro spreads out before you.
■Goreibitsu Tohge Pass
An unpaved dirt road runs over Goreibitsu Tohge Pass to connect Inawashiro with Koriyama, paralleling Route 49 and Route 6 which goes over Sanmori Tohge Pass. The road joins Route 6 in Koriyama. Going from the Lake Inawashiro, the sign for the route, being small, may be passed by. Of many routes crossing over passes in this region, this one is the best in terms of the view. The highest point, 876 meters above the sea, commands a sweeping view over the Lake Inawashiro, Mt. Bandai and the city of Koriyama. Being a rough road, four-wheel-drive or off-road vehicles are recommended.
■Sanmori Tohge Pass
The route going across Sanmori Tohge Pass can make a way around backed-up traffic on Route 49. Though passing over 800m high ridge it is longer than Route 49, it takes less time to go to Koriyama on it. The paved road has a good view and is wide enough for buses to pass. But 2-story buses cannot go through the tunnel.
■Shiseido Tohge Pass
The road running over Shiseido Tohge is the shortest route to connect Inawashiro and Shirakawa. The opening of the tunnel has enabled the passage easy and fast. Going from Inawashiro, the road branches off to the south at Shidahama beach on Route 49, and runs along the east coast of the Lake Inawashiro. Since there are several bends on the route, don’t miss the signs to get to Route 4 for Shirakawa.
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