Insect watching event at Tadami Town, July 31, 2016 (只見町の昆虫観察会 2016年7月31日)

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A famous Japanese entomologist, Hiroshi Makihara, who is particularly known as a world specialist on longhorn beetles, instructed us watching insects in a beech wood of Yanatori District, Tadami Town. The event was promoted by Buna (=beech) Center Museum of the town. A photo above shows a scene where Mr. Makihara (a man in his white jacket) is identifying exact species of the insects observed.

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This is an entrance into a trail of Yanatori Beech Wood. The altitude was about 700m above sea level.

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Photo above shows a rare kind of longhorn beetle named Dolichopurosopus yokoyamai found today. We also found many other kinds of insects including three species of stag beetles (Dorcus).

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At Buna Center Museum, an exhibit focused on insects in Tadami Town is now being held. Photo above shows one of many displays of insect specimens. The museum is located 10-minute walk from JR Tadami Station. The exhibit continues until 10th of October.

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After the event, on my way back to Tadami Station with a rental bike, I happened to find a museum officially called Aizu Tadami Ancient History Hall. The museum mainly features remains and restored dwellings of Jomon Period, some 4000 to 2000 years ago. Photos above show description board, and recovered Jomon pit dwellings in the front yard.

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In the museum building, many artifacts found at Kubota Remains are displayed. Photo above shows collection of ancient arrowheads made of stones.

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The day before the watching event, Mr. Makihara gave us a lecture on insects found in Tadami Town, based on a field research in the town over the past two years. I stayed overnight at an inn located in the suburb of the town half way toward the watching site. The inn was called Kurataya Ryokan as shown above, which was nice with excellent meals and modern facilities for bath, toilet and others, and with very reasonable charge.

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When I travel to Tadami Town, I either take a train to JR Tadami Station or ride a bike all the way from Koriyama. This time I took Tadami Line train, which has been disrupted between Aizukawaguchi and Tadami Station since devastating flood disaster in 2011. But a back-up shuttle bus service is regularly being operated between the two stations until the train is finally resumed. So I have to leave the train at Aizukawaguchi Station and change to the bus. Photo above shows a character of Kaneyama Town, featuring a pumpkin and hot spring, welcoming us during the transfer.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
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Somanomaoi Parade and horse racing (1st day of the festival), July 25, 2015, (相馬野馬追 お繰り出しと宵乗り競馬、2015年7月25日)

Today I left Shinchi Town and pedaled toward south to Soma and Minamisoma City. This is the first day of the traditional Somanomaoi Festival and I could see horse parade and visit related shrine.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
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(Before: as of November 22, 2012)
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(After: as of July 25, 2015)
At first, I visited a building on the edge of the seashore at Matsukawaura, Soma City. The building had been severely hit by tsunami on March 11, 2011. It seemed totally recovered from the pictures (before and after) above, though the angle of the shot and the weather are not the same.

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(Somanomaoi parade, Soma City, July 25, 2015, 相馬野馬追、お繰り出し、相馬市、2015/7/25)
Then I moved to the central part of Soma City near Somanakamura Shrine. I happened to meet the Somanomaoi parade as shown above. This is the first day of Somanomaoi Festival which is the National Intangible Folk Cultural Property.

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The horse parade came from Somanakamura Shrine which is designated as National Important Cultural Property. The picture above shows front building of the shrine which was built in 1634.

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(Suzumigaoka-Hachiman Shrine, Soma City, July 25. 2015, 涼ヶ岡八幡神社、重文、相馬市、2015/7/25)
There is another shrine of National Important Cultural Property in Soma City. This is called Suzumigaoka-Hachiman Shrine which was built in 1695. The front building called haiden is shown above. There are seven old buildings in the precincts all of which were designated as National Important Cultural Properties.

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Around the precincts of the shrine, there was chorus of min-min cicadas. I found one on the red lantern as shown above.

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(Yoinori horse racing, Somanomaoi Festival, Minamisoma City, July 25. 2015, 宵乗り競馬、相馬野馬追祭、南相馬市、2015/7/25)
I finally arrived at Hibarigahara Ground in Minamisoma City. This is the base ground for Somanomaoi Festival. Today, the first horse racing was performed here with neither amor nor family flags as shown above.

You can also watch a very short video above just to feel the atmosphere.

【2014年8月4日】 只見町 自然観察会 、只見湖 及び 田子倉湖 (Aug. 4, 2014: Nature watching, Lake Tadami and Lake Tagokura at Tadami Town, Fukushima Pref.)

本日は、只見町 主催の 自然観察会 に参加しました。昨日のうちに、只見町 に移動し、今朝、浅草岳登山道 の一部を歩きました。また、その前後に、只見湖 、田子倉湖 に寄りました。
Today I joined in a nature watching event at Tadami Town. I moved to Tadami Town yesterday and this morning I walked along a part of the trail route for climbing Mt. Asakusadake. I also visited Lake Tadami and Lake Tagokura before and after.

The location and the actual route at Tadami Town were shown in the map below. (The route data were from GPS log data. The details of the map and the altitude data can be seen by clicking the map.)
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今回の 自然観察会 は、只見町 が、今年 ユネスコエコパーク に登録された関連で、主催したものです。只見町 と新潟県にまたがる、浅草岳 (1585m)の、田子倉登山口 から、只見沢 に沿って、ブナ林 の中を往復3.5km、歩くものです。ルートは、地図の☆1です。
The nature watching event was promoted by Tadami Town which was registered as Biosphere Reserve this June. The nature watching route was a part of the trail route of climbing Mt. Asakusadake which was 1585m high from Tagokura trail gate. The trail route went along Tadamisawa stream among beech or Fagus forest. The route was shown as asterisk 1 in the map.

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浅草岳 の、田子倉登山口 までは、主催者のバスで行きました。そこに、写真の立派な記念碑がありました。
I went to Tagokura trail gate by the bus prepared by Tadami Town. There I found a nice stone monument as shown above.

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浅草岳 の登山道を、只見沢 に沿い、ブナ林の中を歩きます。
We walked on the trail route along Tadamisawa Stream and among Fagus wood as shown above.

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只見の山の特徴である、雪蝕 斜面です。雪崩で、地表面が削り取られ、岩盤が露出しています。
Above photo shows snow scraped cliff which was a special feature of mountains at Tadami. The surface of the ground was scraped by snowslides and the rock surface was exposed.

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ミヤマクワガタ もいました。
Someone also found a kind of stag beetle.

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その前に、朝のうちに、只見湖 を訪ね、その光景です。只見ダム でせき止められた湖です。場所は、地図の☆2です。
Before the nature watching event I visited Lake Tadami early in the morning. Above photo shows the view of the Lake Tadami which was made by stopping Tadami River. The location was red asterisk 2 in the map.

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只見ダム と、下流の 只見川 の光景です。なお、只見発電所 は、日立製の65MWの水車発電機を使用しています。
Above photo shows Tadami Dam and the downstream of Tadami River. Tadami Hydroelectric Power Plant had Hitachi made 65MW water wheel generator.

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また、自然観察会 のあと、只見湖 の上流にある、田子倉湖 を訪ねました。只見湖 から、田子倉湖 に行くには、六十里越 と呼ばれる登り坂を、2.5kmほど登る必要があり、駅前で借りた、レンタル自転車でなんとか登りました。写真は、田子倉湖とその自転車です。只見駅は、このレンタル自転車があるのが、便利です。1日100円です。
After the nature watching event I visited Lake Tagokura which was located in the upstream of Lake Tadami. From Lake Tadami to Lake Tagokura I had to climb up the hill for 2.5km and I pedaled the bike I had rent at Tadami Station. Above photo shows Lake Tagokura and the rental bike. It is very convenient that one can rent a bike at Tadami Station. The charge is 100 yen per day.

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Above photo shows Lake Tadami viewed from the upper Tagokura Dam. The location was red asterisk 3 in the map.
Welcome! 福が満開、福のしま。
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