Cherry blossoms at Sakuratoge, Kitashiobara, April 27, 2018. (北塩原 の 桜峠 2018年4月27日)

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(Sakuratoge, Kitashiobara, April 27, 2018. 桜峠 北塩原 4/27/2018)
Thousands of cherry trees bloomed all at once in late April, at Sakuratoge slope, Kitashiobara. Photo above was a fantastic view this morning, when I visited the site.

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A brief description of Sakuratoge shown above was found at the site. It said 2001 cherry trees were planted by local volunteers commemorating the birth of their first daughter between Crown Prince and Princess in the year 2001. They had often visited Kitashiobara for rest and refreshment.

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(Sakuratoge, Kitashiobara, April 27, 2018. 桜峠 北塩原 4/27/2018)
Another view with a passage in front is shown above.

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Snow-capped Ide Mountain range was seen far away in a cloudy sky beyond cherry blossoms as shown above.

Some spring flowers were found on the ground as shown below.

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Trillium Apetalon or Enreiso with large leaves was found as shown above.

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Flowers of Anemone pseudoaltaica were found here and there as shown above.

I took a local bus (Toto Bus) from JR Kitakata Station to get to Sakuratoge. The bus stop is called Raviespa Urabandai and it took about 30 minutes.

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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Kori Town: home to peaches for Imperial Family, August 3, 2017 (献上桃の郷 桑折町を訪ねて 2017年8月3日)

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Today I visited Kori Town which was a home to peaches offered to Imperial Family. I walked around the vast peach farmland area which stretched along Kori Peach-line Road in the eastern part of the town. A popular variety called “Akatsuki” was in its high season of harvesting as shown above and it continues through the end of early August. Every recent year in this time of the season, peaches are harvested at these farms, and then screened, selected carefully and offered to the Imperial Family.

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Once I stepped out of JR Kori Station which was located near the center of the town, I found a stone pillar standing in front, which was inscribed as “home to peaches for Imperial Family” as shown above.

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The town prospered during Edo Period as a post town on old Oshu Highway and after Meiji Restoration in 1867, a local administrative office for Date County was placed here. The old office building, which was built in 1883 are being preserved in the town center as shown above.

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Moving to the east I crossed a major National Route 4, where I found another sign of “home to peaches for Imperial Family” on the roadside in front of JA market as shown above.

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Shortly after, I was walking along the Kori Peach-line Road, where peach farms such as shown above continue during a long walk.

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Then I came to a monument as shown above, which commemorated 1st and 2nd visits by Emperor and Empress in 2013 and 2015, when the two encouraged local farmers toward the recovery from the Great East Japan earthquake and nuclear accident disasters.

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Next I came to another monument in a corner of the farmland as shown above, which commemorated a visit by crown prince and princess in 1996.

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I finally visited one of farmers in the area, tasted a peach harvested, which was excellent and juicy. I ordered some boxes for family members and relatives who live outside Fukushima. The samples are shown above.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
20170803献上桃の郷 (560x421)

【2014年1月7日】 三島町 と 只見線 の 冬景色、生活工芸館 ( Jan. 7, 2014: Mishima Town, Tadami Line and Seikatsukougeikan in winter snow, Fukushima Pref. )

Today I left Hayato Onsen early in the morning and took a train to Aizumiyashita Station which was located in the center of Mishima Town. And then I walked to the next Aizunishikata Station and then visited Seikatsukougeikan which meant traditional handmade craft museum of Mishima Town.

経路は、下の地図を参照。(経路は、GPSログデータによる。地図は、クリックで拡大できます。) 但し、GPSの電源切れのため、会津西方駅までのデータになります。
The actual route was shown in the map below. (The route data were from GPS log data. The details of the map can be seen by clicking the map.)
The route data this time was only up to Aizunishikata Station due to GPS battery exhaustion.

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早朝7時頃の 早戸駅 からの景色です。まだ曇が晴れていませんが、只見川 に山の景色が映り、きれいです。
The pictures above show views from Hayato Station in the early morning. Although the cloud still hanged over, it was a beautiful scene with Tadami River reflected mountain views.

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7:26発 会津若松行 の 只見線 の電車が入ってきます。
Tadami Line train bound for Aizuwakamatsu came at 7:26.

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隣の 会津宮下駅 で降ります。 只見線 は単線のため、上りと下りの電車の 待ち合わせ です。
I left the train at the next Aizumiyashita Station. Since Tadami Line was a single line, both in and out bound trains passed each other at this station.

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会津宮下駅 です。 三島町 の中心にあります。
This was Aizumiyashita Station which was located in the center of Mishima Town.

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駅前通りと、観光交流館「 からんころん 」です。
The above picture shows the main street and tourist center named "Calancolon".

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只見川 に沿って、隣の 会津西方駅 に向かって歩く途中の光景です。
The pictures above show views of Tadami River when I walked along towards the next Aizunishikata Station.

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会津西方駅 です。雲が晴れて、風も無く、会津には貴重な穏やかな天気です。
The picture shows Aizunishikata Station. The clouds went away with calm wind thus it was a very good day for Aizu.

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三島町 の中を走る 只見線 の電車です。
I met with Tadami Line trains which went through Mishima Town.

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会津西方駅 から1km程登ったところに、三島町 の 生活工芸館 があります。
There was Seikatsukougeikan of Mishima Town about 1km up the road from Aizunishikata Station.

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冬の間、三島町 で手作りで作る ヒロロ細工 の作品です。皇太子妃 の 雅子様 も購入されました。
The picture above shows handmade products made of a kind of dried grass called Hiroro in winter. Crown Princess Masako also had purchased one before.

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三島町 の特産の 桐 の製品も各種あります。販売もしています。
There were many products made from paulownia which was a specialty of Mishima Town.

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There were also many kinds of handmade products for daily life as shown in the picture above.

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経済産業大臣指定 の 伝統的工芸品 に指定されました。
Minister of Economy Trade and Industry had designated them as Traditional handcraft products.

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三島町 の こころ です。
The picture explains us the soul of Mishima Town.

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生活工芸館 の隣に、食事処「 どんぐり 」があります。
There was a cafe and soba restaurant called "Donguri" adjacent to Seikatsukougeikan.

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地鶏 のそば(セイロ)を頼みました。ちょうどご主人が打ったばかりのそばが出てきました。
I ordered soba menu with local chicken and hot soup. They served me with fresh soba just handmade by the master.

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会津西方駅 に戻り、会津若松行 の 只見線 の電車が入ってきます。
I returned to Aizunishikata Station and the picture above shows a Tadami Line train bound for Aizuwakamatsu came.

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車窓からの 只見川 の風景です。
The picture above shows a scenic view of Tadami River seen from the train.

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車窓からの 柳津町 の 柳津温泉スキー場 です。
The picture shows Ski Slope of Yanaizuonsen at Yanaizu Town seen from the train.

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最後に帰路の 磐越西線 の車窓からの冬の晴天の 磐梯山 です。
At last I could see a beautiful scene of Mt. Bandaisan in a clear winter sky seen from a train of Ban-etsu West Line on the return route.
Welcome! 福が満開、福のしま。
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A man who loves Fukushima (福島大好きおじさん)

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Local guide for Fukushima (English)(福島特例通訳案内士(英語))
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