Wild azalea mountains in southern Fukushima (Yamatsuriyama & Furoyama), May 8, 2017 (風呂山公園 と 矢祭山 の 山ツツジ が見事です 2017年5月8日)

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(Furoyama Park, Azalea, Suigun Line, Hanawa Town, May 8, 2017 風呂山公園 山ツツジ 水郡線 塙町 2017/5/8)
It was a clear day today with no cloud suitable for taking outdoor pictures. I visited two of wild azalea mountains in southern Fukushima: Yamatsuriyama Park and Furoyama Park. The picture above shows a spectacular view of Furoyama Park in Hanawa Town with its thousands of wild azaleas in full bloom. JR Suigun Line runs nearby with its colorful body as shown in the picture, so everyone can see the view from train.

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At first I visited Yamatsuriyama Park in Yamatsuri Town which was a southernmost town in Fukushima Pref. I took JR Suigun Line to Yamatsuriyama Station which was also the southernmost railway station in Fukushima. Yamatsuriyama Park is located right in front of the station. Some of wild azalea views on the mountain slope within the park are shown above.

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(Furoyama Park, Azalea, Hanawa Town, May 8, 2017 風呂山公園 山ツツジ 塙町 2017/5/8)
Then I took another ride on JR Suigun Line to the north and got off at Iwakihanawa Sta. Furoyama Park is about 20-minute walk from here. Photo above shows another whole view of the mountain slope from different angle also filled with wild azaleas in full bloom.

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Photo above shows a close-up view near the entrance of the park,

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There were many red tunnel trails under wild azaleas as shown above.

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A view of Hanawa Town could be seen from upper part of the slope.

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(Furoyama Park, Azalea, Suigun Line, Hanawa Town, May 8, 2017 風呂山公園 山ツツジ 水郡線 塙町 2017/5/8)
Photo above shows a single-car train of JR Suigun Line bound for Koriyama travels by the foot of Mount Furoyama.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
20170508矢祭山と風呂山のツツジ (560x421)

Three power stations powered by Asaka Canal (Japan Heritage), April 28, 2017(竹之内発電所 の 桜 と 安積疏水(日本遺産) 2017年4月28日)

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Today I traced three traditional hydroelectric power stations powered by Asaka Canal in the outskirt (Atami-machi) of Koriyama. One of them, Takenouchi power station, located on a mountainside was surrounded by late cherry blossoms as shown above.

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Numagami power station is located in the highest position close to Lake Inawashiro where the water comes from. You can see some of the canal water falling down right beside Numagami power station as shown above. This water is fed into Takenouchi station in the downstream.

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Finally the water powers the third hydroelectric power station, Marumori power station as shown above. This station is located in the center of Bandai-Atami town.

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Photo above shows main stream of Asaka Canal running through the backstreet of Bandai-Atami town. The stream then flows into a large area of Asaka plain divided into seven sub-channels.

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Meanwhile, I stopped at an old Nakayamajuku Sta. of JR Ban-etsu West Line. This old station had been used for about 100 years until 1997 for switchback hill climbing. The first photo shows the old station. The second photo shows Ban-etsu West Line train traveling on the current track taken from the old station.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
20170428安積疏水_桜 (560x421)

Cherry blossoms in Namie and Odakaku, April 14, 2017 (浪江町 と小高区 の桜も満開です 2017年4月14日)

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Today, I traveled further north in Hamadori region to Namie Town and Odaka district of Minamisoma City. A photo above shows cherry blossoms in full bloom at historic site of Soma Odaka Shrine. This is also Nomagake performance site for the grand Soma Nomaoi Festival in July. The location is about 10-minute walk from JR Odaka Sta.

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Soma Odaka Shrine stood within historic Odaka Castle ruins. Front approach to the castle ground was also decorated with cherry blossoms as shown above.

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Description board above explains the history of the castle and the shrine in Japanese.

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In order to get to Namie and Odaka, I had to take JR shuttle bus service between Tatsuta and Namie Station because bike transportation was not allowed. At Tatsuta Sta. this morning a large shuttle bus appeared on time as shown on the left above. The bus took us between Tatsuta and Namie Sta., which was still suspended train operation. Although there is only one round trip a day currently, the shuttle bus service is extremely convenient for travelers without cars.

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After I visited Odaka district, I took JR Joban Line train to get to Namie Sta. Namie Town has just been lifted the evacuation order last month due to the nuclear plant accident. The town has just started its recovery movement. But cherry trees along the Ukedo River which flows through the town were already beautiful as shown above.

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As I explained above, Namie Station is the south terminal station for the northern part of JR Joban Line. Namie Sta. has just resumed operation from the 1at of this month. Photo above shows a train traveling from north bound for Namie runs through a bridge over the Ukedo River before arriving at Namie Station.

This is the final report of three-day series of cherry blossoms in Hamadori region.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
20170414浪江町と小高区 (560x418)
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A man who loves Fukushima (福島大好きおじさん)

Author:A man who loves Fukushima (福島大好きおじさん)
Local guide for Fukushima (English)(福島地域通訳案内士(英語))
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