Gorgeous illumination at Koriyama Station, Dec. 16, 2019. (郡山駅の華麗なイルミネーション 2019年12月16日)

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(Big tree pageant, Koriyama, December 16, 2019. ビッグツリーページェント 郡山 12/16/2019)
Tonight, when I came back from Tadami to JR Koriyama Station, I found a gorgeous light pageant spread across the front square of west exit. Koriyama City’s mascot character, Gakutokun, played a key roll in the center. The design also featured Asaka Development project in the late 1800’s which triggered rapid development of the city. Photo above was a view of main illumination for the center stage which also showed the waterfalls of Asaka canal. The official name for this illumination event is called “Big tree pageant fiesta in Koriyama”. It continues through January 13th, 2020.

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(Big tree pageant, Koriyama, December 16, 2019. ビッグツリーページェント 郡山 12/16/2019)
Some other illuminations are shown in the photos above. Many of them show musical instruments or notes, as Koriyama City declared itself a music capital. All these were seen in the west exit square.


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But even in the east exit side, which was smaller, new illuminations were placed as shown above. Also, along the long sidewalk which extends straight toward the east, there was a long wall of illumination which made pedestrians safer and more excited to walk.

I had a meeting at Tadami Town this morning and on the way back I purchased Junen edible oil which was produced in the town. Photo above shows the Junen oil made at Genkimura, which is agricultural food processing cooperative in the town. Junen means ten years in Japanese and this oil gets people healthier to live another ten years thanks to rich ingredient of alpha-linolenic acid. Junen is also called egoma, which is a kind of Perilla plant. I added this fresh oil to natto beans, tofu, and tomato dressing.

Japanese serow on Mt. Karo trail, July 1, 2019. 新地町 鹿狼山の山道で日本カモシカに出会う 2019年7月1日。

(Japanese serow at Mt. Karo, Shinchi, July 1, 2019. 鹿狼山 の 日本カモシカ 新地 7/1/2019)
Today I walked along a countryside road and mountain trail in Shinchi Town which was a northernmost town in the coastal Fukushima. The route was mostly along Shinchi section of Michinoku Coastal Trail or walking trail along the coastal area of Tohoku Region. This was defined and promoted by Ministry of the Environment of Japan aiming to revitalize the coastal region which was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. Today’s route was 17km long and included light trekking on Mt. Karo (430m). When I was descending along the ridge, I suddenly came across a Japanese serow near the northern end of the trail. He was grazing on the vegetation. Both of us were frightened but he just stared at me and showed no sign of intimidation. I took his picture as shown above and then he moved away.

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I started to walk from JR Shinchi Station this morning as shown above. When I visited the town four years ago (2015) by bike there was no railway station. It was destroyed and washed away by the tsunami. But today the new station was built as well as many new public facilities, hotels, and residential area with new homes in the vicinity.

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In about two hours of walking I arrived at the trailhead for Mt. Karo. A pair of animal stones called “komainu”, deer on the left and wolf on the right, welcomed me as shown above. These were for Karosan shrine or Mt. Karo shrine, where deity of the mountain was enshrined. A local legend described on the panel shown above said the animals were always with the god.

Shortly after, I came to a hydrangea habitat as shown above. But today it seemed not the best season for this flower.

In about an hour I came to the summit where second-order triangulation point was placed. It was very foggy, misty and even rainy at the top, but for a very short period of time a glimpse of blue sky appeared on top of sea of clouds as shown above.

In the last half of the route there were two watering places along the way which was very grateful for walkers. Both were natural spring water. The first one was Mayumi spring water as shown above. This has even been used as the source of public tap water supply for local residents until some 40 years ago.

Another one was called Ukon spring water. A small rest area with roof has been built as shown above. “Ukon” was named after Date Ukon who was a descendant of Date family and who lived and loved this place and the water. I also refreshed myself with these excellent spring waters. It took 7.5 hours to get back to Shinchi 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. However, today, the GPS data did not reach the goal of Shinchi Station due to battery outage.

【2014年6月28日】 川内村 天山文庫 と かわうちの湯 (June 28, 2014: Tenzanbunko Library and Kawauchinoyu Spa, Kawauchi Village, Fukushima Pref.)

本日は、川内村 の 天山文庫 を訪ね、そのあと、かわうちの湯 に寄りました。天候不安定のため、鉄道とバスで、川内村 に来ました。
Today I visited Tenzanbunko Library at Kawauchi Village and then stopped at Kawauchinoyu Spa. Since it was rainy this weekend I took a train and a bus to Kawauchi Village.

The location and the actual route at Kawauchi Village 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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川内村 へは、郡山から 磐越東線 で 船引 (ふねひき)まで出て、ここからバスです。郡山駅 で、ちょうど東北本線の SL列車 の入線に出会いました。イベントで、写真のように、大変な賑わいでした。 ( 郡山駅 SL 2014/6/28)
I first took Ban-etsu East Line train from Koriyama to Funehiki Station and then took a bus to Kawauchi Village. At Koriyama Station I happened to meet a steam locomotive train of Tohoku Line coming in. This was a special event train and the platform was clouded with many people and families.

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郡山駅 の構内では、吹奏楽の演奏も同時にありました。両端にいるのは、郡山市 のキャラクターの 楽都くん です。
There was a concert of brass band orchestra inside the Koriyama Station building. Characters in both sides of orchestra were Gakutokun Characters of Koriyama City.

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写真が、天山文庫 (てんざんぶんこ)です。カエルの詩人 の 草野新平 が、別荘として使ったものです。川内村 に寄贈した3000冊の本もあります。草野新平 と 川内村 を結びつけたのは、平伏沼 の モリアオガエル が縁とのことです。 場所は、地図の☆1です。 ( 天山文庫 川内村 2014/6/28)
Above photo shows Tenzanbunko Library. The library possessed 3000 books donated by Shinpei Kusano who was a famous poet of frogs. He used this house as the second house.

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写真は、併設されている 阿武隈民芸館 です。草野新平 の生涯に関する資料などです。 ( 阿武隈民芸館 川内村 2014/6/28)
Above photo shows Abukuma Mingeikan Museum adjacent to the library. Books, documents and photos of Shinpei Kusano were displayed inside.

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写真は、村営の日帰り温泉施設、かわうちの湯です。 場所は、地図の☆2です。
Above photo shows Kawauchinoyu Spa which is a village owned day use spa house.

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今夜は、川内村の小松屋旅館に泊り、明日の朝、村の平伏沼で、モリアオガエルの観察会に参加します。小松屋旅館は、川内村の数少ない宿の1つですが、居心地よく安く泊まれます。 場所は、地図の☆3です。
Tonight I stay at Komatsuya Inn at Kawauchi Village and tomorrow morning I will join in the nature event of forest green tree frogs at Hebusu Pond in the Village. Komatsuya Inn is one of few inns in this village being comfortable with reasonable charge.
Welcome! 福が満開、福のしま。
Welcome to Fukushima 2019 
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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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