Shibuki-ice and swans in Lake Inawashiro, Jan. 22, 2016 (猪苗代湖 の しぶき氷 と 白鳥 2016年1月22日)

I have kept you waiting for so long since my last update on Dec. 9, 2015. This is my first and belated blog upload for the New Year. I visited frigid Lake Inawashiro on its northeastern shore today. At Tenjinhama Beach, Shibuki-ice was beginning to develop. At Shidahama Beach, swans and ducks were playing on the snow. I used JR Ban-etsu West Line train and walked to each site.

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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Tenjinhama Beach of Lake Inawashiro is located near Kobirakata Tenmangu Shrine in a small hamlet of Kobirakata in Inawashiro Town. The famous Dr. Noguchi frequently visited the shrine in his youth with his father. Pictures above show a memorial sign board and a large shrine gate (Torii) each.

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Shibuki-ice site is located about 30-minute walk from the shrine through a pine forest as a windbreak. Picture above shows the entrance to the path.

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(Baby Shibuki-ice at Tenjinhama, Lake Inawashiro, Jan. 22, 2016, 猪苗代湖 天神浜 しぶき氷 のたまご 2016/1/22)
Shibuki-ice is a natural phenomenon that ice sticks to tree branches and rocks along the shore because icy water of the lake is blown onto them by strong winds. It is seen especially at Tenjinhama Beach in frigid cold winter period. Today, the phenomenon was still developing halfway as shown above. You can see a bunch of ice sticking to lower branches.

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(Sans and ducks at Shidahama, Lake Inawashiro, Jan. 22, 2016, 猪苗代湖 志田浜 白鳥 オナガガモ 2016/1/22)
Then I moved to Shidahama Beach about 5 km away on foot. There, many swans (Tundra swan) and ducks (Northern pintail) were playing on the beach as shown above.

Excellent autumn leaves at Fukushima Geihinkan, Oct. 31, 2015 (福島県迎賓館 の 紅葉、沼上発電所 の 紅葉 2015年10月31日)

Today, on the way back to Koriyama from Aizuwakamatsu, I stopped at Fukushima Geihinkan, Inawashiro Town. Autumn leaves were splendid in the garden. Further on the way, I also met with beautiful autumn colors along the National Route 49 near the exit of Nakayama Tunnel and also at Numagami Hydroelectric Power Plant.
今日は、会津若松から郡山に戻る途中、猪苗代町にある、福島県迎賓館 に寄りました。紅葉が大変きれいでした。更にその先、国道49号沿いに、中山トンネル付近や、沼上発電所で、きれいな紅葉に出会いました。

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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(Fukushima Geihinkan, Inawashiro Town, autumn leaves, 10/31, 2015, 福島県迎賓館、紅葉、猪苗代町、2015/10/31)
Fukushima Geihinkan is a former Imperial Villa located just beside Lake Inawashiro. It was built in 1922 and later in 1952 it was given to Fukushima Pref. It includes a large beautiful garden with a spectacular view of Lake Inawashiro. It is also designated as a National Important Cultural Property. In this season autumn leaves create beautiful scenery including the building and the garden as shown above.

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From the garden I also found several wind turbines rotating on a mountain far on the right. These belong to Aizuwakamatsu Windfarm which generates 16MW of electric power.

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Leaving Fukushima Geihinkan, I pedaled along the northern shore of Lake Inawashiro to the east. Pedaling through Nakayama Tunnel to the exit, I was already in Koriyama City and colorful mountainside came into my eyes as shown above.

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(Numagami Power Plant, autumn leaves, Koriyama City, 10/31, 2015 沼上発電所、紅葉、郡山市、2015/10/31)
Soon after, I passed beside Numagami Hydroelectric Power Plant on the left and it was also surrounded by beautiful autumn colors as shown above. It is the second oldest hydroelectric power plant in Fukushima and it contributed heavily to the development of Koriyama City. Water from Lake Inawashiro through Asaka Canal is used for the power generation.

Renewed Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Hall & Aizu Matsudaira Family Tombs, May 21, 2015 (新装の野口英世記念館、及び会津松平家院内御廟、2015年5月21日)

Today I visited Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Museum at Inawashiro Town. It was renewed and reopened in this April. Next, I visited Aizu Lord Matsudaira Family Tombs in Aizuwakamatsu City. I saw a tremendous figure on the stone monument of each lord.

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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Hideyo Noguchi was born in Inawashiro Town in 1876, and died in Ghana (West Africa) in 1928. He became a world famous doctor and bacteriologist. His birthplace close to the shore of Lake Inawashiro has been well preserved until today in the back of the memorial hall.

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Above photos are the new Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Hall, his stone monument, and his birthplace.

Then I stopped at Aizu Bukeyashiki where some of the old houses in samurai period were preserved.

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Above photo shows tea ceremony house called Rinkaku. This is the reproduction of the real one in Tsurugajo Castle. The atmosphere of the house was quiet and aesthetic.

At last I visited Aizu Clan Lord Matsudaira Family Tombs in Aizuwakamatsu City. Aizu Matsudaira Family had started from Masayuki Hoshina in 1643 followed by eight lords and the last lord was Katamori Matsudaira. Since Masayuki was a brother of the third Shogun Iemitsu Tokugawa, Matsudaira Family was very close to the Tokugawa Shogunate. This site is designated as National Historic Site.

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There was a very large stone figure of turtle like divine beast on the bottom of each stone monument as shown above. These were really powerful and amazing.

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Also, the grave field was covered with full bloom of Iris japonica as shown above.
Welcome! 福が満開、福のしま。
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