Kitakata: a town of kura, ramen and sake breweries, May 9, 2016 (蔵とラーメンと酒蔵の街、喜多方 2016年5月9日)

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(Kura buildings along Otazuki Avenue, Kitakata City, May 9, 2016. 蔵の街 喜多方 おたづき蔵通り 金忠蔵 と 豆〇 2016/5/9)
Photo above shows typical kura buildings in Kitakata City. There are about 4000 kura buildings left in the city today and most of them are still in use. The city suffered a big fire in 1880, but many of kura buildings survived and many more were built since then. Kanechu kura building on the right is for miso or soybean paste brewery. Mamemaru on the left is used as a cafe today. We can have delicious sweets and dengaku snacks using excellent miso at the cafe. They were built about 180 years ago.

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Tourist center located along Otazuki Ave. is also a kura building as shown above.

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Photo above shows Anshoji Temple in the back near Fureai Ave. The original wooden temple was built in 1442, but it was burnt down in 1880, and then it was rebuilt in 1896 as a rare kura structure which is durable against fire.

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Even a bank has a kura structure as shown above. The photo shows Aizushinkin Bank building near Anshoji Temple.

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There are some old kura buildings along Fureai Ave. west of the Tazuki River. A three-story kura building of Wakaki Shoten is one of them. It was built by bricks in 1905 as shown above.

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Photo above shows a kura residence with black plaster wall located along Fureai Ave. It was built in 1924.

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Photo above shows a kura building of a sake brewery built in 1790 for Yamatogawa Sake Brewery. There are ten sake breweries in Kitakata City today and many of them have won gold medals in recent national sake contest. Junmai-ginjoshu which means sake from pure and well-polished rice named Yauemon from this brewery is also excellent.

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JR Kitakata Station also looks as though it has a kura structure. It uses similar kind of bricks and walls for kura building.

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Kitakata City is also famous for the specialty food "Kitakata Ramen". A Chinese man started a Chinese noodle stand in Kitakata City about 90 years ago, and this was said to be the origin. Actually, Genraiken Ramen Shop shown above has developed from the Chinese noodle stand. The board shown above explains the history.

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Bannai Shokudo has added chinese noodle to its menu from early days. This has contributed to the development of Kitakata Ramen. Photo above shows today's Bannai Shokudo ramen shop and it serves really good ramen with salt-broth. The shop opens 7:00 in the morning for breakfast ramen.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. (The latter half of the route is missing due to GPS halt.) The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
20160509喜多方蔵とラーメンと酒蔵 (560x420)

Marvelous weeping cherry trees along Nicchusen Memorial cycling and pedestrian road, Kitakata City, April 24, 2015 (日中線記念自転車歩行者道の枝垂桜 喜多方市 2015年4月24日)

Today, I visited Nicchusen Memorial cycling and pedestrian road in Kitakata City, Fukushima. There were marvelous weeping cherry trees along the road which extends more than 1km. On the way to the site I could see splendid views of Mt. Bandai and Iide Mountain Range.
本日は、喜多方市 の 日中線記念自転車歩行者道 の 枝垂れ桜 を見に行きました。1km以上にわたり、すばらしい枝垂れ桜でした。行く途中、磐梯山や飯豊連峰のすばらしい景色も見れました。

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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(Lake Inawashiro and Mt. Bandai, April 24, 2015, 猪苗代湖 と 磐梯山 志田浜より 2015/4/24)
Above photo is an amazing view of Lake Inawashiro with the background of Mt, Bandai from Shidahama Beach.
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(Mt. Bandai from Route 49, April 24, 2015, 国道49号 から 磐梯山 2015/4/24)
Above photo is another splendid view of Mt. Bandai from National Route 49.
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(Iide Moutain Range, April 24, 2015, 飯豊連峰 塩川地区より 2015/4/24)
And above photo is a superb view of Iide Mountain Range from Shiokawa District of Kitakata City.

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I finally got to the center of Kitakata City and there was JR Kitakata Station as shown above. Look at this! This is a kura building. Kitakata City is famous for its traditional kura buildings. The Nicchusen Memorial cycling and pedestrian road starts at several minute walk from the station.
喜多方市の中心部には、JR喜多方駅があります。蔵の街 喜多方らしく、駅も蔵造りでした。日中線記念自転車歩行者道は、駅から数分あるいた場所から,始まります。

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(Weeping cherry trees along Nicchusen Memorial road, April 24, 2015, 日中線記念自転車歩行者道の桜 2015/4/24)
Above photos are today's views of marvelous weeping cherry trees along the Nicchusen Memorial cycling and pedestrian road. They were in the peak of full bloom.

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Today I stayed at Tawaraya Inn near the Nicchusen Memorial road as shown above. This inn offers special discount rate for customers by bicycles. It was a clean and comfortable inn.

【2014年4月1日】 沼ノ平 の 福寿草 、飯豊山 、そして いいでのゆ 泊 (Apr. 1, 2014: Amur adonis at Numanodaira, Mt. Iide, and Iidenoyu Inn, Fukushima Pref.)

本日は、いいで荘 から北に行き、丘の上にある 沼ノ平 の 福寿草 群生地 を訪ねました。その後、青空の中の冠雪の飯豊(いいで)連峰を見ながら北に行き、いいでのゆ に泊りました。
Today I pedaled north and visited Numanodaira hill at which large group of Amur Adonis were blooming in a very large scale. Then I went further north watching snowcapped beautiful Iide Mountain Range in a clear sky and stayed at Iidenoyu Inn.

The location and the actual route 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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喜多方市 山都(やまと)町 の 沼ノ平 は、標高370mの丘の上にあり、日本最大級の 福寿草 群生地 です。(場所は、地図の☆2です。)
Numanodaira was on a hill of Yamatomachi area of Kitakata City and one of the largest groups of Amur Adonis could be seen here in Japan. Please refer to the red asterisk 2 on the map for the location.

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沼ノ平 に行く途中の、冠雪の飯豊連峰 を背景に、磐越西線 の 一の戸川鉄橋 の光景です。(場所は、地図の☆1です。SLで有名な場所です。)
On the way to Numanodaira I found the famous viewing spot of Ichinotogawa Railway Bridge with the background of Iide Mountain Range. The location was the red asterisk 1 on the map.

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本日は朝から晴天で、福寿草 は、写真のように花が良く開いていました。4月中旬まで、福寿草まつり が行われています。( 王様キビタンスタンプ ありました。)( 喜多方市 山都 沼ノ平 福寿草 )
福寿草 我も我もと 咲き誇り 会津の春は 待ち遠しかったと
Today it was a clear day in the morning and yellow flowers of Amur adonis (Japanese name was Fukujuso) were fully open as shown in the pictures above. Special Festival of Fukujuso is open till mid-April.
All the flowers of amur adonis were fully open as if spring of Aizu was a long time coming.

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そのほかにも、アズマイチゲ ( 東一華 )の白い花も咲き始めていました。
I could find other spring flowers starting to bloom. Above pictures show white flowers of Azumaichige.

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キバナノアマナ ( 黄花の甘菜 )の黄色の花も咲き始めています。
Above photo shows yellow flowers of Kibananoamana.

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There were skunk cabbages too.

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その後、いいでのゆ に行く途中でも、冠雪の 飯豊連峰 の雄姿を再度見ることがました。(場所は、地図の☆3です。)
Then on the way to Iidenoyu Inn I could see beautiful snowcapped Iide Mountain Range again. The location was red asterisk 3 on the map.

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更に少し北の 一の木 集落には、山都 の名産の 山都そば のそば屋が、数軒集まっています。その内の一軒の ハセ川 で、昼食をとりました。10割そば は、おいしかったです。(場所は、地図の☆4です。)
Then I pedaled further north for a while and arrived at Ichinoki village at which several soba restaurants gathered which served Yamato Soba. I had a lunch of Yamato Soba at one of the soba restaurant called Hasegawa. The soba made of 100% soba flour was really good. The location was red asterisk 4 on the map.

その後、いいでのゆ から更に北の、川入 集落のほうに向かいましたが、まだ道路の復旧工事中で、通行止めでした。
After the lunch I pedaled further north towards Kawairi village: however the road was under restoration work and I had to give up.

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今夜は、一の木(いちのき)温泉の写真の いいでのゆ に泊まります。ここは、いいで荘 と同じく喜多方市の 公共の宿 で、温泉があります。温泉は、塩化物・硫酸塩泉で、良く温まります。食事も良く、安いです。(場所は、地図の☆5です。)
Tonight I stayed at Iidenoyu Inn which was located in mountainous area of Yamatomachi at Kitakata City. It was a public inn with bot spring. This hot spring was called Ichinoki Onsen which was chloride and sulfate spring. The charge was reasonable and the meal was good. The location was shown as red asterisk 5 in the map.
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)

Author:A man who loves Fukushima (福島大好きおじさん)
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