Yanagiya Ryokan site in Shirakawa: Oct. 4, 2018. (白河の柳屋旅館跡 戊辰150年 2018年10月4日)

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I visited Shirakawa City today. Commemorating 150th anniversary of the end of Boshin Civil War, some of the restoration works for historic sites have been done in the city. Former Yanagiya Ryokan site, as shown above, was one of them. This was an upscale inn for high-ranking samurai in Edo Period. After Meiji Restoration in 1868, the Emperor Meiji rested at this place on the way to Tohoku region expedition in 1881 and stayed at here on the way back. The photo shows the front garden and symbolic kura-type or storehouse-type building. The location was 3-minute walk from JR Shirakawa Station as shown in the map below.

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A couple of brief description boards above in Japanese, both of which stood at the site, said the inn was used by a large samurai group of 106 which fought against new Meiji Government forces at Shirakawaguchi Battle on May 1st of 1868. This was the largest battle in Shirakawa.

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A photo above shows a front gate of the former Yanagiya Ryokan.

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Photo above shows a stone memorial for the stay by the Emperor Meiji in 1881.

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A whole appearance of the renovated building is shown above. The original building was built in 1804. Because it suffered damage by the March 11th earthquake in 2011, repair and restoration work began in 2015 and completed on March, 2018.

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A photo above shows the interior which consists of three Japanese-style tatami rooms.

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There was a well in the exterior. The well was 9-meter deep and it was used to provide fresh water for the Emperor Meiji.

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In the map above, which stands at the site, red sign shows the location of Yanagiya Ryokan. It is close to JR Shirakawa Station which is shown in the bottom left. There were about 50 inns in this Motomachi district at the time along the old Oshu Highway, which is now a national route 294.

Tracing Asaka Canal in Koriyama, July 22, 2018. (安積疏水と豊かな水田(郡山) 2018年7月22日。)

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(Asaka Canal at Mihotamachi, Koriyama, July 22, 2018. 安積疏水 郡山 三穂田町 7/22/2018)
Today I followed some of the waterways of Asaka Canal in Koriyama, which was developed by the first national restoration project in Meiji Period and completed in 1882. This greatly contributed to the current rich production of excellent rice in this area as well as to the total development of Koriyama area. Asaka Canal was designated as a Japan Heritage. I pedaled my bike mainly through Osemachi, Otsukimachi and Mihotamachi districts, where rice fields have grown to rich green in this time of year at everywhere around. Photo above shows vast rich green rice fields alongside a long elevated 6th branch channel of Asaka Canal in Mihotamachi.

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My first stop was Natsuide village of Osemachi in the north, where I could see the main stream of Asaka Canal as shown above near the 2nd branch point. I also found somewhat terraced rice fields grown in rich green as shown above.

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Next stop was Otsukimachi, where I found the main stream of Asaka Canal near the 5th branch point as shown above. Just adjacent to this point a large rice field extended as shown in the picture above.

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The main stream flowed toward further south to carry the water for 6th and 7th branch in the south. Photo above shows another view of the main stream in Otsukimachi, with a green rice field right next to it.

Finally, I came to Mihotamachi area, where I found a long elevated waterway as shown in the top, which was a part of the 6th branch of the canal. I climbed up a ladder and looked into the elevated water channel and confirmed clear water was flowing inside.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
20180722安積疏水 (560x420)

Paddy field arts in Miharu, June 30, 2018. (三春町 の 田んぼアート です 2018年6月30日。)

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Along my regular bike training route in Miharu Town, some of the paddy fields have grown to display arts. One of them at Takanosu field is shown above. It featured 450th anniversary of Megohime’s birth, who was a wife of Date Masamune, a powerful warlord at the time. Megohime was born in 1568 as a daughter of Miharu lord Tamura. This year’s zodiac animal “dog” was beside her.

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Another one at Saito field is shown above. It featured the famous Miharu-Takizakura, a gigantic cherry tree in the town, which was designated as a national natural monument.

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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