Following Basho’s track in Sukagawa, May 20, 2017 (芭蕉 の 須賀川 路を追って 2017年5月20日)

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Leaving Shirakawa, Basho traveled to Yabuki and then to Sukagawa. Photo above is a set of statues of Basho and his talented disciple Sora at Kagenuma Swamp Site. They visited this place in Kagamiishi Town on the way to Sukagawa. The site was no more swamp today but the surrounding area was all but beautiful rice fields.

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After leaving Shirakawa, the two walked along the old Oshu Highway. Today, only a small part of the road retains the atmosphere of that day. For example, the old road which runs through Gohonmatsu district of Yabuki Town shows similar view of that day as shown above except the paved surface. The panel tells us that two old tea houses used to host travelers with good water and rest.

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Photos above show today’s view of Kagenuma Swamp Site, where the statues of the two are located, and the history description.

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Then I stopped at another historic place called Serizawa Falls Site, where the two Haiku poets visited. Today, only a board describing history of the site and a memorial remain at the site as shown in the pictures above. The board tells us the waterfall was full of water at the time of their visit.

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Entering Sukagawa along the old Oshu Highway, there was a historic milestone site called Sukagawa Ichirizuka Site as shown above. A couple of boards described the structure and the history. Mounds with trees on both sides of the road in the view show a set of milestones placed every 4km in the old days. This is a national historic site.

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Basho and Sora finally arrived at the center of Sukagawa post town, which was called Motomachi. A man named Tokyu welcomed them and the two stayed in this town for as long as eight days. The house they stayed was gone but a sign board shown above told us the exact location. They also visited a simple house called Kashin-an shown above, which was owned by a friend priest of Tokyu. All these were located within a small historic area called Motomachi.

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I found an interesting picture in a corner, which showed his popular Haiku poem “Furyuno Hajimeya-okuno Taue-uta” created during this visit.

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There also was a small museum in the same area as shown above called Bashokinenkan or Basho Memorial Hall which was dedicated to Basho. Staff members can provide detailed information and brochures free of charge.

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At last I visited Junenji Temple shown above, where Basho also visited while in Sukagawa. The temple was established in 1593. (Basho traveled in 1689.)

I stayed tonight near Motomachi area of Sukagawa and my bike trip continues tomorrow.

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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Brilliant flowers at Sukagawa Peony Park, May 2, 2016 (須賀川牡丹園 の華麗な花 2016年5月2日)

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Gorgeous and brilliant flowers competes each other at Sukagawa Peony Park as shown above. This park is a National Scenic Site, where a variety of tree peonies have been grown from 250 years ago.

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Photo above shows a variety called "a smile of Sukagawa" developed at this park. This is really beautiful with its brilliant purple color.

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Some other flowers are also shown above. Today, there were still many buds to bloom soon, meaning that the best time to see will last more than a week. I believe this is a good destination to visit in early May.

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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【2013年5月11日】 大桑原つつじ園 を訪ねて( May 11, 2013: Visited Okanbara Rhododendron Park, Fukushima Pref. )

本日は、午前中、須賀川市 内のもう一つの花の名所である、大桑原 (おおかんばら)つつじ園を訪ねました。昼からは雨が降り出した。
This morning, I visited another famous flower park in Sukagawa City which was Okanbara Rhododendron Park. Then it started to rain around noon.

The actual route is shown in the map below. (The route and altitude data are from GPS log data. The details of the map can be seen by clicking the map.)

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大桑原つつじ園 は、市の郊外にあり、江戸時代からの個人の庭園です。園内では、ツツジやシャクナゲが写真のように、かなり見頃になっていました。つぼみも多く残っており、まだしばらく楽しめます。ここのツツジや シャクナゲ は、山のヤマツツジと違って、大変に良く手入れされています。また、シャクナゲ は、写真のように、数多くの品種がどれもきれいに咲いており、圧巻でした。
Okanbara Rhododendron Park was located in the suburb of the City and the Park had been privately owned since 300 years ago. Azaleas and rhododendrons today were almost best to see in the Park. However, since I could still find many buds left the best days will last for some time. The azaleas and rhododendrons in this Park had been taken best care of compared to wild azaleas in mountains. Numerous kinds of rhododendrons were in beautiful bloom and these really impressed me.

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大桑原つつじ園 の全景と、園内の ツツジ の写真。(上)
The whole view of the Park and beautiful azaleas are shown in the pictures above.

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大桑原つつじ園 園内の見事な シャクナゲ の写真。(上)
Many kinds and colors of rhododendrons are shown in the pictures above.

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昨晩と今晩の宿は、須賀川市中心部にある写真のビジネスホテル 虎屋 。須賀川牡丹園 と 大桑原つつじ園 の間の位置にあります。感じの良い宿で、立派な朝食がついてきます。
Last night as well as tonight I stayed at Toraya Hotel which was a business hotel located near the center of Sukagawa City. It stood between Sukagawa Peony Park and Okanbara Rhododendron Park. It was a nice hotel with a good breakfast.
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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