Brilliant ‘tsurushibina’ decorations at Hanawa, Feb. 21, 2019. (塙 の華麗な つるし雛 2019年2月21日)

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Traditional ‘tsurushibina’ or hanging decorations for girls’ festival are being publicly displayed at some of the locations in Fukushima in this time of year. Hanawa Town is one of them. Photo above shows tsurushibina exhibition at Community Plaza inside the Iwakihanawa Station building of JR Suigun Line. Each of the hanging pieces was made by handicraft quilting using scrap cloth. A group of local women volunteers called ‘Quiltmate Hanawa’ made all of these. Actually this tradition had spread across Japan in late Edo Period and was passed down to this day.

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Photo above was taken from a different angle and you can see the whole hanging structure from above. This exhibit continues through March 3rd which is the girls’ festival day. JR Iwakihanawa Station is about 1.5hr train ride from Koriyama.

Wild azalea mountains in southern Fukushima (Yamatsuriyama & Furoyama), May 8, 2017 (風呂山公園 と 矢祭山 の 山ツツジ が見事です 2017年5月8日)

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(Furoyama Park, Azalea, Suigun Line, Hanawa Town, May 8, 2017 風呂山公園 山ツツジ 水郡線 塙町 2017/5/8)
It was a clear day today with no cloud suitable for taking outdoor pictures. I visited two of wild azalea mountains in southern Fukushima: Yamatsuriyama Park and Furoyama Park. The picture above shows a spectacular view of Furoyama Park in Hanawa Town with its thousands of wild azaleas in full bloom. JR Suigun Line runs nearby with its colorful body as shown in the picture, so everyone can see the view from train.

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At first I visited Yamatsuriyama Park in Yamatsuri Town which was a southernmost town in Fukushima Pref. I took JR Suigun Line to Yamatsuriyama Station which was also the southernmost railway station in Fukushima. Yamatsuriyama Park is located right in front of the station. Some of wild azalea views on the mountain slope within the park are shown above.

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(Furoyama Park, Azalea, Hanawa Town, May 8, 2017 風呂山公園 山ツツジ 塙町 2017/5/8)
Then I took another ride on JR Suigun Line to the north and got off at Iwakihanawa Sta. Furoyama Park is about 20-minute walk from here. Photo above shows another whole view of the mountain slope from different angle also filled with wild azaleas in full bloom.

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Photo above shows a close-up view near the entrance of the park,

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There were many red tunnel trails under wild azaleas as shown above.

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A view of Hanawa Town could be seen from upper part of the slope.

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(Furoyama Park, Azalea, Suigun Line, Hanawa Town, May 8, 2017 風呂山公園 山ツツジ 水郡線 塙町 2017/5/8)
Photo above shows a single-car train of JR Suigun Line bound for Koriyama travels by the foot of Mount Furoyama.

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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Dahlia Festival in Hanawa Town part Ⅱ, Eryuda Falls in Samegawa Village, and Bobata Onsen, Sept. 15, 2015 (塙のダリア祭りその2、鮫川村の江竜田の滝、母畑元湯 2015年9月15日)

Last night I stayed at Yuyu Land Hanawa of Yujimata Hot Spring. This facility has a large dahlia garden in front across the road. This was my first visit this morning. Then I pedaled north and visited Eryuda Falls in Samegawa Village. Final goal today was Bobata Hot Spring of Ishikawa Town.

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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Picture above shows a Yuyu Land Hanawa Inn of Yujimata Onsen. This is a nice public inn of Hanawa Town located in a remote area 550m above sea level..

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Yuyu Land Hanawa owns a large dahlia garden. In this time of the season, dahlia has become in full bloom as shown in the photos above. The best time will last until October. Dahlia Festival of Hanawa Town lasts through the end of October.

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During Dahlia Festival you can find other dahlia gardens in many places in the town. Picture above shows a bus stop with dahlia garden which I found on the way to Eryuda Falls.

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Leaving Hanawa Town, I headed toward Eryuda Falls in Samegawa Village. There are six falls at the site and two of them are shown above.

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The site had been selected best 100 greens of Fukushima as shown in the stone monument in the picture above.

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Then I headed toward Bobata Hot Spring Site in the north. On the way I stopped at mega solar power plant which was built in an old golf course site as shown above.

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Bobata hot spring site was founded in 1063. The original spring site is called Bobata Motoyu. This is where I stayed tonight. The building is an old (more than 100 years) wooden style with an old style bath as shown in the photos above. This alkaline and radioactive spring was excellent.
Welcome! 福が満開、福のしま。
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