Autumn color started from Jododaira, Oct. 5, 2017 (福島の紅葉は、浄土平から始まります 2017年10月5日)

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Photo above was a superb autumn view of Okenuma Pond, Jododaira, as of today. Autumn color change in Fukushima Pref. starts from here. The location is easy to access by public transport. There is a local shuttle bus service along Bandai-Azuma Skyline road to the site from JR Fukushima Station every day during the season of October. Once you get off the bus at Jododaira terminal you are surrounded by spectacular autumn colors on mountain hillsides. Okenuma Pond is only 15-minute walk from the terminal.

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Photo above shows a description of Okenuma Pond on the site. It says the pond was created 5 to 6 thousand years ago as an eruption crater.The water is 13 meters deep and it provides drinking water to nearby rest house and mountain lodge.

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Some other photos taken nearby are shown above.

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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Ume blossoms at Hanamiyama Park, Mar. 19, 2017. (花見山 の 梅 です 2017年3月19日)

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Ume blossom season has started in Fukushima Pref. in March. As the 1st of ume series in this blog, I visited Hanamiyama Park in Fukushima City today. Hanamiyama, often referred to as a “paradise on earth”, usually shows its magnificent beauty during April, when most of the flowering trees such as a variety of cherry trees, flowering peach, magnolia, forsythia, and others bloom altogether. But during March, ume blossoms bloom before that as shown above. The photo shows white ume blossoms with the background of snow-capped Ide Mountains far away. Ume blossoms are a kind of quiet and plain compared to cherry, but they surely tell us that the spring has come.

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Another photo is shown above in which central part of Fukushima City with Mount Shinobu on the right is overlooked from a slope of Mount Hanamiyama.

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Pink ume blossoms can also be seen along the walking trail as shown above.

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Map and flower description boards which stand in the park are shown above. Local flowering tree farmers kept planting their trees on the mountain slope for a long period of time and this created a large flower blooming attraction in the season. The farmers open their land to visitors. The site is 14-minute local bus ride from JR Fukushima Sta. (Shuttle bus service is available during April.)

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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Jorakuen Garden and Nakano Fudoson; special destinations to visit in Fukushima City, Oct. 22, 2016 (福島市 の 浄楽園 と 中野不動尊 を訪ねて 2016年10月22日)

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Today, I visited two of the popular destinations in Fukushima City as a monthly group study for "Omotenashi Guide Fukushima". Jorakuen Garden as shown above is a privately owned Japanese-style garden, which is open to public throughout a year except winter season. A younger brother of the owner designed the garden and has been taking care of it. He has also taken care of Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, which is a world heritage. A structure as you see in the center is a kind of an open tea ceremony stage.

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Photo above shows another view from the garden with the background of Mount Azumakofuji. During winter season, the mountain is snow-capped, and in early spring as snow thaws, mountainside shaped like a white rabbit appears signaling that farming season starts. This rabbit is called "yukiusagi".

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Then we moved to Nakano-Fudoson, which is officially named Taishoji Temple. Photo above shows Dainichido building, a three-layer building which was built about 50 years ago commemorating 800-year anniversary since its foundation. Dainichinyorai Buddha is enshrined inside. A waterfall besides the building is a sacred Fudotaki Fall used for ascetic practices.

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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You can play back the route and altitude on the map below. (Up:2.3%, gained elevation: 725m, Distance: 123.6km)
下の地図で、ルート再生や標高を見ることができます。(上り2.3%、獲得標高725m、走行距離 123.6km)

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