Bandaiazuma Skyline Road in spring, April 27, 2015 (春の磐梯吾妻スカイライン 2015年4月27日)

Today I pedaled on Bandaiazuma Skyline Road which runs winding through Azuma Mountains. I started from Tsuchiyu Pass entrance and climbed up toward Jododaira. And then I pedaled further on the other side descending until I arrived at Tsubakuro Valley. And then I returned all the way back.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
20150427磐梯吾妻スカイライン春 (560x420)

Bandaiazuma Skyline Road is one of the most popular mountain sightseeing roads in well as in Japan. It is closed during winter season and it reopened just 17th of this April. I could see some amazing views of surrounding mountains and remaining snow. Please look at some of the pictures below.

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(Mt. Bandai from Bandaiazuma Skyline, April 27, 2015, 磐梯吾妻スカイラインより 磐梯山 2015年4月27日)
First, I could see beautiful Mt. Bandai as shown above.

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(Adatara Mt. Range from Bandaiazuma Skyline, April 27, 2015, 磐梯吾妻スカイラインより 安達太良連峰 2015年4月27日)
Then I also found Adatara Mountain Range in a different direction as shown above.

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(Snow walls along Bandaiazuma Skyline, April 27, 2015, 磐梯吾妻スカイラインの雪の回廊 2015年4月27日)
As I went up to about 1600m in altitude, snow walls along the roadside still remained as shown above These walls have dramatically shrank due to recent warm temperature.

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(Mt. Issaikyo from Bandaiazuma Skyline, April 27, 2015, 磐梯吾妻スカイラインより 一切経山 2015年4月27日)
Then on the other side beyond Jododaira I found Mt, Issaikyo with bare ground and remaining snow as shown above. A sign in one of the pictures said "Do not stop until you go as far as 800m because volcanic gas is dangerous".

You can trace the route and altitude in the map below. (Up: 4.8%, gained altitude: 926m)
下の地図で、ルートの距離や標高を見ることができます。(上り4.8%、獲得標高 926m)

On the way to Tsuchiyu Pass hot spring site, Fukushima City, April 26, 2015 (土湯峠温泉郷への道中 2015年4月26日)

Today, I headed toward Tsuchiyu Pass hot spring site in Fukushima City. It is located on the height of 1200m.
本日は、福島市にある、土湯峠温泉郷へ向かいました。 1200mの高所にあります。

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
20150426土湯峠温泉郷へ (560x419)

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(Mega solar plant, Nihonmatsu City, April 26, 2015, メガソーラー 二本松市 2015/4/26)
On the way I found a very large scale mega solar power plant under construction along the National Route 459 as shown above. The location was in Nihonmatsu City near the border to Fukushima City.

After I left Roadside Station Tsuchiyu, I took a local mountain road called Middleline. Along this road I found some of the typical alpine early spring flowers as shown below.

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(Oriental swamp pink, Fukushima, april 26, 2015, 猩々袴 ミドルライン 福島市 2015/4/26)
Above photo shows Oriental swamp pink or Heloniopsis orientalis. Many of these were found scattered along the roadside.

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(Dogtooth violet, Fukushima, april 26, 2015, カタクリ ミドルライン 福島市 2015/4/26)
Another is dogtooth violet as shown above. Many of this kind were in full bloom on the sunny slope along the roadside.

I stayed at Sagamiya Inn of Tsuchiyu Pass hot spring site tonight. This is an excellent inn with its own best quality sulfur spring source.

Aizu clan school Nisshinkan, the new FruiTea train, and beautiful cherry blossoms along Kannonji River, April 25, 2015 (会津藩校日新館、フルーティア、そして観音寺川 の満開の桜、2015年4月25日)

Today, on the way home from Kitakata City I stopped at three different places: an old Aizu clan school Nisshinkan, a new train FruiTea viewpoint, and beautiful cherry blossoms along Kannonji River in Inawashiro 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.
">20150425日新館と観音寺川桜 (560x420)

First, I stopped at Nisshinkan in Aizuwakamatsu City. This is an old Aizu clan school established in 1803. The original school stood beside Tsurugajo Castle. But this had been burned down at Boshin Civil War. The current one was rebuilt afterward to reproduce and commemorate the school.

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Above photo shows the south gate of Nisshinkan.

20150425水連場 (560x421)
Above photo shows the first swimming pool in Japan.

20150425天文台 (560x421)
Above photo shows a rare astronomical observatory in those days.

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Above photo shows a study scene of astronomy in Nisshinkan.

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There also was a realistic display of a scale model of the original Tsurugajo Castle damaged badly at Boshin Civil War.

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I left Nisshinkan and then stopped at Roadside Station Bandai. There I could see the first FruiTea train bound for Aizuwakamatsu. Above photo shows the FruiTea new train cars connected on the back of regular local train. The mountain in the back is Mt. Bandai.

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My final stop was Kannonji River in Inawashiro Town. Hundreds of Cherry trees along the river were in full bloom as shown in the above pictures. This is one of the most famous places of cherry blossoms in Fukushima.
Welcome! 福が満開、福のしま。
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