Garyubai ume blossoms at Yanagawa-Kibonomori Park, Date, March 15, 2023. 梁川希望森公园的卧龙梅花盛开。三月十五号二〇二三年。やながわ希望の森公園の臥龍梅が満開 2023年 3月15日。

(#Garyubai ume blossoms, Date, Mar. 15, 2023. #臥龍梅 伊達3/15/2023)
I got the information that Garyubai ume tree is starting to bloom, so I visited Yanagawa-Kibonomori Park in Yanagawa, Date City today. Garyubai is a special variety of ume or plum tree, which features its bending trunk and branches that looks like lying dragon. Photo above shows a single Garyubai tree in full bloom that extends its entire blossoms widely.

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A description board on site shown above says that Japan waged a war against Korea in 1592 and Date Masamune was one of the lords that went there. At the time this special proportion of Garyubai ume tree caught his attention and he brought it back to Japan. This Garyubai tree is a descendant of that tree.  

Photo above shows the blossoms from a different angle.

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(#Garyubai ume blossoms, Date, Mar. 15, 2023. #臥龍梅 伊達3/15/2023)
Photo above is a close-up view of Garyubai flower petals.

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Garyubai ume tree is in a special corner for wild plants and herbs in the park. Photo above shows the sign for the corner.

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Garyubai ume tree is located about 30-minute walk from Yanagawa-Kibonomorimae Station shown above of Abukuma-Kyuko or Abukyu Line railway. After entering into the park area, you walk to the park office then turn left right before the office building and climb a slope until you see the sign.



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(#Abukyu, train cars, Fukushima, Mar. 15, 2023. #阿武隈急行 福島3/15/2023)
I took Abukyu Line from Fukushima Station to get to Yanagawa-Kibonomorimae Station and return back today. During that time, I met four different types and colors of the train cars as shown in the pictures above. It’s great fun to see and ride those cars. All of them were of recent designs with comfortable ride.

The exact GPS locations and route are shown in a map below. The map can be scaled up and down with click and scroll.

Abukyu Railway tour, March 19, 2021. (阿武急線ツアー 2021年3月19日。)

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(#Abukyu Line, AB900, Date, Mar. 19, 2021. #阿武急 AB900伊達 3/19/2021)
Today, I traveled by Abukuma-Kyuko Line or Abukyu Railway from Fukushima Station up north to Marumori Station in Miyagi Prefecture stopping at some places. The railway, going mostly along the Abukuma River, suffered severe flooding damage in fall of the year before last and suspended its operation for the section including Marumori Station. But finally, it resumed full regular operation on this March for the first time in a year and 5 months. A photo above shows a new train introduced a year ago running through the restored section near Kabuto Station.

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I found the same type of train stopping at Marumori Station as shown above.


The railway connects Fukushima and Miyagi Prefectures running mostly along the Abukuma River. A photo above shows northernmost point of the river. The location is 10-minute walk from Kabuto Station, also shown above, which is the northernmost Station of the line within Fukushima Prefecture.

(#Abukyu Line, Masamune, Date, Mar. 19, 2021. #阿武急 正宗 伊達 3/19/2021)
The railway introduced special wrapped car, as shown above, featuring war time general Date Masamune and his family. A photo above shows part of the exterior of the train at Yanagawa Station.

Even the interior is decorated with similar manga illustration as shown above.

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Abukyu Railway issued special station stamps free of charge as shown above. These are the expression of gratitude from the company for the support of the recovery. Each stamp is issued at Yanagawa or Marumori Station only.

The exact route and location are shown in a map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.

Exciting Date City with its Masamune Datenicle fever, Nov. 13, 2016 (正宗ダテニクル で盛上る 伊達市 2016年11月13日)

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Today, I visited Date City, which is located in the northern part of Fukushima, as a monthly group study of "Omotenashi Guide Fukushima". The city triggered a fever of Datenicle this year, which is a series of animation film based on stories of famous samurai lord Date Masamune and his family. Photo above shows a wrapped train of Abukyu Railway, running near Yanagawa Station in the city.

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Abukyu, or Abukuma Express Railway, is a local railway which connects Fukushima City and Miyagi Pref. along the Abukuma River. Photo above shows a regular type of train running through Date City.

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During morning hours, we had a tour through Yanagawa Hachiman Shrine, a major attraction of the city, which had been a guardian deity of Date family. Two of the local guides of the city tourist center guided us through the precinct. Photo above shows the main hall of the Shrine, which was rebuilt in 1745.

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There was an old Kannondo Hall within the precinct as shown above. The building was rebuilt in 1718.

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An old bell tower with thatched roof shown above sounded very nice when we hit the large bell. This tower belongs to Ryuhoji Temple, which has strong ties with the Shrine.

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At lunch time, we had a healthy and delicious lunch at Yanagawa Denshokan as shown above. The lunch was cooked entirely from local foodstuffs. After lunch, we had a special video and talk related to Masamune Datenicle at here.

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In the late afternoon, we visited Anpogaki farms in the adjacent Isazawa village. Anpogaki or sweet half-dried persimmon with orange color is a great specialty of Yanagawa District. Isazawa village is a major production area of Anpogaki. Along the hillside of Isazawa village, we could see a large area covered with persimmon trees such as shown above.

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The next morning, I visited Date City Hall in Hobara District, and found a life-size figure from Masamune Datenicle animation film as 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.
20161113伊達市 (560x420)
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