Some of Aizu 33-Kannon tour in Kitakata, and Enichiji-Temple Site, Aug. 26, 2016 (喜多方市の勝観音、熊倉観音、竹屋観音巡り、そして磐梯町の慧日寺 2016年8月26日)

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The photo above is of Sugure Kannondo Hall in Kitakata City. This was built in 1558, which was late Muromachi Period, and belongs to Shofukuji Temple. It is the 6th Kannon of Aizu 33-Kannon tour, which has been designated as a Japan Heritage this year. The kannondo Hall building is designated as a National Important Cultural Asset.

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On the way back from Kitakata City to Koriyama, I decided to visit three of the Aizu 33-Kannondo located along the return route. First, I had a Kitakata Ramen breakfast at Bannai Ramen Restaurant, which is open from 7:00a.m. shown above. This shop features salt seasoned pork bone soup.

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The first visit on the way was Sugure Kannondo as I mentioned earlier. The second visit was Kumakura Kannondo Hall of Komyoji Temple as shown above. This stands in the old Kumakura-Juku village along the old Yonezawa Highway. This is the 7th Kannon out of Aizu 33-Kannon tour.

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The third visit was Takeya Kannondo Hall of Kannonji Temple as shown above. This is the 8th Kannon of Aizu 33-Kannon tour. The hall building was built in 1716 and the Kannon-sama inside is the only Nyoirin-type Kannon among the 33-Kannon.

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Here is a further description about the hall as shown above.

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All of the three Kannondos are located in Kitakata City. I also got unique red stamps of each Kannondo as shown above.

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Then I moved toward Bandai Town and visited Enichiji Temple Site. The site was first built about 1200 years ago by a famous Buddhist Priest Tokuitsu from the ancient capital Nara. He moved from Nara to Aizu region in the early 800's and first built Shojoji Temple and Enzoji Temple, and finally established this site as a center of Aizu Buddhism. He was buried in this site, where a memorial building called Tokuitsu-byo stands today as shown above.

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Here is a brief description about Tokuitsu-byo and his stone tomb as shown above.

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And the last photo is of a restored Kondo building of Enichiji Temple Site. This Kondo, which means a golden hall, is considered to be the center of this temple site, and has been restored carefully according to old pictures and technologies of that age.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
20160826喜多方観音堂と恵日寺 (560x420)

You can trace the route and altitude in the map below. (Up:3%, gained elevation: 554m, Distance: 76.3km)
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3%、獲得標高554m、走行距離 76.3km)

Amazing sunflower slope on Sannokura, Kitakata, Aug. 25, 2016 (喜多方 三ノ倉 の ひまわり 満開 2016年8月25日)

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Photo above is a view of an amazing sunflower field on Sannokura mountainside at Kitakata City. Today, the sunflowers were at their full bloom in the last one of their fields. The last chance may last for a few more days.

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Before heading to the site, I had a Kitakata Ramen breakfast at a ramen restaurant "Makoto Shokudo" as shown above. This shop was a popular one near Kitakata City Hall and it was clouded with people from 7:30a.m..

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The sunflower site is about 17km north from the city center of Kitakata. There is a fine cycling road up to Atsushio District as shown above, and then about 5km hill climb will take you to the site.

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On the way to Sannokura slope, I stopped at Jigenji Temple in Atsushio District. The temple has an old Kannondo hall called Atsushio Kannondo as shown above.. It was built in 1788, and it is the fifth of Aizu 33 Kannons' tour. A description board (second picture) explains the history.

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There was a sitting statue of Iwako Uryu, whom I introduced in my last blog page (Aug. 24, 2016), within the precinct of Jigenji Temple as shown above. This is because her mother was from this district and Iwako herself lived here for some years.

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I got the temple's unique red stamp called "Goshuin" as shown in the picture.

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Finally, I headed to the sunflower field on Sannokura slope. Here are some other photos taken today of the spectacular sunflower view 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.
20160825三ノ倉ひまわり (560x421)

You can trace the route and altitude in the map below. (Up:5.4%, gained elevation: 767m, Distance: 37.8km)
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5.4%、獲得標高767m、走行距離 37.8km)

Mitsuya brick storehouses and ascending kiln in Kitakata City, Aug. 24, 2016 (喜多方市 三津谷 の 煉瓦蔵 と 登り窯 2016年8月24日)

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Today, I visited Mitsuya Brick Storehouse Street in Kitakata City as shown above. Only five households are in this small Mitsuya hamlet, but each of them has its own brick storehouses making the street exotic.

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There was a description board in the village which briefly explained about the village as shown above.

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Two of the brick storehouses shown above are also in the village. The first one is a residence which is called "Kurazashiki". The second one is a storehouse for local field produce.

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Even a Kitakata Ramen restaurant here was also housed in a brick storehouse building as shown above. This ramen shop is called "Akarenga". I had a delicious Kitakata Ramen lunch (\650) here. Though it was a weekday afternoon, many people had to wait in line.

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An old ascending kiln called "noborigama" is located near Mitsuya Brick Storehouse Street as shown above. This historic kiln was made more than 120 years ago, and this produced and provided all the bricks in Mitsuya hamlet.

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Description above tells us the history of this ascending kiln. It was also designated as a Modern Industrial Heritage by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry.

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On the way back to Kitakata city center, I found a memorial park for a famous woman Iwako Uryu who was born in this place of the city. Iwako Uryu was born in Otazuki District and after facing several hardships in her youths, she became a merciful nurse during Boshin Civil War, and then dedicated herself to helping socially vulnerable people for the rest of her life.

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At the park, there was a board which briefly describes her life as shown above.

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I stayed tonight at Tawaraya Inn located at Kitakata city center. The inn is also friendly with those who travel by bike as shown above. I am expecting to visit Sannokura sunflower field located on the mountainside (ski slope) in the city.

The exact route and locations are shown in the map below. The map can be scaled up and down with a click and scroll.
20160824三津谷 (560x420)

You can trace the route and altitude in the map below. (Up: 2.5%, gained elevation: 457m, Distance: 79.5km)
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2.5%、獲得標高457m、走行距離 79.5km)
Welcome! 福が満開、福のしま。
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