The entire JR Tadami Line ride, November 7-10, 2022. 乘坐全面恢复的只见线。十一月七号到十号二〇二二年。復旧したJR只見線全線乗車2022年 11月7-10日。

(#Koide Station, JR Tadami Line, Uonuma, Nov. 7, 2022. #小出駅 JR只見線11/7/2022)
Today I started my journey from Koide Station in Uonuma City, Niigata Pref. aboard JR Tadami Line train which resumed its entire line operation toward Aizuwakamatsu. Photo above shows the station, and you can see the train ready to start at the platform over there. My plan is to stop and stay overnight at Tadami and Yanaizu before reaching Aizuwakamatsu.

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(#Saifukuji Temple, Uonuma, Nov. 7, 2022. #西福寺 魚沼市11/7/2022)
Near Koide Station there are some important cultural assets carved by renowned carving artist Ishikawa Uncho. So, I visited two temples: Saifukuji and Eirinji where many of those precious artworks can be seen. Those artworks inside the temple buildings are banned photography, but a photo above shows his carved works placed on both sides of the old temple gate.

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Japanese description above says the statue on the right is a guardian that protects the community from fire. Kanji characters in the left show Zen Buddhism practice.

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(#Saifukuji Temple, Uonuma, Nov. 7, 2022. #西福寺 魚沼市11/7/2022)
A photo above shows autumn view of Saifukuji main temple building.

(#Saifukuji Kaizando, Uonuma, Nov. 7, 2022. #西福寺 開山堂 魚沼市11/7/2022)
A photo above shows front view of Kaizando building where most of the interior were carved by Uncho. Kaizando stands within the precinct of Saifukuji Temple.

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A photo above is a replica of carved sealing of Kaizando by Uncho. (The replica is displayed at Urasa Station.) You might feel a slight image of Uncho’s interior carving.

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(#Saifukuji Uncho statue, Uonuma, Nov. 7, 2022. #西福寺 雲蝶像 魚沼市11/7/2022)
A photo above shows statue of Uncho carving Nio statue inside Kaizando.

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Japanese description above shows brief history of Uncho. He was born in Edo or Tokyo in 1814 and died at Sanjo, Niigata in 1883. In his 30th he started carving various things mainly interior of temples and shrines. Saifukuji Kaizando and Eirinji Temple are major ones.

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(#Eirinji Temple, Uonuma, Nov. 7, 2022. #永林寺 魚沼市11/7/2022)
Now let’s go on to Eirinji Temple. Photo above shows front view of Eirinji main temple building.

(#Eirinji Temple, Uonuma, Nov. 7, 2022. #永林寺 魚沼市11/7/2022)
Photo above shows a stone monument of Uncho. Eirinji has more than 100 pieces of Uncho’s artworks which is the most in Japan.

The first stop in this journey was at Tadami Town. We (I was actually travelling with my family) stayed overnight at Tokinosato-Yurari Inn in the mountainous area. The inn had an excellent hot spring called Murayu or Fukasawa Onsen in a separate bath house. It was a chloride sulfate hot spring. Photo above shows a large ginkgo tree in full autumn color near JR Tadami Station.


(#Kawai Tsugunosuke, Tadami, Nov. 8, 2022. #河合継之助 只見11/8/2022)
The next day was a rainy day. Tadami Town provided free bus service circulate around the town and we decided to visit Kawai Tsugunosuke Memorial Hall using the bus. Photos above are of his statue and his Gatling cannon he used at Boshin Civil war. Kawai Tsugunosuke (1827-1868) was a samurai from Niigata Pref. and fought against the new government forces during Boshin Civil war. He had severe injury in the war and died in Tadami.

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(#Akabeko, Yanaizu, Nov. 9, 2022. #赤べこ 柳津11/9/2022)
The second stop was at Yanaizu Town. It was a town of Akabeko, Saito Kiyoshi art, Fukumankokuzoson-Enzoji Temple, and Awamanju confectionary. Photo shows a gigantic Akabeko monument near the town hall.

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A description board beside the monument tells us the history of Akabeko as shown above.

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(#Akabeko, Yanaizu, Nov. 9, 2022. #赤べこ 柳津11/9/2022)
A mailbox at Yanaizu Post Office had akabeko on top as shown above.

(#Saito Kiyoshi, Yanaizu, Nov. 9, 2022. #斎藤清 柳津11/9/2022)
We walked around the town center starting from Saito Kiyoshi Art Museum. It was a great experience to see so many of his artworks mainly depicting winter in Aizu. Even on the town street there was his picture right on the spot he viewed the snow scenery.

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(#Awamanju, Yanaizu, Nov. 9, 2022. #粟饅頭 柳津11/9/2022)
Awamanju confectionary is another attraction of the town. There are four confectionary shops that make the sweet ban daily and sell to customers. They are Iwaiya, Inabaya, Hasegawa, and Koikeya. We tried tasting all of them comparing the slight differences. Iwaiya was the very first shop or ganso in Japanese that began making and selling Awamanju. Why don’t you try tasting all the shops once you are at Yanaizu? All the shops are lining in short walking distance. Photos above show all the four shops.

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(# Fukumankokuzoson-Enzoji, Yanaizu, Nov. 9, 2022. #福満虚空藏尊圓藏寺 柳津11/9/2022)
Then we visited Fukumankokuzoson-Enzoji Temple in autumn colors as shown above.

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(#Tadami Line, Yanaizu, Nov. 10, 2022. #只見線 柳津11/10/2022)
After staying overnight at Yanaizu, the next day we got on Tadami Line again heading toward Aizuwakamatsu. We took Tadami line train three times: Koide to Tadami, Tadami to Yanaizu, and Yanaizu to Aizuwakamatsu. The train was packed with passengers for the first two sections and many people were standing including the elderly. We also stood all the way. From Yanaizu to Aizuwakamatsu most of the passengers finally got the seats. There must be a lot of work to do to address this issue on the part of JR East Railway Company as well as tourism agency.

The exact route and locations are shown in three separate maps below. The map can be scaled up and down with click and scroll.





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