Okuaizu, Japan

Home of seasonal tradition and events

Seasons in Okuaizu

When cherry blossoms start showing off their beauty, other trees in mountains start making their color vivid green as if they are competing each other. Time flies while every species in mountains are enjoying the moment to the utmost. In the winter, while wild lives are hibernating, diligent local people are working on whatever they can inside their home.

Spring

Snow is melting away and all lives in the mountains rejoice. SCROLL DOWN

Spring

Snow is melting away and all lives in the mountains rejoice. SCROLL DOWN

Flower field of Azaki Daikon (in Kaneyama)

Above sea level of 600 meter, the Tarabu Highland is home for Azaki Daikon. The Azaki Daikon displays pale purple flowers in Spring, between end of May and early June.

Location: Tarabu Area, Kaneyama
Contact: Kaneyama-machi Commercial Tourism Division.

Tanada in the Kubota Area (in Yanaizu)

There are beautiful terraced rice-fields in Kubota area located about 20 minutes from the center of Yanaizu. Local farmers provide rice-farming experiences to people in big cities, who generally have no opportunity to work in the fields.

Location: Kubota, Yanaizu
Contact: Yanaizu Tourism Association.
http://aizu-yanaizu.com/

Kubota Sanjyusan Kannon (in Yanaizu) *Japan Heritage

On a hill of Kubota area, there are thirty-three statues of Kannon Bosatsu that people in the region have carved in 1818. The statues are placed about 5 ~ 6 meters apart from each other on the side of a trail of 234 meters (0.15 mile). The 7th statue is called Maria (Mary) Kannon because the Cross is engraved on the statue. Annually on April 29th, Kubota Sanjyusan Kannon festival has been held to commemorate the heritage.

Contact: Yanaizu Tourism Association.
http://aizu-yanaizu.com/

Obayashi Furusato no Yama (in Mishima)

Every year, Katakuri (dogtooth violet) and Sargent's cherry bloom in late April. The flowers of pale violet and pink on the mountain tells visitors the spring has arrived. This Yama (mountain) is located about 15 minutes by a car from Aizu-miyashita station in Mishima.

Location: Toumotejo Nnishikata, Mishima
Contact: Mishima Tourism Association.

Nakagawa Community (in Kaneyama)

It is located by Tadami River. The peaceful atmosphere may be originated from calmness of the river and a stretch of rice fields. Nakagawa community was selected as one of 100 Japanese “Sato”, an unspoiled countryside.

Location: Nakagawa Community,Kaneyama
Contact: Kaneyama-machi Commercial Tourism Division.

Summer

The bright-white clouds are in the blue sky. The sun is reflected on the river, making sparkle of light on it. In mountains, trees of vivid green are gently swinging.
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Summer

The bright-white clouds are in the blue sky. The sun is reflected on the river, making sparkle of light on it. In mountains, trees of vivid green are gently swinging.
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Oze National Park, Oe Marshland (in Hinoemata)

Oze National Park is located across the four prefectures: Fukushima, Gunma, Niigata and Tochigi. There are several marshlands in the park. Many alpine plants, such as Asian skunk cabbages and daylilies can be observed. Astonishing beauty of the nature brings us a sense of humility.

Location: Hinoemata
Contact: Oze Hinoemata Onsen Tourist Association.

Lake Numazawa Water Festival (in Kaneyama)

A legend has it that a giant serpent used to dwell in the Lake Numazawa. The legend features in the water festival. According to the legend, the giant serpent was defeated by a samurai named Yoshitsura Juro Sawara. By using a large float on the lake, the battle between the serpent and Yoshitsura is reproduced as a show. Fireworks display also features the giant serpent.

Event schedule: August
Location: Kaneyama, By the lake Numazawa
Contact: Kaneyama-machi Commercial Tourism Division.
http://www.kaneyama-kankou.ne.jp/

Karamushi Weaving Festival (in Showa)

This is a rare opportunity to learn about the process of Karamushi (ramie) weaving. You can see the transformation of ramie from a fiber into a beautiful Karamushi textile.

Event schedule: July
Location: Showa, Michi-no-eki Karamushiori no sato Showa
Contact: Industrial Construction Division, Showa.
http://www.vill.showa.fukushima.jp/event.stm

Showa is the only place in the main island of Japan that Karamushi (ramie) is commercially cultivated.
Characteristics of Karamushi textile are air permeability and hygroscopicity.
The light-weight and strong textile has fervent fan.

Mitama Matsuri (in Yanaizu)
Chigo Gyouretsu・Toro Nagashi・Fireworks

Chigo Gyouretsu is a ritual that children walk in procession with lanterns in their hands. In the evening, the lanterns are floated on the Tadami river. The scattering dim lights reflected in the river enchant spectators. To conclude the event, a display of 4,500 fireworks decorates the night sky.

Event schedule: August
Location: Yanaizu, By the Tadami River
Contact: Yanaizu Tourism Association.
http://aizu-yanaizu.com/

Hinoemata Kabuki

Since the Edo period (1603-1868), Hinoemata Kabuki has been handed down many generations; parents to their children and grandchildren. The production of Kabuki play is all done by the villagers. The performers on the stage are farmers and ordinary people in the village. Hinoemata Kabuki is designated as the national significant tangible folk cultural asset.

Kabuki schedule: May, August
Location: Idaira, Hinoemata
Contact: Oze Hinoemata Onsen Tourist Association.
http://www.oze-info.jp.e.ts.hp.transer.com/kabuki/

http://www.okuaizu.net/en-test/movies/

Fall

Color of mountains change day by day as fall is passing by the region. SCROLL DOWN

Fall

Color of mountains change day by day as fall is passing by the region. SCROLL DOWN

Kyukuimaru Elementary School (in Showa)

Built in 1937, this school had been a beloved place for kids. However, due to the decrease in school-age children’s population, it was closed in 1980. As if the flow of time is ceased around it, the old school is still quietly stood unchanged. A large ginkgo tree in a school yard changes its color into vivid golden in the fall. The school was used as a location of Japanese film “Hameln” produced in 2013.

Location: 1374 Miyanomae Kuimaru, Showa
Contact: Industrial Construction Division, Showa Village

Yanohara Marshland (in Showa)

The marshland is consisted of high and low area surrounding the Yanohara Swamp. There are about 280 plants, such as Asian skunk cabbages and water lilies. Rare species, like tiny dragonflies (nannophya pygmaea) and forest green tree frogs (rhacophorous arboreus), can be seen around the marshland, which was formed about eighty thousand years ago. This region is designated as a nature conservation area.

Location: Shimonakatsugawa, Showa
Contact: Industrial Construction Division, Showa Village

The Tsumujikura Fall (in Yanaizu)

This is a waterfall, with the height of 85 meter, dropping from the Hakase mountain. Every year in October, trees around this area change their color and impress spectators.

Location: Onarisawa, Yanaizu
Contact: Yanaizu Tourism Association.
http://aizu-yanaizu.com/

Furumachi no Matsuri (in Minamiaizu)

Furumachi no Matsuri is designated as the significant intangible cultural asset by the local government. This is the festival to appreciate good harvest for a year. People dress in Kamishimo, a ceremonial cloth worn by a Samurai, and march in procession passing through golden rice-fields.

Event schedule: the 2nd Saturday of September
Location: Furumachi, Minamiaizu
Contact: Minamiaizu Town Tourism Association Ina Tourist Center.
http://www.kanko-aizu.com/miru/427/

Kabuki no yube

Since the Edo period (1603-1868), Hinoemata Kabuki has been handed down many generations; parents to their children and grandchildren. The production of Kabuki play is all done by the villagers. The performers on the stage are farmers and ordinary people in the village. Hinoemata Kabuki is designated as the national significant tangible folk cultural asset.

Event schedule: September
Location: Idaira, Hinoemata
Contact: Oze Hinoemata Onsen Tourist Association.
http://www.oze-info.jp.e.ts.hp.transer.com/kabuki/

Winter

Under thick snow, people endure tough living condition with their vitality and wisdom that is inherited for many generations. SCROLL DOWN

Winter

Under thick snow, people endure tough living condition with their vitality and wisdom that is inherited for many generations. SCROLL DOWN

Nanokado Hadaka Mairi (in Yanaizu)

This is a unique ritual that can be traced back more than 1,000 years. As a temple’s bell rings, men wearing loincloths run toward the main hall of Enzoji all at once. Before entering the temple, men are cleansed with water. Inside the temple, they compete each other as they climb up a rope hanging from the ceiling. It is said that by climbing the rope, men can expect prosperous year.

Event schedule: January 7th
Location: Yanaizu, Enzoji
Contact: Yanaizu Tourism Association.
http://aizu-yanaizu.com/

Sainokami (in Mishima)
The National significant intangible folk cultural asset.

Sainokami is a ritual praying for prosperity. A bonfire is made with Goshinboku, a tree that is cut off specially for this occasion. The tree standing upright is wrapped up with straws and items called Onbe is also set with the tree. It is said that it brings good luck if Onbe is ignited in the evening. Some people believe that putting soot of the fire over wounds may heal them. Spectators enjoy baking rice cakes and dried squids with the fire.

Event schedule: January 15th
Location: Various spots in Mishima
Contact: Mishima Tourism Association.
http://www.mishima-kankou.net/

Tadami Furusato Snow Festival (in Tadami)

Sculptures made of snow are displayed in various locations in Tadami. At the main exhibition area, traditional entertainments and Mikoshi are presented. Mikoshi is a portable shrine designed to be carried on men’s shoulders and to be moved around for worship. As they carry Mikoshi, people make uplifting and powerful shouts. At the closing of the festival, fireworks are set off.

Atmospheric Icing Excursion

Soft and hard rime on forest trees exhibit beauty of nature. A snow vehicle takes you to the top of the mountain at elevation of 1,700 m (5,577 ft), where you can see the beautiful sight.

Contact: Aizu Kogen Takatsue Ski Resort
Address: 535 Takatsuehara, Minamiaizu
http://takatsue.jp/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/takatsue_2017EN.pdf

Tadami Line - Perfect scenic spot for taking photos

These are popular locations among photographers worldwide.