Karamushi Ori-no-Sato Snow Festival

Karamushi Ori-no-Sato Snow Festival

Winter in Showa Village wouldn’t be complete without heavy snowfall – every year around 2 meters of snow piles in the village! Showa Village’s local people has adapted their way of working around the harsh conditions of winter over the generations by utilizing the long winter months to create crafts from weaving thread made of ramie (made from nettles).
This photo shows an important part of this process – the bleaching of the fabric. Visitors can even experience making coasters made from ramie using traditional methods at Orihime Koryukan Building, located at Michi-no-Eki Karamushi Ori-no-Sato (Roadside Station)!

The date of the 2021 Karamushi Ori-no-Sato Festival will be at the end of February 2021, and is currently being decided.

Venue Details

Venue Details
Websitehttp://showavill.info/events/(Japanese)
Best Season
  • Winter
Access Details
AccessMichi-no-Eki Karamushiori-no-sato Showa (Roadside Station), 1 Uenohara, Sakuara, Showa Village, Onuma-gun, Fukushima Pref. 968-0215
View directions
Getting there

By Car: 35 min by taxi or rental car from Aizu-Tajima Station (Aizu Railway)

By Bus: 35 min by bus from JR Aizu Kawaguchi Station (JR Tadami Line)

Nearby

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Outdoor Activities

Mt. Bandai

Originally known as Iwahashi-yama, literally a rock ladder to the sky, the renamed Mt. Bandai is no less impressive. Often referred to as 'Aizu's Mt. Fuji', Mt. Bandai is one of the 100 most famous mountains in Japan, and has even been selected as one of the top 100 geographic landmarks in Japan. In 2011, the mountain was certified as a geopark, which is a unified area with geological heritage and international significance, as defined by UNESCO. There are seven climbing routes for Mt. Bandai, with the trail starting at the Happodai trailhead being the most popular, and easiest route. From the Happodai trailhead, the 3.5 km route takes around 2 hours to reach the summit. The various routes range from 2 to 4 hours and from 3 to 7 km. At Koubou Shimizu, one of the mountain stops, there are two shops where trekkers can buy drinks, snacks, and souvenirs, but please note that there is no accommodation available. For many Buddhist mountain fanatics, Mt. Bandai holds a place of great significance. Enichi-ji Temple, located on the southwestern foot of Mt. Bandai, is a popular temple to visit nearby. The mountains situated around the temple make for a serene vista where one can feel the power of nature. Enichi-ji Temple was founded one year after Mt. Bandai erupted, in 807 C.E.; in the past, some superstitious people believed there was a connection between the eruption and the temple’s founding... Interestingly, Mt. Bandai used to be shaped more like the famous Mt. Fuji, but after a volcanic eruption in 1888, the shape changed to what we see today. It is thanks to that eruption that the mountain gained its rugged, sharp look and the Urabandai area behind Mt. Bandai was created. For non-hikers, the Bandaisan Gold Line is a popular sightseeing road that leads up the southwestern side and offers brilliant vistas of the foliage, especially in autumn when the colors change.

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Cultural Experiences

Kuimaru Elementary School

Kuimaru Elementary School is a historic Japanese school that was built during the Showa era of Japan, making it over 80 years old! In the 1980s, a modern elementary school was built nearby, leaving this old school house abandoned. Fortunately, this building was preserved and converted into a museum. It happens to be one of only a handful of old fashioned schools left standing in Japan! Here you can explore the old school grounds including a large ginkgo tree that is over 100 years old. A long standing symbol of the school. In Autumn (early to mid-November) the leaves turn a beautiful golden yellow, and when they fall, the school yard is carpeted in these golden leaves. The school building has undergone some light renovations, but the charm of this old building has been beautifully preserved. Inside the building you can wander through the halls and explore the classrooms, you can sit at the little wooden desks, page through some old textbooks and imagine what it would have been like to be a student here around 80 years ago! Fun fact: The school building was once used as a filming location for the 2013 movie Hameln (ハーメルン). After you explore the school if you are feeling a bit hungry, there is a café next door called “Soba Café SCHOLA” that serves 100% buckwheat noodles (soba noodles) as well as other dishes created with 100% buckwheat (soba) flour. These dishes are naturally gluten-free and delicious.

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Outdoor Activities

Snowshoe Trekking

Blue sky, endlessly-fresh dancing powder snow. Come and enjoy this fascinating winter wonderland! The field covered with a marsh and bushes in summer, changes to a white snow field ideal for snowshoe trekking in winter. No skills or previous experience is necessary. You can enjoy the snow-covered world from the very day you start. Snowshoe trekking can even be enjoyed by those who are not athletic. You can walk on lakes or ponds. You can find the tracks of rabbits and squirrels in the forest. Let's enjoy a great variety of nature which can only be seen in winter in Urabandai.

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Arts & Crafts

Aizu Painted Candles Craft Experience

Aizu Erosoku (painted candles) are sumptuous items that were long-prized among samurai families. Delicate and vivid patterns such as chrysanthemums, plum blossoms, and peonies are painted onto candles made of natural Japan wax extracted from the fruits of lacquer trees. Each candle is still painstakingly painted one by one, and they serve as regal decorations in Shinto and Buddhist ceremonies and weddings. A candle painting experience is available at Ozawa Candle Shop (Reservation required).

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Event

Aizu Painted Candle Festival

Aizu Painted Candles are one of Aizu’s most well-loved traditional crafts. Aizu Painted Candle Festival was started in order to let people all over Japan (and all over the world) know about this traditional craft, and to give people an appreciation for the work that is needed to make every single candle. Take in the picturesque snowy scenery in Aizu-Wakamatsu City by candlelight this winter. Aizu Painted Candle Festival takes place at Tsurugajo Castle and Oyakuen Garden on the second Friday and Saturday of February.

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