Bandaisan Gold Line

Bandaisan Gold Line

The Bandaisan Gold Line road connects Bandai Kogen, a highland rich with lakes diverse in shapes and size, and various alpine plants, and the Aizu area, which has an immensely rich and fascinating history.

This submontane sightseeing road offers diverse views of Mt. Bandai (known in Japanese as 'Bandai-san') and can lead visitors to either the mountain's rugged caldera or to the picturesque Lake Inawashiro.

Visitors can discover new hidden gems every time they explore the Gold Line by car, making it a very popular spot to return to among tourists and locals.

The area surrounding the road is known as a foliage-viewing spot with hairpin curves that carve through the woodlands.

On the walking trail that leads to Baya-ike, a "phantom" waterfall, visitors can take in the beauty of the landscape as they hike. The most highly recommended walking course extends from Happodai to the Oguninuma wetlands, where in late June, visitors are greeted by ban array of beautiful, broad dwarf day-lilies.

Venue Details

Venue Details

Urabandai Tourism Association

(+81) 241-32-2349

Best Season
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
Related infoOpen from mid-Apr. through to mid-Nov. (The road is closed every year from mid-Nov. onwards.)
Access Details
AccessShimizudaira-6838 Sarashina, Bandai Town, Yama District, Fukushima Pref. 969-3302
View directions
Getting there

By Car: 10 min drive from Bandai-Kawahigashi I.C. exit off the Ban-etsu Expressway (Enter via Genbashi Toll Gate)


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Historical Sites

Mt. Iimoriyama

Located less than 4km from Tsurugajo Castle in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima, Mt. Iimoriyama has had a difficult and somewhat dark past. But despite it’s history, the natural beauty of the place remains untarnished. There are many local food stalls set up near the base of the hill, so it’s a good idea to have a snack before you begin the ascent up the stone steps. Also at the bottom is the Byakkotai Memorial Hall; it’s located next to the path up the mountain so it’s easy to find. Inside, guests can observe various artifacts of war and learn about some of Aizu's history.Visitors have two choices to get to the top of the hill: hike up the 183 steps to the summit for free; or pay 250 yen to ride the escalator up (150 yen for children). At the summit stand the nineteen graves of the Byakkotai, White Tiger Corps. The story of these young teenage samurai-in-the-making is legendary in Aizu-Wakamatsu City, and all around this prefecture. The Byakkotai boys were part of the defence against the military forces sweeping through the country during the 1868 civil war. They remained loyal to the leader of their domain and Shogun.On an autumn day during the one-month-long siege on their city, the boys had retreated to Mt. Iimoriyama. From the top of this hill, they caught sight of what they assumed to be Tsurugajo Castle set on fire - a sure sign that the war was lost. In response, they did what they had been taught was the honourable course of action, and took their own lives. In fact, the castle had not been set on fire, and the war was not yet lost. One boy was unsuccessful in his attempt, and was saved by a local woman traversing the hills. His life was saved and his story has become the history we know today. Visitors to Mt. Iimoriyama can stand in the same spot as the boys looking out over the city, or pay respects at the various memorials.The gravesite at the top of Mt. Iimoriyama was built in remembrance of those nineteen boys. Their story resonated with the leaders of the Axis Powers of World War II; near the gravesite are two historic landmarks donated by Nazi Germany and Italy. Down the northern side of the mountain are Uga-shindo, a shrine built in the late seventeenth century which deified a white snake as a god of abundance and fertility. There is also a lovely temple shaped like a turban shell, Sazaedo Temple, that visitors can actually go inside.

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Museums & Galleries

Yamada Momen Cotton Mill

Aizu momen (Aizu cotton) products are still greatly valued for their high quality and their traditional manufacturing techniques. The Yamada Momen Orimoto Company dates back to the start of the Edo Period (1603-1868). Aizu momen (cotton) has been produced here for over 400 years. Everything produced at Yamada Momen is made using the same techniques that have been practiced here for over 100 years, and the machinery is also old. Visitors are free to take a look around the cotton mill floor. The establishment also includes a small shop in the main office building.

The World Glassware Hall
Nature & Scenery

Shibuki-gori (Naturally-forming ice sculptures)

If you head to Tenjinhama beach on Lake Inawashiro in the depths of winter, through the trees at its south towards the mouth of the Nagase river, you will see the "shibuki-gori" natural ice sculptures. Lake water is picked up by strong winds from the west, and meets the trees on the coastline. There it creates a very unusual phenomenon with a beauty that rivals the "juhyo" (ice-covered trees) seen at the tops of mountains. Local peoples and visitors alike never tire of these sights. You can also see other shapes formed by ice here, such as ice drifts and the prominent "Omiwatari" cracked, rising ice on the beach and lake surface. Please note that Shibuki-gori are natural ice sculptures, and therefore their appearance and size change by the day. Please check before visiting.

The World Glassware Hall
Historical Sites

Maezawa L-shaped Farmhouses

The deep snows of the Aizu region meant that, in the past, cut off from other areas for months at a time, its residents had to use all their wits just to make it through the winters. These L-shaped farmhouses known as "magariya" conceal a number of the innovations developed by this local people.As you can see in the layout of the house, the long earth floor stretches out towards the road. Long ago, horses were indispensable in farming, but the deep snow of winter meant that keeping them tied up in external stables was cruel. Therefore, stables were built into the house, meaning that the unfloored working area inevitably became larger. Having this area far from the road made getting to the road through the snow more difficult, as up to a meter can fall overnight. Accordingly, with the aim of reducing work, locating this working area as close as feasible to the road ended up with the house being laid out in an L-shape.Many of these houses were built in Maezawa and throughout Tateiwa Village, as a way of living with horses in the deep snows of the Aizu region.The houses have become more and more comfortable over time, with the "magariya" design lasting until the present day. While this magariya-style farmhouse used to be built everywhere that saw heavy snow, they are gradually disappearing. Accordingly, the Maezawa magariya have been designated as historical cultural assets.In 1985, the village began actively preserving these houses, and this area now attracts many visitors. One of the magariya buildings have been repurposed into a museum in the village where visitors can learn about life in Maezawa.

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Nature & Scenery


Named by the Crown Prince Yoshihito upon its opening in 1907 as “The Palace of Heaven’s Mirror”, Tenkyokaku is a decadently decorated former villa.Imperial Prince Arisugawa Takehito decided to build Tenkyokaku after being impressed by the beauty of Lake Inawashiro during a visit to the Tohoku District. His family, the Arisugawa-no-miya Family, owned the villa until 1952, when it was granted to Fukushima Prefecture.Tenkyokaku has since been used as a meeting hall and a space for lectures and exhibitions. The former villa, its annex and its front gate have been specified as important cultural properties of Japan.Despite being restored in 1984, the building retains many of its original features, including the impressive chandelier which can be seen below.Despite no longer being able to see Lake Inawashiro from the windows of Tenkyokaku, the luxurious renaissance-style architecture and liberal use of all things gold and glittery means that visitors will by all means feel that its name still rings true.For only 1000 yen, you can dress up in a traditional outfit and take as many photos as you would like in the building!