Nakatsugawa Valley

Nakatsugawa Valley

Nakatsugawa Valley is famous for its beautiful fall foliage. The Nakatsugawa River is a clear stream flowing down from Bandai Kogen (Bandai Highland) to Lake Akimoto. In autumn, the leaves of the many trees, such as maples, alders, and wild cherry trees, turn brilliant and bold colors. The valley can be reached via the lakeside cycling road or by following the trail from the Nakatsugawa Valley Rest House Lake Line Parking Area. Take a relaxing stroll along the ravine while breathing in the mountain air full of healthy negative ions.

Venue Details

Venue Details
Websitehttps://www.urabandai-inf.com/en/?page_id=24984
Contact

Urabandai Tourist Association

(+81) 241-32-2349

staff1@urabandai-inf.com

Best Season
  • Autumn
ParkingAvailable (Park your car in the parking lot at Nakatsugawa Rest House which is on Bandai Azuma Lake Line.)
Access Details
Access2998-47 Azumayama, Wakamiya, Inawashiro-machi, Yama District, Fukushima Pref., 969-2701
View directions
Getting there

By Car: 40 min from Inawashiro I.C. exit off the Ban-etsu Expressway (via Route 459). Park at Nakatsugawa Valley Rest House (Address and location shown above)

By Train: 35 min taxi ride from Inawashiro Station (JR Ban-etsu West Line)

Nearby

The World Glassware Hall
Historical Sites

Oyakuen Garden

Oyakuen was used approximately 600 years ago as a villa for the then lord of the Aizu Domain. Subsequently, in the mid-17th century, the lord of the Aizu Domain started growing medicinal herbs within the grounds which he developed to protect the citizenry from epidemics. This lead to the garden gaining the name "Oyakuen", which literally means "medicinal garden." The traditional garden has been preserved as it was long ago, and Oyakuen has now been designated as an important national asset. The buildings within the grounds were used by the lord as a place of relaxation and for entertainment. Accordingly, Oyakuen still contains buildings devoted to Japanese tea. Visitors can enjoy a cup of herbal tea here even today.

The World Glassware Hall
Historical Sites

Former Takizawa Honjin

This honjin served as a rest house used by daimyo lords when they traveled to Edo (Tokyo) as part of the Sankin-kōtai system of alternate attendance, or when they conducted inspection tours. During the Boshin War, Domain Lord Matsudaira Katamori took command and the Byakkotai defended their city. The building still has sword marks and bullet holes from the war. The Former Takizawa Honjin is recognized as a nationally-designated Important Cultural Property.

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.

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Inawashiro Herb Garden
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Inawashiro Herb Garden

The breeze from the nearby Lake Inawashiro, seasonal flowers, and art displays of the Inawashiro Herb Garden await your visit! The outdoor garden area is around 100,000 square meters and is filled with various herbs, flowers, and plants that bloom at different times on the year, creating a unique visitor experience that changes with the seasons! The park has around 500 varieties or herbs, flowers, and plants including: lavender, mint, chamomile, nanohana blossoms, poppies, sunflowers, cosmos, and kochia!  There is an indoor greenhouse area, so, even on rainy days, visitors have plenty of greenery and flowers to see! In addition to the herbs, flowers, and plants you will also find seasonal decorations and original art displays that are created and updated for guests to enjoy. The outdoor garden area of the Inawashiro Herb Garden also features 5 m-tall wooden statues carved by a Canadian artist, Glen Greenside. The 12 statues, one for each zodiac sign, were carved over the course of twelve years as part of a now-discontinued annual chainsaw festival that took place at the garden. Inside, at the shop, visitors can find products and snacks that are made from various herbs and flowers.

Natural Sparkling Water in Kaneyama Town
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Natural Sparkling Water in Kaneyama Town

Kaneyama Town is a scenic, rural town surrounded by woods. One of the most famous things about Kaneyama Town is its well of naturally carbonated water. Such water is rarely found in Japan. Small bubbles are infused into the water, giving it a gentle and smooth taste. Locals and visitors take empty bottles to the well to fill and take back home. There is a pot at the well that can be used to collect water from the base of the well. Pulling up water from the bottom with a rope definitely makes for a fun and unique experience! Why don’t you try this natural sparkling water while enjoying the beautiful scenery in Kaneyama?

Goshiki-numa Ponds
Nature & Scenery

Goshiki-numa Ponds

The Goshiki-numa ponds of Urabandai are a cluster of five volcanic lakes at the foot of Mt. Bandai. When Mt. Bandai erupted in 1888, Goshiki-numa - which translates as "Five-Colored Ponds - were formed. In actuality dozens of lakes were created due to the 1888 eruption, but the Goshiki-numa Ponds are the most famous. It was thanks to the eruption that the lakes each took on rich color; the various minerals found in each lake give them a unique color and create a mystical aura. The colors of the Goshiki-numa Ponds also change throughout the year depending on weather and time of day, a truly mysterious phenomenon. The lakes have become a popular tourist destination. The five main lakes are Bishamon, Aka, Ao, Benten, and Midoro, and their colors range from a lime green to deep turquoise to a topaz blue. A scenic walking route guides visitors around the ponds. At 3.6 km in length, this walking route - which will take you past many of the ethereal colors - takes about 70 minutes to complete. If you’d like a view of all five lakes at once, why not take the 4 km walking trail from Bishamon-numa (largest of the five lakes) up to nearby Lake Hibara. Alternatively, if hiking is not on your itinerary, enjoy a simple rowboat out on Bishamon-numa. It’s especially lovely in autumn as the color of the autumn leaves reflects on the deep green surface of the lake. In winter, there are even snowshoe trekking tours offered. The color of the lakes looks particularly vivid in winter, seeing as the minerals in some of the lakes stop them from freezing over, meaning you can see their colors contrasted with the white of the snow. Be sure to stop by the Urabandai Visitor Center, which is a large and well-equipped facility. You can find great information here about tours as well as the various geography, wildlife, and even the history of the area. It’s a great chance to learn more about the ecosystem that makes up the Goshiki-numa Ponds.

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