Sakuratoge Pass

Sakuratoge Pass

Sakuratoge Pass was created in 2001 when 2,001 cherry trees were planted on the site of the former Sakuratoge Farm to celebrate the birth of Aiko, Princess Toshi of Japan. Sakura owners gather from throughout Japan to diligently care for the trees directly.

Venue Details

Venue Details
Websitehttps://www.urabandai-inf.com/en/?page_id=24982
Contact

Urabandai Tourism Association

(+81) 241-32-2349

Best Season
  • Spring
ParkingAvailable
Entrance FeeFree
Related infoCherry blossom viewing period: Late April to early May
Access Details
AccessSakuratoge Oshio, Kitashiobara Village, Yama District, Fukushima Pref. 966-0402
View directions
Getting there

By Car: 40 min from the Inawashiro-Bandaikogen I.C. exit off the Ban-etsu Expressway.

By Bus: Approx. 26 min. from the Onogawako Iriguchi Bus Stop by Aizu Bus (get off at the Fukushi Center-mae '福祉センター前' bus stop).


Approx. 31 min. from Shindo Bus Stop in Kitakata City by Aizu Bus (get off at La Vie Spa Urabandai Bus Stop 'ラビスパ裏磐梯').

Nearby

The World Glassware Hall
History & Culture

Ouchi-juku

Take a journey to the past in Fukushima Prefecture’s Ouchi-juku area. This isolated village boasts thatched-roof houses and natural streets making you feel at one with the people who lived here hundreds of years ago.Nestled in the southwestern mountains of Fukushima, Ouchi-juku is a great spot to visit thanks to its unique charm and history. This village was established under the post station system of the Edo period, and played a vital role as a rest stop for travelers.In 1981, the well-preserved streets of Ouchi-juku led to it being designated as an Important Preservation District for a Group of Traditional Buildings. It isn’t difficult to see why—the village looks as it did during its heyday. And with no telephone or electric wires above ground, the view from the top of the hill overlooking the village is marvelous.It is a picturesque village where you can lose yourself to the flow of time. The traveler’s road that used to run through this village was called the Shimotsuke Kaido Route, or the Aizu Nishi Kaido Route.Ouchi-juku not only connected Aizu to Nikko, it also connected Aizu-Wakamatsu to Imaichi, a post town on the Nikko Kaido Route in Tochigi Prefecture. This road was frequented by many travelers as well as by the processions of feudal lords who had to travel to and from Edo periodically.Travelers of the Edo Period rested at the inns of Ouchi-juku to relieve their fatigue. Nowadays, festivals and events help draw in new visitors. The annual Snow Festival in February turns Ouchi-juku into a pretty candlelit scene.Visit in July to see a procession of dancers dressed in traditional Edo Period costumes, and you might even get to wear a happi (festival attire jacket) and join the locals in their celebrations!And when you’re feeling hungry be sure to try some of the local specialties, which include negi soba (fresh buckwheat noodles eaten using a green onion), stick-roasted char fish, and more.There’s a little bit of everything at Ouchi-juku.

The World Glassware Hall
History & Culture

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.

The World Glassware Hall
History & Culture

Yunokami Onsen Station

Yunokami Onsen Station is one of only 2 train stations with a thatched roof in Japan. The station is known for its great location as a cherry blossom viewing spot with a unique atmosphere. There is an irori (sunken fireplace) where tourists can warm themselves up in winter, and a foot bath sourced from natural hot spring water just next to the station. Yunokami Onsen town is a popular place to stay the night for those visiting destinations such as Ouchi-juku and To-no-hetsuri are located in the same area.

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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.

Kagamizakura
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Kagamizakura

Kagamizakura is a huge Sargent's cherry located in the Numanotaira area, Yamato-machi, Kitakata City. Numanotaira is also known as the home of one million Fukujusō (vibrant yellow flowers). Rich with nature, the area contains many wildflowers and wild mountain vegetables. The single Sargent’s cherry is located on the edge of a pond called “Kagami Ike” (lit. Mirror Pond). The age of the tree is unknown but it is estimated to be over 100 years old. The trunk consists of dozens of roots growing from the foot of the tree. The tree's branches spread out widely, making it look as if the tree is leaning over toward the pond. When the flowers of the cherry tree blossom, the scenery with the reflection on the surface of the pond is exceptionally beautiful. The dark pink flowers typical of Sargent’s cherry are simply gorgeous.

Ozegahara Marsh
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Ozegahara Marsh

Ozegahara Marsh is a high-altitude marshland located in Oze National Park. This 8 square kilometer marshland is a popular hiking destination and is home to some rare plants, including white skunk cabbage, Nikko Kisuge, and Watasuge (a variant of cottongrass). Hiking trails at Ozegahara are well-maintained and used almost year-round for hikers, except in winter when the park is often closed due to snow. Being just 150 kilometers from Tokyo makes Ozegahara and the rest of Oze National Park a popular getaway from city life. Some people will even drive up early in the morning, hike the day away, and then return to Tokyo the same day. It’s admittedly a tough trip if you choose to do it all in one day. Instead, why not stay the night in one of the overnight lodgings and huts within the park grounds? There's also the option of staying at a minshuku (private homes that provide meals and lodging for tourists) in Hinoemata Onsen town. However you choose to travel to Ozegahara, you won’t be disappointed. The marshland has hundreds of small pools that are a beauty to admire. Two mountains, Shibutsusan and Mt. Hiuchigatake, almost seem to stand guard over those who admire the lovely marshland scenery. The most popular trail to hike is the Hatomachitoge, as it is only a one-hour walk from the western end of the marshland. Visit in late May to early June to enjoy the famous white skunk cabbages as they bloom across Ozegahara. In July and August, the marshlands are painted a gentle yellow by the Nikko Kisuge flowers. And in September and October, the autumn colors bathe the marshland in bright gold and crimson.

Kannon-numa Forest Park
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Kannon-numa Forest Park

Kannon-numa Forest Park (観音沼森林公園) is a picturesque natural area in the Minamiaizu District of Southern Fukushima Prefecture.A wide variety of vegetation, flowers, and birds can be found at Kannon-numa Forest Park. There are nine walking trails, each offering unique sights. The main trail covers about 1.2 km and goes around the Kannon-numa swamp, which is one of the main highlights of the park. The park becomes transformed in each season, with cherry blossoms in spring and hydrangeas in the summer, and it is particularly popular with visitors during the autumn. The colorful trees reflected on the swamp’s waters make for a lovely sight, making it one of the main autumn attractions in the area. The best time to visit to see the autumn foliage is typically from late October to early November. There is also a shrine, Dake Kannondo, believed to have been built over 1,000 years ago.Located about 35 minutes from Ouchi-juku by car, this park is the perfect place to bask in the natural wonders of Shimogo Town. 

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