Snow Monsters at Mt. Nishi-Azuma

Snow Monsters at Mt. Nishi-Azuma

Mt. Nishi-Azuma is a 2035m tall mountain that can be accessed from Fukushima Prefecture’s Kitashiobara Village.

During the coldest points of winter, it is possible to find frozen “snow monsters” up on the mountain. Of course the snow monsters are not really monsters, these are trees that have endured blizzards and collected snow until they became covered with a thick frost!

From the Grandeco Snow Resort’s Gondola Station, you transfer to a ski lift, and from there it is 3 hours on foot to reach this viewpoint. Especially in the snow, the mountains can be difficult to navigate, so you must climb together with a guide in winter. If you are interested in visiting here, please contact us!

Venue Details

Venue Details
Best Season
  • Winter
Access Details
AccessArasunasawayama Hibara, Kitashiobara Village, Yama District, Fukushima Pref. 969-2701
View directions
Getting there

By Car: 24 km from Inawashiro-Bandaikogen I.C. exit off the Ban-etsu Expressway via Route 115 and Route 459

By Train: 50 min via shuttle bus from Inawashiro Station (JR Ban-etsu West Line) Reservation necessary

Mountain and Travel Course Guide

Nearby

The World Glassware Hall
Cultural Experiences

Paint Your Own Akabeko

What is 'Akabeko'?The akabeko legend started at Enzoji Temple in Yanaizu Town, in the Aizu region. The construction of this temple began in the year 807, but due to a huge earthquake at the end of the seventeenth century, it had to be repaired in 1617. It was during the reconstruction of the temple that the akabeko became a folk legend.It is said that moving the wood and other supplies necessary for the reconstruction work was incredibly difficult because materials had to be transported from various villages upstream of the Tadami River. The materials were heavy and the journey to the temple was long. Cattle were used to transport materials, but many struggled to bear their loads.Then, out of nowhere, appeared a cow with a red coat. (It should be noted that, in the past, the word ‘red’ was used to describe the color ‘brown’, so it is likely that it was a brown cow.) The red cow supported the other cows and helped the priests who were constructing the temple until it was completed. Then, it suddenly vanished.'Akabeko' means 'red cow' in the local dialect.A number of statues of the cow were built inside the temple grounds so that the people of Yanaizu could express their gratitude to the akabeko.In the years following, there was a range of legends about the akabeko, with stories such as families who owned akabeko being rid of sickness upon stroking the cows. They continued to hold their status of bringers of good luck and strength. Families bought or made akabeko toys for their young children to play with.Akabeko Painting ExperiencesIn recent history, the Aizu tradition of painting akabeko began. It is said that this tradition started as something to do for children visiting Aizu-Wakamatsu City as part of school trips. This was when the story of the Akabeko evolved once more, into its newest papier-mâché form. The stripes on the face and back of the papier-mâché Akabeko are said to represent strength and perseverance.There are a number of workshops in Aizu-Wakamatsu City where you can paint your own Akabeko. Most workshops offer the standard red, white, and black paint. These talismans for good health make very cute and lightweight souvenirs to take home for family and friends – or keep for yourself! Those who prefer to buy a ready-painted Akabeko will be able to find it at most souvenir shops.BookingIf you would like to book an akabeko painting experience at the Tsurugajo Kaikan (a shopping complex located next to Tsurugajo Castle), please access this page.

The World Glassware Hall
Cultural Experiences

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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