The Aizu-kogen Highlands is located in the southwestern part of Fukushima Prefecture. It is a resort area dotted with nature parks, leisure facilities, and hot springs nestled along the crystal clear Tadami-gawa River, which flows through the Oku-Aizu area, and its tributaries, the Ina-gawa and Hinoe-mata-gawa rivers. Tourists flock to this popular resort area to enjoy outdoor activities all year round, including sightseeing in the scenic Oze area, fishing in mountain streams from spring to fall, as well as skiing in winter. The Hinoe-mata-mura Village is famous for the Oze ponds and meadows, legends about fleeing Heike warriors, and the Hinoe-mata Kabuki (a form of traditional Japanese theater) that has been passed down from generation to generation since the Edo Period and is performed as a dedicatory kabuki play a few times a year even now. Buckwheat for use in soba noodles is widely cultivated, and every year in late fall the Shin-Soba-matsuri Festival (New Soba Noodle Festival) is held at the Oze-no-Sato Exchange Center to celebrate the harvest of the buckwheat crop. The village has a number of facilities, including a hot spring with an abundant supply of hot water, and a swimming pool. A sauna is also available, which visitors may use while wearing swimsuits.
In Tajima, the center of Aizu-kogen Highlands, the Aizu Tajima Gion-matsuri Festival, with a history dating back some 800 years, is held for three days from 22 to 24 July. During the festival you can enjoy the Nanahokai Parade, where women in beautiful wedding attire gracefully parade through the Tajima district. The town of Ouchi-juku once prospered as a post station where travelers could rest along the road connecting Aizuwakamatsu and Imaichi in Tochigi Prefecture. One of its attractions is a row of venerable thatch-roofed houses that still remains from the old days, exuding an air of a bygone era in a Japanese post town of the Edo Period. This area has been designated as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Historic Buildings, enabling people today to imagine what life must have been like in earlier times.
Cited by: Japan National Tourism Organization
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