Asakawa

Asakawa is a town full of fireworks!

Asakawa holds fireworks festivals in every season. Home of the Asakawa Fireworks Festival memorial ceremony, there is the Yozakura Fireworks in spring, the Asakawa Fireworks in summer, the Hoshu Fireworks in fall, and the New Year's Eve Fireworks in winter.

<Learning>
History / Culture

The Asakawa Fireworks display is a memorial ceremony for the deceased that takes place during Obon on August 16 every year. It has its roots in the Edo period, and is said to be the oldest fireworks festival in Fukushima Prefecture. The tradition is carried on by the Asakawa Ryomachi Youth Organization to this day. Two of the biggest draws of the festival are the Daikarakuri (giant puppet) and Jiraika (land mine) displays, which can be seen nowhere else. The Jiraika fire serves as the dramatic climax to the fireworks display. Its stunning explosions are set off on the surface of Shiroyama, a hill overlooking the town.

<Enjoying>
Tourism

The Onuki district of Asakawa is the site of a mummified monk named Kochi Hoin Yutei (such mummies are so rare that there are only twenty-some surviving examples in all of Japan). The mummy is the body of a monk who gave up his lives in service of the Medicine Buddha as a way to help ease the suffering of local people suffering from terrible disease. This is the only place in Fukushima Prefecture where you can see a real mummy.
Asakawa is also the hometown of prominent cancer researcher Tomizo Yoshida. The Tomizo Yoshida Memorial Hall features an extensive collection of his research documents and personal artifacts, and attracts numerous people from around Japan, including the nation's leading medical scientists and intellectuals.

<Food / Shopping>
Buy / Eat

Asakawa produce and processed goods include Asakawa-grown Koshi-Hikari rice as well as seasonal vegetables and pickles. The best place to pick them up is at the local morning farmers' markets.

Access

Tohoku Shinkansen
Tokyo ← About 1 hour 20 minutes → Koriyama
Fukushima ← About 20 minutes → Koriyama
Sendai ← About 40 minutes → Koriyama
Morioka ← About 2 hours 20 minutes → Koriyama
Tohoku Line
Fukushima ← About 1 hour → Koriyama
Shirakawa ← About 40 minutes → Koriyama
Suigun Line
Mito ← About 3 hours 20 minutes → Koriyama
Ban-etsu West Line
Aizuwakamatsu ← About 1 hour 15 minutes → Koriyama
Ban-etsu East Line
Iwaki ← About 1 hour 40 minutes → Koriyama
Tohoku Expressway
Urawa I.C. ← About 2 hours 30 minutes → Koriyama
Sendai-Minami I.C. ← About 1 hour 30 minutes → Koriyama
Koriyama ← About 1 hour 10 minutes → Asakawa
Ban-etsu Expressway
Niigata-Chuo I.C. ← About 2 hours 30 minutes → Koriyama
Iwaki I.C. ← About 1 hour 30 minutes → Koriyama
Koriyama ← About 1 hour 10 minutes → Asakawa