Furudono

Furudono, a welcoming town where people and nature shape one another

The town of Furudono is bordered by Iwaki, Samegawa, Ishikawa, and Hirata. It is surrounded by nature, nestled deep in the mountain forests of the Abukuma mountain range at elevations of 300–500 meters. There is an active forestry industry, and it has become famous for its chainsaw art--which makes the most of its abundant wood resources.

<Learning>
History / Culture

Furudono is the site of yabusame and kasagake horseback archery competitions, traditional Shinto rituals that stretch back some 800 years to the Kamakura period and are still performed to this day. They have been designated Important Intangible Folk Properties of Fukushima Prefecture. The competitions are advertised as part of the annual festival held at Furudono Hachiman Shrine on the second weekend of October, drawing large crowds of spectators.
The festival features a variety of other attractions, including processions, nodate tea ceremony, horseback archery taiko drum demonstrations, lion dances, horseback archery dances, archery competitions, kendo competitions, and more. There are also lines of street stalls and booths set up for the event.

<Enjoying>
Tourism

The town of Furudono is home to the Koshidai no Sakura, an enormous yamazakura cherry tree some twenty meters tall and 400 years old. The Forestry Agency counts it among the hundred best "forest giants" of Japan, and Fukushima Prefecture has designated it as a National Monument. It blooms between late April and early May, which is considered late in the season even for Fukushima Prefecture.
The southern part of the town is the home of Mt. Mikabu, the highest point in the town, making it a perfect place for stargazing, thanks to the clear mountain air. The observation platform at the summit is famous for its views of Mt. Fuji, which you're most likely to see on a clear day between November and February.

<Food / Shopping>
Buy / Eat

Furudono boasts a long list of carefully-crafted specialty products, among them sake bottlings from the Toyokuni Brewery (which continue to win gold medals in the Annual Japan Sake Awards), miso and soy sauce from Maruman Jozo, and konnyaku from Akutsu Konnyaku.
These products can all be purchased at Ofukuro no Eki at the Furudono roadside station, as can other local fresh farm- and wild-grown vegetables. Yabusame-kun Soy Meat is another nutritious local product made from Furudono soybeans. It's delicious, nutritious, good for you, and keeps well--a great option if you're into health food!

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 → Furudono
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 → Furudono