Local Treasures

(7) Mt Adatara and the River Abukuma

Yeast It’s almost summer! The deep blue ‘true sky’ which was so beloved by Chieko stands high above Mt Adatara.”
Kimoto “Because of its shape, Mt Adatara is also called ‘Nipple Mountain.’ It is one of the Hundred Famous Mountains of Japan, and there are poems about it in the ancient Manyoshu anthology and also by the modern poet Kotaro Takamura in his collection of poems Chieko’s Sky. Let’s go there...”
Yeast “Agreed!”
- - They reach the head of the trail leading up Mt Adatara - -
Yeast “We are now at Okudake, higher up than Dake Onsen. Here is the trail head and also a ski ground. From here we can board the ropeway further up the mountain.”
- - Both have boarded the ropeway - -
Kimoto “Here’s the end of the ropeway. It’s still a climb of about an hour to the peak of the mountain. Look, what a great view!”
Yeast “Yes, I can see Mt Azuma and Mt Bandai, and in the distance even Mt Iide and Dainichidake!”
Kimoto “And look around you. Lots of Nemoto rhododendrons are growing here.”
Yeast “Beautiful! That’s the official flower of Fukushima Prefecture. While we climb, there are more and more angular rocks.”
Kimoto “Here we are finally at the top. A large mass of rocks is lying here.”
Yeast “Hurrah! We’ve arrived! I can take the true sky in my hand!”
Kimoto “Hahaha. So, let’s go down again.”
- - Once more at the foot of Mt Adatara - -
Yeast “Next to the trail head starts another path leading down the mountain.”
Kimoto “That is the Nature Path of the Adatara Gorge. It’s a nice hiking course along the river Karasu.”
Yeast “There are many waterfalls: the Nikai Falls, Uedome Falls, Shoryu Falls, and so on. The scenery is beautiful and varied, as the waterfalls are located in a forest of beach and oak.”
Kimoto “It’s also wonderful when there are autumn colors. And when it’s not so warm...” (breathing heavily)
Yeast “Kimoto, you’re dripping with sweat! You are too heavy!”
Kimoto “Oh, it’s nothing. Next we’ll go by car to another beautiful valley.”
Yeast “This is the Yugawa Valley, with the Nonoko Falls, Hachiman Falls, and Kirifuri Falls. This is also a bonanza of waterfalls. All the streams that come down from Mt Adatara, finally flow into the river Abukuma. Let’s get in the car again and now go to the river Abukuma!”
Kimoto “The river is very wide here. Look, there are people in canoes! In Nihonmatsu, the river Abukuma is quite dynamic, so there are slaloms and wild water races in canoes. Of course, further downstream the river flows more slowly.”
Yeast “I’d like to splash around in the water!”
Kimoto “You’re so energetic... I’ll wait here and do some angling.”
- - Yeast returns from canoeing - -
Yeast “That was great! Where are we going next?”
Kimoto “Finally we will go and see the ‘Large Cedar of Sugizawa,’ a natural monument and one of the largest trees in the country. This tree is supposedly 1,000 years old, and 50 meters high. Its roots have a circumference of almost 23 meters.”
Yeast “Whew! What a huge tree, I feel its overwhelming power and vitality.”
Kimoto “The name ‘Large Cedar of Sugizawa’ was given by Lord Mitsushige Niwa. There is a strange fairy tale attached to this tree, ‘The Ise Pilgrimage of the Cedar Tree.’”
Yeast “Nihonmatsu is a town rich in the treasures of nature. The sun is sinking in the west behind Mt Adatara. We’ve had lots of fun today!”