Featured autumn article 〜Autumn colors of Mt. Kurikoma; Ichinoseki in the autumn〜
Sublime autumn landscapes of Mt. Sukawa
Mt. Kurikoma is accessible for all generations, children and seniors alike.
The mountain summit starts changing color in late September and
the transformation continues on down until mid-October.
Enjoy some trekking and the changing colors of nature.
Colorful autumn on Mt. Sukawa: Autumn arrives in Ichinoseki
Adored by the locals and also called Mt. Sukawa on the Iwate side, Mt. Kurikoma rises 1,626 m into the sky and spreads across the borders between Iwate, Miyagi and Akita prefectures. Many hikers claim that the autumn colors of Mt. Sukawa are the best in Japan. The entire mountain is awash in vivid red, orange and yellow, with all colors on show from the marked trails. Yet the view is sublime not just along the tracks, but from the foot of the mountain as well. Be sure to take in the vista from various parts of the city, as no two days are the same.
Sukawa Hot Spring
Open-air baths hidden under steam and clouds dancing in the gentle highland breeze
This hot spring lies at the northern foot of Mt. Tsurugi, the middle pyroclastic cone of Mt. Sukawa (Mt. Kurikoma). You'll find it near the 1,126-m point. A local favorite since the Tokugawa Era (the 260-year period preceding Japan's westernization in 1868), 6,000 liters of strongly acidic hot water gushes out from this hot spring. Enjoy a soak in the bath to loosen up your fatigued muscles after a trek.
Aside from the autumn colors, another must in the autumn is…food!
Ichinoseki in the autumn is loaded with farmers' markets.
Here, you can find all kinds of local specialties.
Every day's lineup is different, so there's always something new to try!
Ichinoseki / Hiraizumi Balloon Festival
Ichinoseki hosts one of Japan's best balloon contests!
Make a wish on the balloons as they drift across the blue sky.
Hot Air Balloon Honda Grand Prix
Part of the Hot Air Balloon Honda Grand Prix, one of Japan's premier hot-air balloon competitions, the festival has become a regular autumn event in Ichinoseki, attracting countless skilled pilots from Japan and abroad as well. The contest kicks off in the early morning, with huge numbers of balloons taking to the blue sky, maneuvered by pilots toward the target area. The view from ground level is astounding.
Aside from the competition, there's a whole array of fun events including trial hot-air balloon rides for a hands-on, close-up experience, as well as hot-air balloon classes. And don't miss the Balloon Illusion in the evening. Burners in the balloons are turned on and off to music, lighting up the balloons in a multitude of colors—a truly outstanding performance.
Karaumedate (Nagasaka Castle) is said to have been the residence of Taro Terui, a high-ranking officer of feudal lord Fujiwara-no-Hidehira. After the Fujiwara Clan died out, the Nagasaka Chiba Clan, the aides to the Kasai Clan who reigned the area at the time, used this castle as a residence for 400 years. This festival replicates the scenes from the discussion among the clans who, under the orders of Hideyoshi Toyotomi, discussed whether they should join the war in Odawara to show support. Popular actors are often invited to play the parts of the generals in period costumes, boosting the excitement.