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History

Shrines and temples
Kobiragata Tenmangu, one of Japan’s “Three Famous Tenmangu Shrines,” is related to the poet Kanenori Inawashiro, who lived during the end of the Muromachi period and is considered the founder of the modern “waka” style of poetry. The shrine is also home to the “Sangaku” votive tablets on which mathematicians from the early Meiji period wrote mathematical problems and their answers; besides their scientific value, these tablets are also of great artistic interest. Another spot worth seeing is the Sekiwaki Ubaido Shrine, known to the locals as “Onba-sama,” where women pray for an easy delivery and postpartum health and safety.

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Other places of interest are the Hanitsu-jinja Shrine where Hoshina Masayuki, the founder of the Aizu Domain, is enshrined; Iwahashi-jinja Shrine, which is said to be the area’s oldest shrine; and Kashiranashi Fudoson, where people seek relief for eye disease.

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Historic landmarks

Designated by the town as an Important Cultural Property, the old Yamauchi Family Residence and Gorinto (five-ringed monument) offers visitors the opportunity to get to know the form and function of farmers’ houses and town official buildings during the days of the han (feudal domain) system (the residence dates from the era of the Aizu Domain).

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Other spots worth visiting include Kamegajoshi Park, where the medieval castle of Inawashiro family of feudal lords used to stand; the tomb of Tanaka Masaharu, chief retainer of the Aizu Domain and a key-figure in the establishment of the domain; the tomb of Hatori Ankyu, a student and teacher of old Shintoism; and the Jurokkyo Bridge and Asakasosui Canal, which played a major role in the development of present-day Koriyama City.

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Traditional Culture

The “Nishikubo Equinoctial Week Lion Dance” is an annual event held during the Spring Equinox. People of the area dedicate the dance to temples and shrines to pray for health and safety and to honor the memory of Buddha. A closely held secret performed only by local families’ eldest sons, the dance is now managed by the “Nishikubo Equinoctial Week Lion Preservation Society” and has been designated an Important Intangible Cultural Property by the town of Inawashiro.

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Other things to see and do

Learn through play at the Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Hall; try your hand at glass-making at the World Glassware Hall (recommended for both adults and children); see the extensive collection of Western art at the Morohashi Museum of Modern Art; and visit the Tenkyokaku, a summer villa of Emperor Showa (Hirohito) and Empress Kojun, the Hajimari Art Center, the Inagawa Sake Brewery where work is still done by hand, and the Aquamarine Inawashiro Kingfishers Aquarium.