Visiting Iiyama's traditional fall festival
In autumn some festivals to pray for bumper crops and for the well-being of family are held flourishingly in each place of Iiyama City. The different traditional dancing in each village such as a lion dance, a Japanese halberd and the dance is dedicated and it is crowed annually by not only villagers but also tourists depending on a festival. As autumn festivals are held every weekend during the middle of September, how you will stay in Iiyama and see them.
Walk in Kosuge Village
Walking through an avenue of cedars, the atmosphere is quiet and stately along the path to inner Kosuge Shrine. The shrine is one of Nagano Prefecture's three most important spots for practitioners of Shugen-do (A Japanese religious tradition). At an altitude of 900 meters and sheltered by a rock wall, the inner shrine preserves the solemn atmosphere of ancient Japan. Accessible only on foot, this sacred ground is worth a visit.
Have fun with Kamakura (snow huts)
From late January through the end of February, kamakura (snow huts) of all sizes appear in the Shinanodaira area. You can warm up while eating local specialty Noroshi nabe inside one of the kamikura, or experience some snow-country fun by making a kamakura yourself. If you want to learn the secret charm of kamikura, you've come to the right place!
Photo spots along the JR Iiyama Line
Since making the film "Amidado-dayori," photographer Eizo Matsumura has continued to photograph and write about Iiyama's scenery each season. Matsumura has also recommended great spots for photography in the city.
Gourmet Guide: A day of gluttonous eating in Iiyama
Widely-acknowledged as the finest food connoisseur at the Shinshu-Iiyama Tourism Bureau, Gourmet Girl is here to introduce set meals, sweets, octopus dumplings, local specialties, ramen, and various delicious restaurants near Iiyama Station. From morning to night, you'll find so many enticing meals. Your stomach may be full just looking at them!
Nicknamed "Snow country's little Kyoto" by great author Touson Shimazaki, Iiyama's streets are lined with temples. While these temples are especially beautiful to visit during peak flower and autumn foliage seasons, some also offer visitors the chance to experience Zazen (seated Zen meditation) and vegetarian meals prepared by monks. We hope you'll enjoy the profound nature of ancient Buddhist temples.
Meet Moritaro at Mt. Nabekura
Mt. Nabekura is so covered by natural beech forests that the trees seem to form the whole mountain. Since ancient times, nearby villages have been deeply connected to these forests, which local people use to gather firewood and make charcoal.
Cycling in Iiyama
Iiyama is well-known among cycling enthusiasts as a "bicycle paradise." Easy-to-ride flat public roads, as well as mountain passes that test cyclists' strength and endurance, provide a variety of routes through the city. The beautiful rural landscape also attracts many cyclists. Self-styled "Bike boys" travel these routes, reporting on the charm of Iiyama's back roads.
The Story of Iiyama's Sakes
Iiyama boasts two breweries with long and rich histories; the Tanakaya Brewery, known for its sake, 'Mizuo'; and the Kadoguchi Brewery, reknowned for 'Hokko masamune'.
Though it's hardly uncommon for a region to have locally brewed sake, the pronounced preference Iiyama's local population holds for the taste of Iiyama's sake and none other is an exceptional defining characteristic.
What is it that determines Iiyama's sake's exquisite taste and causes such evident popularity?
Iiyama's Winter Specialty Banana Boats - an Analysis and Comparison
Neat rows of "Banana Boats" fill the display cases of traditional Japanese sweet shops, brightening the snow-covered streets of Iiyama.
Why is it that traditional Japanese confectioners start making Western style sweets with bananas in winter?
There are clear differences in recipes and taste between each shop.
I've visited 12 confectioners to delve into their delicious secrets.