Iiyama – “A Little Kyoto in the Snowy Region” with Flowers and Green
Iiyama in the Kita Shinshu region developed as a castle town. A master of Japanese literature, Toson Shimazaki called it as “A Little Kyoto in the Snowy Region” as many Buddhist temples are scattered around the city. Since Kenshin Uesugi established Iiyama Castle, successive feudal lords continued to develop the town and over 20 temples were also built. Shoju-an Temple (Historical Site of Nagano Prefecture), Shunshu-ji Temple (a model of Shimazaki’s famous novel, “The Broken Commandment”) and many other historical attractions are connected by a nice walking path. The serene Chikuma River, seasonal flowers and plants, and Iiyama’s historical artifacts all welcome visitors. Iiyama was a setting in the Japanese film “Amidado Dayori” and many film fans visit the city to view the locations for themselves.
Sightseeing Highlights in Iiyama
A famous Buddhist monk, Shoju Rojin had his religious training at this temple. It is designated as a historical site by Nagano Prefecture.
Toson Shimazaki, a famous Japanese modern novelist, used this temple as his model in his best-seller novel, “The Broken Commandment.”
Stone monument dedicated to Toson is located in the precinct.
Iiyama Castle Site Park
One of the best cherry blossom viewing sites in the Kita Shinshu region. Best time will be from around mid-April.
Iiyama Traditional Craft Center & Iiyama Handmade Washi Experience Studio
Production process of Iiyama Butsudan Buddhist alter and Uchiyama Washi paper is exhibited. Visitors can try making handmade washi paper.
Iiyama Furusato Center
The long history and beautiful nature of Iiyama City that people have inherited from their ancestors is introduced.
Mayumi Takahashi Doll Museum
About 100 lovely dolls are exhibited. Exhibit items are changed twice a year in spring and autumn.
Important Annual Events in Iiyama
Iiyama Snow Festival
Kamakura Snowdome Festival
Iiyama Field Mustard Festival
The Chikuma River, along with the surrounding mountains still sprinkled with snow and the vibrant yellow color of field mustard flowers create splendid scenery. During the festival a number of shops are opened and many fun events are held. Enjoy the beautiful yellow carpet of field mustard flowers.
Hydrangeas in Kogen-in Temple
Hokuryu Lake Summer Firework Festival
Iiyama Lantern Festival
Chikuma River Summer Firework Festival
Madarao Highland Summer Festival and Firework display
Madarao Highland Summer Festival and Firework display are the two major summer annual events of Iiyama. The fireworks are set at a closer distance than in general firework festivals. A number of stalls are opened and the Japanese drum show by a local group will be fun to watch.
Iiyama Flower Festa & Temple Treasure Exhibition
Local Autumn Festivals
As autumn starts, local autumn festivals will be held in many areas in Iiyama City. People wish for the good harvest of the year and safe and healthy life of the family. Many festivals are held every weekend in September such as Reisai of Natate Shrine, Narasawa Daitengu, Gosoku Daidai Kagura, Reisai Festival of Shizuma Shrine.
Traditional Crafts of Iiyama
Iiyama Butsudan Buddhist Altars (Selected by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry)
Production of Buddhist altars (butsudan) has been an important traditional craft of Iiyama for over 300 years. The pleasant climate and religious devotion of people in this area made it possible to continue such an excellent craft works up to the present day. Traditional Craft of Japan.
Uchiyama Paper (Selected by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry)
Uchiyama paper is a handmade washi paper which is a traditional craft of Iiyama. The only material used for washi is kozo (a kind of plant) whose skin is placed and left on snow so that the finished paper becomes a beautiful white. Traditional Craft of Japan.
Food & Specialties of Iiyama
Also known as Kenshin Tomikura Sushi. Simple yet tasty local food using plenty of blessings from the mountain.
Tomikura Soba Noodle
Very unique soba noodle made with fibers of Oyama Bokuchi (wild burdock) leaves.
One of the carefully brewed sake in the region, “Hokko Masamune,” is made from “Kinmon Nishiki” special sake rice grown in Iiyama. “Mizuo” is another excellent sake from Iiyama which uses natural spring water from Mt. Mizuo. Experienced sake production masters (Iiyama Toji or Kurabito) take their upmost care in its production.
The advanced feeding technique and special blending of the feed crop are two major secrets of this tasty branded pork. The meat is firm yet has a natural sweetness and rich taste.
- Iiyama Station on JR Iiyama Line, Iiyama Station on Hokuriku Shinkansen
- Shinshu Iiyama Tourism Bureau
- TEL：0269-62-3133 / FAX：0269-62-7003
- E-mail： firstname.lastname@example.org
- URL： http://www.iiyama-ouendan.net/