Sightseeing in Shisō: Flowers and Forest

The municipality of Shisō covers over 658 square kilometers and features beautiful nature scenery as well as delicious mountain vegetables.SONY DSC

Shisō is perhaps most famous for the large field of iris flowers that bloom from around June 1st to June 30th. The irises can be seen at Yamasaki Iris Park (山崎菖蒲園), which costs 800 yen to enter.SONY DSC

Himuro Handmade Soba Restaurant (手打ちそば処ひむろ) is a great place to stop for lunch, featuring cold and hot versions of the noodles, along with some top-notch tempura mountain vegetables like wasabi leaves. Himuro is a rare kind of restaurant that has very carefully considered decorations and style, but also reasonable prices.SONY DSC

SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCAlso try hitting up the massive Iwa Shrine (伊和神社), a complex that, with its location far away from the tourist magnets of Tokyo’s Meiji or Kyoto’s Kyoto’s Heian Shrine Complexes, offers serene Shintō scenery.SONY DSC

SONY DSCSONY DSCKunimi Forest Park (国見の森公園) also has beautiful views (especially during the cherry blossom season) that you can enjoy with a leisurely ride on a special monorail. The sightseeing monorail looks like a rollercoaster that wraps around the forest and hills, ascending hundreds of meters. Of course, it runs at slow speeds, allowing people of all ages to take in the nature views while keeping their lunch (though rollercoaster speeds would of course be fun too….).SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC

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