Nasukarasuyama City (Nasukarasuyama-shi) is famous for it’s handmade Japanese paper and the Yama-age Festival, which is over 400 years old. The festival originated in 1560 when a terrible plague ravaged the city. The festival evolved as a way to drive away the evil spirits and bring locals hope and happiness. Every year from July 25th – 27th visitors can take part in the festivities as well.
Nasu-Karasuyama city is located in the eastern part of Tochigi Prefecture, and surrounding with Yamizo Mountains. Naka River, a clear stream, runs from north to south of the town, and it creates tasteful appearances throughout four seasons.
And then, people in a preserved castle town Karasuyama fostered a unique culture. Especially, Yamaage Festival is designated as an important national intangible folk culture property, and has a 450-year-old history.
There are much more cultural places to see like Ryuumon Waterfall, Taihei Temple, the ruins of Karasuyama Castle, and Washi(traditional hand made paper) center. So, how about walking around and feeling an elegant atmosphere in Karasuyama.
You will enjoy beautiful scenery of Naka-river along Yamizo mountains, out-door sports (fishing, canoeing, bird-watching) and seasonal fruits (grapes oranges, apples). The sights to see are as follows. Bishamon-mountain, Atago-park, Ryumon-cascad, Heguri-hill Ochiishi, Hanatate-hill, Kunimi, Kago-yama, Taihei-temple, Karasuyama-castle Jukisan-shrine, Toko-shrine, Nasu families graveyard, kobenmon, Yakumo0shrine, Miyabara hachimangu, Kido-hudoson.
On October 1, 2005 Karasuyama town (Karasuyama-machi) was merged with the Minaminasu town (Minaminasu-machi), also from Nasu District, and formed the new Nasukarasuyama City (Nasukarasuyama-shi). Nasu district (Nasu-gun) consists of the two discontiguous towns of Nasu Town (Nasu-machi) and Nakagawa Town (Nakagawa-machi), separated by the separate city of Otawara (Otawara-shi) in the middle.
Set amidst the shade of huge Cedar trees, many people visited this quiet temple for solitude and meditation. It was founded in 1404 and contains many beautifully carved statues and other works. The main building features a thatched roof and the pleasant garden is filled with flowers. Perhaps the most famous guest, Matsuo Basho is reported to have stayed in Kurobane for 14 days. Locals are proud to note that this was the longest amount of time he spent in any one place while writing Okunohosomichi, his book of poems. Consequently, the Basho Center has an informative display about his poetry. Another place where Basho visited and wrote several poems was Unganji Temple, established in 1130.
Yama-age festival is held on 4th Saturday in July following Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The Yama-age festival is said to data from 1560, when Suketane Nasu, the lord of the Karasuyama castle deified Susano-no-mikoto, the brother of the Su-goddess to drive out the plague. In Shintoism he was believed to be potent in amelioration of health. The Kaduki drama performed as a dedication has become transmuted into the Yama-age festival of today. Nasu-Karasuyama Tourism, Karasuyama Branch is located in Yama’age Kaikan (Yamaage center). Yamaage festival is held in summer here. Visitors to the Yama’age Kaikan can view yatai (outdoor stalls) actually used in the Yama’age Festival, which the hall has set up to make the festival more widely known. More Details: Nasukarasuyama (Karasuyama) Yama-age Festival
The Karasuyama Bridge on a prefectural road, Karasuyama Gozenyama Line crosses the Naka River. Karasuyama Bridge is the largest Cable-stay Bridge in Tochigi, stretching cables on both sides from the main tower, which is in the middle of it. After the Karasuyama Bridge was opened, the Miyasakai Bridges, the old and decaying bridge, was closed to break down. The new bridge crosses the Naka River 400 meters down from the old bridge. It is 532 meters long and 14 meters wide, and consists of one traffic lane and a sidewalk on each side. The project was started in 1989, and cost 6.8 billion-yen. Naka River (Naka-gawa) flows through the prefectures of Tochigi, Ibaraki and including parts of neighboring Fukushima Prefecture. Its source is at Nasu-dake in Nikko National Park.
Address: Asahi Nasukarasuyama, Tochigi Prefecture 321-0624 Japan
The history of Kasasuyama Washi is so long that it is written in the documents of Shoso-in (the Nara period) about Washi. Because of its unique lustrous colors and toughness, Karasuyama Washi is used to create elegant oshie (3 dimensional doll paper pictures) and many other artistic crafts. The Karasuyama Washi Kaikan’s building itself stands as a visually stunning piece of the city’s heritage of modernization.Inside, visitors can find beautiful Karasuyama washi on display and for sale.
Karasuyama Washi Kaikan
Address: 2-6-8 Chuo, Nasukarasuyama, Tochigi Prefecture 321-0621, Japan Tel: 0287-82-2100 Closed on Tuesday.
There is Ryujindo (a lair of dragon) in the center, a powerful and splendid dragon utilizing high technology appears from the rocks. Its contrivance is valuable to see.
Ryumon no Nakiryu (roaring dragon)
Ryumon no Nakiryu was drawn by Hokusai Yoshihara, a technical expert of selecting and preserving paintings for national structures. It is drawn with Chinese ink and black ink on a cedar board (cut out of a 300-year-old Japanese cedar tree grown in Karasuyama) which is as large as 8 tatami mats. It took a half year to draw and completed on September, 1996.
1200 years ago, Sakanoue Tamuramaro built a temple and placed Senjukannonbosatsu (the Goddess of Mercy with 1000 arms) to celebrate great success of subjugating Ezo (Hokkaido). After that, Jikakudaishi established Takiosann Syougan-in Takheiji in 848. In precincts of the temple, there is a tomb called Hebihimesama (princess of snake) which is well known in the novel of Kawaguchi Matsutaro.
Ryumon Waterfall/Ryumon no Taki (Dragon’s Gate Waterfall)
Ryumon no taki is a cascade in Egawa, a tributary stream joining to Nakagawa, 20 meters high and 65 meters wide. In the middle of the cascade, there are two eroded pits called Megama and Ogama. According to folklore of this waterfall, an enormous monster lived in Ogama. Once an awful snake came out of Ogama, and coiled seven and a half times around Niomon of Taiheiji, although the tail of snake still remained in Ogama. After that the cascade is called Ryumon no Taki (dragon’s gate waterfall).
Furusato Folk Entertainment Center/Ryumon Waterfall/Ryumon no Taki (Dragon’s Gate Waterfall)
414 Taki, Nasukarasuyama, Tochigi Prefecture 321-0633, Japan Furusato Folk Entertainment Center is closed on Tuesday (if it’s holiday, closed on Wednesday) and 12/29 to 1/3. Tel: 0287-83-2765
Would you like to know the history of sake brewery? Traditional technique of sake brewing lasting over 300 years makes Azumanishiki, the sake of a well-known brand. Shimazaki Brewery is available to see the factory throughout the year. Please enjoy tasteful and elegant atmosphere in a sake cellar. Address: 1-11-18 Chuo, Nasukarasuyama, Tochigi Prefecture 321-0621, Japan Hour: Open 365 Days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m./ Admission Free Tel: 0287-83-1221 Fax: 0287-84-1728
156-8 Ogane, Nasukarasuyama, Tochigi Prefecture 321-0522, Japan Tel: 0287-88-8192
- Okane Suspension Bridge
Iwako, Nasukarasuyama, Tochigi Prefecture 321-0521, Japan
Tel: 0287-88-7118 (Nasukarasuyama Urban construction department)
- Minaminasu Town Illumination Project
240 Ogane, Nasukarasuyama, Tochigi Prefecture 321-0522, Japan Contact: Minami Nasumachi Tourism Center
A yana, the Japanese word for “weir,” is an uncommon way to catch fish. Its design takes advantage of the ayu’s habit of heading downstream to lay eggs by setting up a ramp made of bamboo up which the fish swim and get caught as they attempt to head back upstream.From early summer through autumn, freshly caught ayu are salted, grilled over fires built on the riverbanks and eaten by visitors.
Naka River (Nakagawa) fishery cooperative 38-1 Kyono, Nasukarasuyama, Tochigi Prefecture 321-0611, Japan Tel: 0287-84-1501, 0287-83-0120
Hitotsuishi Weir 1315 Mukada, Nasukarasuyama, Tochigi Prefecture 321-0635, Japan
Funato Weir 1714 Nogami, Nasu-Karasuyama-shi, Tochigi 321-0634, Japan
Hinokiya Weir 265 Miyabara, Nasu-Karasuyama-shi, Tochigi 321-0625, Japan Tel: 0287-82-2882 Fax: 0287-84-0796
Yazawa Weir 1078-2 Takita, Nasukarasuyama, Tochigi Prefecture 321-0605, Japan Telephone: 0287-84-1187, 0287-82-2566 Fax: 0287-82-2566
You may find all other here: http://www.city.nasukarasuyama.lg.jp/9,0,42,104.html
“Shimada noodles” using a little wheat flour from Japan are noodles boasting strength of waist by the manufacturing method high maturational original. It is a popular noodles dish.
Arai Noodle-making place 1-16-11 Asahi, Nasukarasuyama, Tochigi Prefecture 321-0624, Japan Telephone: 0287-82-2282 Fax: 0287-83-0984
Seki Noodle-making place 1462 Ooke, Nasukarasuyama, Tochigi Prefecture 321-0602, Japan
Nojiri store 5-4 Hatsune, Nasukarasuyama, Tochigi Prefecture 321-0626, Japan Telephone: 0120-35-8740, 0287-82-2266 Fax: 0287-82-2271
Benten Food 1990 Takita, Nasukarasuyama, Tochigi Prefecture 321-0605, Japan Tel: 0287-82-2657 Fax: 0287-84-3761
Main Branch 2-5-11 Kanai, Nasukarasuyama, Tochigi Prefecture 321-0628, Japan Tel: 0287-82-2323 Fax: 0287-83-2566
Minaminasu Town (Minaminasu-machi) Branch 194-3 Ogane, Nasukarasuyama, Tochigi Prefecture 321-0522, Japan Tel: 0287-88-2029 Fax: 0287-88-2049
Nasu-Karasuyama Chamber of Commerce and Industry Website: http://nakara.shokokai-tochigi.or.jp/
- Nasukarasuyama City Govt.
Commerce and Tourism Division/ Nasu-Karasuyama Welfare Office 1-1-1 Chuo, Nasukarasuyama, Tochigi Prefecture 321-0621, Japan Tel: 0287-83-1115, 0287-83-1111 Fax: 0287-88-7111