Fukiware Falls: unusual water bears the gift of negative ions

Waterfalls are well known to release negative ions that boost the spirits of mere mortals who visit them. Japan is blessed with many waterfalls and so lots of negative ion opportunities. One unusually shaped waterfall worth seeking out is Fukiware Falls in northern Gunma Prefecture (almost halfway between Minakami and Nikko). The falls is in … Continue reading Fukiware Falls: unusual water bears the gift of negative ions

Ichinomiya: an historic hilltop in Tomioka

These days, Gunma's Tomioka is best known as the site of the World Heritage-listed silk reeling factory, Japan's first modern production facility. But it has more ancient roots and more modern history as well. Some of this can be found on a hilltop about a 10 minute walk from Joshu-Ichinomiya Station. Nukisaki Shrine: Nearly fifteen … Continue reading Ichinomiya: an historic hilltop in Tomioka

Expanded exhibits at the Tomioka Silk Mill

Gunma's Tomioka Silk Mill is a testament to Japan's rapid industrialization in the latter half of the 19th century. Opened in 1872, it was Japan’s first complete industrial factory system of production and was built with the assistance of various French advisors. The mill ceased operation in 1987, but, thanks to its historical significance, it … Continue reading Expanded exhibits at the Tomioka Silk Mill

The Tomizawa Family Farmhouse – late 18th century “cottage industry”

While sericulture was first developed in China about 4,500 years ago, Japan has also been producing silk since around the third century. Silk's heyday in Japan was during the Meiji Period (1868-1912), when it became one of Japan's first industrially mass-produced export products. The center of Japan's silk industry has long been Gunma Prefecture, which … Continue reading The Tomizawa Family Farmhouse – late 18th century “cottage industry”