See the diverse geography and grand history of Tamura driving from Tokyo

Tamura Self-Drive 2 Days

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Tamura Self-Drive 2 Days

Our Self-Drive Tamura 2-days tour takes you through the heart of the Tamura region in Fukushima prefecture, Japan’s third largest prefecture. Starting and ending from Tokyo, enjoy stress-free, independent exploration of the Japanese countryside -  taking in some of Tamura's important historical landmarks and time to learn about the local culture.

 

Highlights

  • Discover the ancient legend of Sakanoue no Tamuramaro - considered to be Japan’s first Shogun
  • Experience the diverse geographic regions of the Abukuma mountains, the ancient limestone caves of Abukuma basin and scenic rolling hills across a peaceful countryside
  • Visit locations associated with the legend of Sakanoue no Tamuramaro including local shrines, an ancient battlefield, and unique, 4-meter high traditional folk doll structures which still play a key role in the area’s local annual festivals
  • See the architecture of Isosaki Shrine at the foot of Mt. Otakine - a scenic spot deep in the mountains with a beautiful shrine built amid limestone rock walls.
  • Enjoy the warm hospitality at a Japanese accommodation and enjoy fresh regional cuisine
  • Visit the local history and folklore museum located in a wonderfully restored Edo-period farmhouse to learn about the fascinating local culture and history.

Tamura is located at the heart of the Abukuma plateau, covering an area of over 450 square kilometers, and is blessed with verdant nature, gentle rolling hills and numerous satoyama agricultural villages. The Abukuma Mountains cover a vast range, producing a climate with varied temperatures over four distinct seasons. 

Throughout the tour, you’ll sample delicious local cuisine and indulge in the hospitality of Japanese accommodation. Travel in comfort with your own eco-friendly hybrid rental car, equipped navigation device, and a tailored itinerary featuring our curated stops and suggested eateries, all while making your own discoveries and connections with the local people of Tamura throughout your adventure. 


Hybrid Rental Car 

We help with the preparations to arrange pick-up of your eco-friendly, spacious hybrid rental car, which is provided as standard for the duration of the tour. 


Legend of Sakanoue no Tamuramaro

In 802 one of the most critical crusades in all of Japanese history was being waged. During Japan’s early Heian period (794-1185), the Imperial Court in Kyoto sent the recently appointed Shogun, Sakanoue no Tamuramaro (758-811) - an outstanding figure of the period - to the far reaches of the domain to subdue the eastern barbarians of the far northeast. So important was his task in the eyes of the Court that the title of “Sei-i Tai-Shogun“, or “Barbarian-subduing Generalissimo”, which he was the first to hold, was sought after by the highest military commanders in Japan over the next thousand years.

Since early times, a major concern of the Imperial Court in Nara and Kyoto had been the subjugation of the tribal peoples who occupied the far northeast. They were then called Emishi (or Ebisu), names indicating that they were "eastern barbarians", and the vast, untamed territory that they inhabited then was divided into two very large provinces: Mutsu (present-day Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate, and Aomori Prefectures) on the east, and Dewa (present-day Yamagata and part of Akita Prefectures) on the west. For centuries, the Emishi continued resistance, harassing encroaching settlers and launching raids by mounted archers on local administrative bases. By command of the Imperial Court, Sakanoue no Tamuramaro went on to subdue much of the northeastern regions, and this greatly helped extend the Imperial domain further to the northern end of the main island of Japan. Today he is celebrated in Japanese history as a model of great military virtues.

More than 1,200 years have passed, yet the success of Sakanoue no Tamuramaro and his band of warriors from antiquity is still felt in the hills and valleys of the Abukuma mountains and countryside of Tamura.


Aizu-Wakamatsu and Urabandai 2-night Extension

We also offer the opportunity to extend the tour with a leisurely 2-night extension to visit nearby Aizu-Wakamatsu - set in a beautiful valley, with onsen, a historic castle, well-preserved traditional townscapes and local crafts - and optional, gentle nature walking in the highlands of Urabandai National Park, dotted by colorful ponds and lakes framed by majestic mountains.

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