Model Course Vol.03
Iino-machi is located along the famous Bandai-Azuma “Skyline Road,” known for absolutely stunning views during autumn.
However, it's not for fall foliage that this town of 6,000 is visited by more than 20,000 tourists each year. What they come for is the UFO Museum and pyramid-shaped Mount Senganmori, where intergalactic craft are said to have made frequent contact since ancient times.
The museum is dedicated to collecting local, national, and international records of UFO sightings and encounters. Mixed in with all this is a handcrafted, casual atmosphere of fun that is incredibly charming.
Mount Senganmori, just outside, is a relatively easy climb, accompanied by more fun statues of various hypothetical extraterrestrials.
At the summit, not only can you imagine the cosmic encounter that took place there, you get a breathtaking view of the mountains of northern Fukushima. Spend some time catching your breath and scanning the skies for any spacecraft.
After the climb, go across the road to the panoramic restaurant and shop, where you can buy various alien goods and souvenirs. The restaurant serves Japanese-style set meals, with a UFO twist.
Iino-machi is a singular, unique, fun experience to be had in rural Japan. Something off the beaten path that many tourists don't experience. If you have an interest in international UFO stories, or just an appreciation for earnestly built museum attractions, I highly recommend taking a few hours to stop by this beautiful mountain town, as some interstellar visitors did decades ago...
I have lived in Fukushima for 5 years, driving all over and stopping for anything interesting along the way, especially food, nature, and old buildings. Steven is always eager to talk about his love for Fukushima. Also passionate about language, he teaches, translates, and shares stories, sometimes writing a few.