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Known by its other name "Goldfish City", Koriyama is totally fascinated and preoccupied by the little swimming fish.
A city in the central prefecture of Fukushima Japan, Koriyama is designated as a "core city" and operates as the commercial hub for the region. It is the second largest "conurbation" (urban area of several towns merging with a central city) in the Tohoku region. Once controlled by various samurai clans during the Heian and Kamakura periods, the city thrived as a place for travelers to rest due to its strategic location during the Edo period. It grew into an agricultural area with an abundance of hydroelectric power enabling it to develop local industry. Koriyama was the subject of 3 large-scale air raids during World War II by American bombers, as it was a center for military equipment production.
There is not a lot to keep you in the city, but you will have the chance to take in the ruins of a castle "Koriyama Castle" from the Azuchi Momoyama period in the 1500s (aka Sengoku Period) when great samurai warriors and feudal lords such as Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Heideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu were busy squabbling and killing each other. Make sure you climb to the top, shut your eyes and let the ghosts of long past call to you in whispers. The atmosphere is intense if you allow it to be. The view is breath taking and a favorite spot during the cherry blossom season.
The city is known as Japan's largest goldfish sanctuary with a history of cultivating the little swimmers. Japan has an undying love of these little critters that historically were pets for the high classes and the wealthy. There is even a goldfish museum that you can stroll in and check out the history of goldfish and their significance to the Japanese. You will find exhibitions of old books and ukiyoe art on goldfish plus there are about 40 different kinds of goldfish happily swimming around.
Do remember that the goldfish are for gawking at only and no scoops will be handed out in case you are thinking of kidnapping one.
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