Unique ice formations fill tunnel(まるで神殿「巨大氷柱」)

Large ice pillars have formed inside a tunnel on Banseitairo in Fukushima, in this photo taken on Feb. 5.(旧道「万世大路」のトンネル跡に出現した巨大な氷柱=2月5日午後、福島市飯坂町・二ツ小屋隧道)

 FUKUSHIMA - Large pillars of ice have formed inside a tunnel on an old route that connects Fukushima with Yonezawa, Yamagata Prefecture. The Futatsukoya Tunnel is one of the tunnels left on the old road, called the Banseitairo, along the Kuriko Pass. The spectacle of the five-meter-high ice pillars is evocative of a shrine. The ice pillars usually remain until early March every year.


 The Banseitairo was built over a period from 1876 to 1881 by Michitsune Mishima, the first governor of Yamagata Prefecture, as a path from Fukushima to Yonezawa.


  According to Fukushima resident Katsuo Saito, 64, who has been visiting the tunnel for more than 10 years, the ice formations are formed by water that comes through holes in the top of the tunnel, with the size of the pillars varying each year.


 The tunnel can be reached via a snowshoe trek of about an hour from the Higashikuriko Tunnel on National Highway Route 13. There is a slope covered in deep snow on the way to the Futatsukoya Tunnel. Visitors must go to the tunnel with an experienced guide as it is easy to get lost.

( Translated by The Japan News )


 【 2017年2月6日・福島民友新聞掲載 】