A record-breaking town.
While rural Konosu is known for being home to the widest part of the Arakawa river – itself, Japan’s widest river – that isn’t really why people visit. People might drive past by the bridge over the river, but they might not. The bridge has a sign that claims that the Arakawa here is 2537 meters wide, but most of that distance is rice paddies.
It’s the other record breakers that attract the day-trippers from nearby Tokyo.
Konosu is home to Japan’s tallest hina ningyo tower, a precarious pyramid of traditional hina dolls. The town has been creating traditional Japanese dolls for 400 years, shipping its beautiful creations all throughout Japan.
The Marutake Ningyo factory creates dolls for hundreds of different shops throughout Japan, and you’ll see why they’re in such high demand when you take a look for yourself. You can visit during the opening hours and look around on the ground floor at the wares. Witness how the dolls are made on the second floor, where rows of doll makers painstakingly put these expensive artworks together by hand..
Konosu is also where you’ll find the biggest poppy field in Japan. On top of this, it grows the most salvia, primroses and marigolds. In the spring, it’s hard to find a day when Konosu doesn’t have some sort of flower festival or another.
Not enough superlatives? Check out the world’s heaviest firework in Konosu. You can see a model of this 1000-pound firework outside of the station – almost four feet in circumference. A hanabi festival is held on October 10th every year and is a rare chance to see fireworks in the autumn.
Elsewhere, there’s the old Nakasendo, one of the five highways from the Edo period, going all the way from Tokyo to Kyoto. It’s a step into the past, with many of the buildings just as they were hundreds of years ago.
Don’t forget to try Konosu’s kawahaba udon, a B-class gourmet food that boasts udon up to two inches in width. Only ten shops serve it, so a kawahaba ultimate udon tour is a feasible option – just sayin’.