Komono (菰野町 : Komono-chō) is a town located in northern Mie. With a population of about 40,000 people, it is the most populated "town" (as opposed to "city") in the entire prefecture. It is accessible by train via the Kintetsu Yunoyama Line. Transfer at Kintetsu-Yokkaichi to this line, and it's a 17 minute ride to Komono.
Yunoyama is part of Komono and can be found at the end of the train line, just three stations from Komono. It is an area with various hot springs, both indoors and outdoors at the base of Mount Gozaisho, the tallest mountain in northern Mie.
"Komono" literally means "Field of Makomo". The rather rare kanji 「菰」 is a vegetable, called Makomo 「真菰」 which is grown in the area and is used in soups etc. It has little white flowers when it blooms. The second part of the character for Komono is 「野」 which means "field".
The Kintetsu Yunoyama Line services Komono via Kintetsu-Yokkaichi
- Komono (菰野) Station - Near ÆON Town and other places
- Naka-Komono (中菰野) Station - Access to the Town Office and the municipal JET apartments.
- Yumoyama-Onsen (湯の山温泉) Station - Gateway to Mt. Gozaisho and the Yunoyama hot spring area
- Buses take people between Yunoyama-Onsen Station and to the base of Mount Gozaisho, from which it is a short walk to the ropeway station.
Things to See
- Mount Gozaisho (御在所岳 gozaisho-dake)
- You can catch a cable car (¥2100 per adult, but MANY discounts are available) to the top (the peak is at 1,210 meters). It is a breathtaking trip, lasting 12 minutes, and at the top there are many trails you can wander along and smaller cable cars leading to other mountains in the vicinity. For those of you who enjoy hiking, it is about a two hour hike up the mountain and many people do this during the year (however it is covered in snow during the winter) and you are sure to make lots of friends along the way!! On the top there is a very small ski area for winter fun and it used to be the home of the Kamoshika Center (kamoshika are Japanese-style deer).
- Yunoyama Onsen (湯ノ山温泉)
- Natural hot spring area located 318 meters above sea level. It has panoramic views of Ise Bay. There are a variety of onsen (hot springs) here as well as a fish farm, and a place to make your own soba!! Yummy! You can even do horse riding here!
- Aotaki (青滝)
- Waterfalls that are a short walk from Yunoyama Station. The waterfalls are usually almost deserted, and bringing a picnic and playing in the water is a refreshing and fabulous way to spend a hot summer's afternoon!
- In Naka-Komono there are open-air hot springs were you can wear bathing suits and there is also a small bath to relax your tired legs (for people who would prefer to keep their clothes on). All this is FREE and is next to the Town Hall.
Events and Festivals
- Fire Festival (僧兵祭り Sōhei Matsuri)
- Takes place in October. There is a procession where two portable shrines (one carried by women, the second by men) are carried from a temple, up and down the mountains, to the beginning of the ropeway. The shrines are blessed in a ceremony at the temple and on their journey they stop at hotels to wish the hotel good luck and fortune for the coming year. Excitingly, the second of the portable shrines is on fire and the men carrying it often get burned in the process of this festival. At the end of the procession the shrines are paraded around to the audience. There is food, sake and often fireworks and Taiko drumming performances.
- There is a Yunoyama Festival where the locals celebrate the changing of the leaves (in autumn) and that is the best time to visit the area, as the entire place is covered in red leaves.
- There are many concerts and events that happen in Komono, usually every weekend something is going on!!
- Post Office (郵便局 Yūbin kyoku)
- between Komono and Naka-Komono Stations on the main road.
- 105 Bank (百五銀行 Hyakugo Ginkō)
- Located on the main road, a few minutes walk from the Komono Station
- Mie Bank (三重銀行 Mie Ginkō)
- Across the road from the post office
- ATMs in town hall
- Softbank and Docomo both have shops at ÆON Town
- AU has a shop on the main road, between Komono and Nakakomono Station.
- ÆON Town
- Main shopping center in town, you can take care of most things here. See the ÆON Town article for a list of shops
Food and Drink
Basically all chains in Komono are in or near ÆON Town
- Tasty, but not like Denny's from the US!
- Japanese-themed famiresu
- Chinese-themed famiresu
- Marugame Seimen
- Self-service udon shop
- Udon very cheap
- Shōwa Shokudō
- Izakaya styled on Showa-era Japan
- Aoki's Pizza - near Komono Station
- Takeaway Pizza - 059 394 5655
- Baskin Robbins (31) - near Komono Station
I would recommend going down the small side roads, as this is where you will find delicious sushi, sashimi and other Japanese delights!! Try unagi (eel) as it is particularly famous in Mie and absolutely yummylicious!
- Tom Sawyer Cafe (near Naka-Komono Station)
- Yoroi Ramen shop (near Naka-Komono Station)
- Coco Ichi Curry house (near Komono Station)
- Chinese food (near Komono Station)
- Unachu (Eel) (near ÆON Town)
Recreation and Entertainment
- Lots of hiking opportunities on Mount Gozaisho
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