This temple, found in the Nishine (western) area of Kakuda City, is certain to take you back in time to the very roots of Japanese culture. The building is hailed not only for its historical value, but is also known as the oldest surviving wooden structure in the Miyagi Prefecture. The structure is believed to have been built by the wife of Shuei Fujiwara in 1177, and it is one if only seven Amidado Halls in Japan. The wooden statue of Buddha that is found within the temple stands nearly three meters high and was made in 1178. The temple itself, though relatively small, is filled with pieces of Japan’s past and present and is surrounded by beautiful scenery. It is a must-see site for any tourist interested in the history and culture of the Japanese people. (Information taken from Welcome to Kakuda City pamphlet and Kozoji Temple Brochure)
Kakuda Space Propulsion Laboratory
The Kakuda Branch Office of the National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) opened in 1965 and has proven to be an important research and test facility for space travel. It is certain to be a claim to fame in the future for the city. The National Aerospace Laboratory is interested in project research in aeronautics and space technology. It has developed large-scale facilities around Japan for the use of, in addition to its own researchers, researchers from universities and industrial partners around the world. NAL conducts tests for next generation supersonic aircraft technology, flight safety and environmental compatibility technology, stratospheric platform airship systems, reusable space transportation systems, and space environment preservation and utilization technology.
The Kakuda facility consists of, among many devices, a wind tunnel designed to simulate aerodynamic force and air flow on aircraft and reentry vehicles. It is also home to the High Enthalpy Shock Tunnel (HIEST), a shock tunnel designed to reveal aerodynamic heating properties during atmospheric reentry and the operating properties of scramjets in the supersonic speed range. This tunnel is the world’s largest free-piston shock tunnel, having a total length of 80m and a maximum stagnation temperature and pressure of 25 MJ/kg and 150 Mpa respectively.
NAL actively promotes cooperative projects, joint symposiums, and exchange of researchers with both foreign and domestic research organizations, universities, and industrial partners. (Information gathered from informational booklet provided by Kakuda Space Propulsion Laboratory, Kakuda)
Kakuda Propulsion Center
The Kakuda Propulsion Center (KPC) is located on the northern edge of Kakuda City (in close proximity to the National Aerospace Laboratory). The facility has been open since 1978 and plays a leading role in the development of rocket propulsion systems in Japan. KPC includes high-altitude test facilities that simulate high-performance, upper-stage engines firing in a space environment, integrated propellant feed systems test facilities to evaluate the transfer of cryogenic propellants (liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen) from rocket tanks to the combustion chamber, and support facilities for maintenance and data processing, among other things. The principal work of KPC is to develop launch vehicles and artificial satellites.
KPC has major roles in the development, research, and testing of liquid-propellant engines (LE-5B/LE-7A), tanks, solid-propellant motors, and related systems. It is home to an integrated feed systems test facility, a high-altitude test stand, tank thermal characteristics evaluation test facilities, and a space development exhibition hall.
The Kakuda Propulsion Center Space Exhibition Hall is open to the public. Exhibits include a 1/10 scale model of an H-II rocket and an H-IIA rocket, actual LE-7 and LE-5 engines, and panels explaining Japanese space development. English-speaking guests are generally greeted by able translators.(Information taken from NASDA Kakuda Propulsion Center Informational Brochure)
Kakuda’s Historical Library
This building, once used as a residence for a member of the Ujiie Family (one of the three most powerful families in Kakuda), has been entirely restored as a city historical library. It is here that archaeological and historical documents of Kakuda are stored. The original building was constructed over time from the early Meiji Era through the Taisho Era. On library grounds are also an exquisite white-walled storehouse and a beautiful, formal Japanese garden. Visitors to the library may also be privileged to participate in a formal Japanese tea ceremony.(Information taken from informational Kakuda Historical Library brochure and Welcome to Kakuda City pamphlet)
Visiting beautiful Mt. Shiho involves a relatively short drive and a small, scenic hike up to the very top of the mountain. Visitors’efforts to see the top are greatly rewarded when they reach their destination. A two-story tower provides an all-around, clear view of Kakuda City, surrounding towns, the Abukuma River, and the Pacific Ocean. The mountains and greenery that surround the site are beyond imagination.
Visitors wishing to enjoy lunch or a rest break at Mt. Shiho can make use of the small pavilion located near the tower. Children may also enjoy the small playground that accompanies that pavilion.
Kakuda Space Center, Daiyama Park
Kakuda’s centrally-located Daiyama Park is home to an educational space center complete with a full-sized model of an H-II Rocket. The center, designed to be both a symbol for the city of Kakuda and a facility to arouse the interest of area children in space exploration, consists of the rocket model, an observation tower, and a space exhibition hall.
The exhibition hall, located on the first floor of the Space Tower, aims to solidify understanding of the infinite possibilities of space exploration, the history of flight in space, and the future of space travel through displays, videos, pictures, and miniature models. Visitors are sure to find this center of interest, although a translator will be necessary for guests who do not speak Japanese.
Most guests (Japanese or foreign) will find the center intriguing for more than its educational programs.On the second and third floors of the Space Tower, which is designed to look like a launch pad, are observation decks from which viewers can enjoy a panoramic sight of Kakuda. For one-hundred yen guests can magnify their vision (X20) through large telescopes located on the third floor of the structure. This will allow the viewer to see Kakuda and its surrounding mountains for two minutes through a high-powered lens from an elevation of 40.4 meters. Those not wishing to look through the telescopes can still enjoy a great sight of Kakuda and an up-close shot of the H-II Rocket model located directly beside the Space Tower.
The rocket model itself is made of 25mm-thick copper sheets, measures 49 meters in height and 4 meters in diameter, and weighs 130 tons.(Information taken from Kakuda City Cosmohouse flier)