Lake Inawashiro No. 1 Tadami Bridge View Spot

福島

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Tours in Fukushima

Unique in Fukushima

Tsurugajo Castle
Historical Sites

Tsurugajo Castle

Tsurugajo Castle allows visitors the opportunity to experience history, nature, and tradition with all five senses. Despite being mostly reconstructed, the surrounding park's stone walls remain in their original state. In 2010, for the first time since it was refurbished in 1965, the castle underwent a cosmetic restoration. Following completion in 2011, the same red-tile roofs seen by the Byakkotai (during the Boshin War and finals days of the Tokugawa shogunate) are now displayed for all to see. This castle is one of the final strongholds of samurai that remained loyal to the shogunate and today stands as a symbol of courage and faithfulness. Within the castle tower's museum, the swords and armor of the castle’s successive lords are on display. Visitors can watch a CG-enhanced theatrical video reflecting on the great history of Aizu. In addition to the historical atmosphere surrounding Tsurugajo, visitors can sense the changes that have occurred throughout history, thanks to the engaging and informative museum within the castle walls. It’s fun to gaze across Aizu from the fifth floor, like a feudal lord admiring his domain—the viewing platform up here provides panoramic views taking in Mt. Bandai and Mt. Iimoriyama. The castle is also a must-see in the springtime when approximately 1,000 cherry trees offer a magnificent display within the castle's grounds. When you’re in the mood for a rest, visit the Rinkaku Tea Rooms for some freshly-prepared matcha green tea. This tea house on the grounds of Tsurugajo was vital in the spread of this traditional art—and had it been destroyed during the Meiji Restoration, tea ceremony as it is known in Japan might have vanished. Tsurugajo Castle is truly a place where the modern visitor can slip into the past and become immersed in history.

Sazaedo Temple
Historical Sites

Sazaedo Temple

Sazaedo is a Buddhist temple built in 1796. Its architecture is similar in shape similar to the shell of a horned turban (‘sazae’ in Japanese) hence its name ‘Sazaedo’. The inside of the temple consists of a double-helix slope, meaning that visitors who come to pray won’t meet anybody coming from the opposite direction. This one-way system makes Sazaedo extremely unique. In 1995, it was appointed as a National Important Cultural Property, and in 2018 it was showcased in Michelin Green Guide (1 star, interesting place to visit).

Goshiki-numa Ponds
Nature & Scenery

Goshiki-numa Ponds

The Goshiki-numa ponds of Urabandai are a cluster of five volcanic lakes at the foot of Mt. Bandai. When Mt. Bandai erupted in 1888, Goshiki-numa - which translates as "Five-Colored Ponds - were formed. In actuality dozens of lakes were created due to the 1888 eruption, but the Goshiki-numa Ponds are the most famous. It was thanks to the eruption that the lakes each took on rich color; the various minerals found in each lake give them a unique color and create a mystical aura. The colors of the Goshiki-numa Ponds also change throughout the year depending on weather and time of day, a truly mysterious phenomenon. The lakes have become a popular tourist destination. The five main lakes are Bishamon, Aka, Ao, Benten, and Midoro, and their colors range from a lime green to deep turquoise to a topaz blue. A scenic walking route guides visitors around the ponds. At 3.6 km in length, this walking route - which will take you past many of the ethereal colors - takes about 70 minutes to complete. If you’d like a view of all five lakes at once, why not take the 4 km walking trail from Bishamon-numa (largest of the five lakes) up to nearby Lake Hibara. Alternatively, if hiking is not on your itinerary, enjoy a simple rowboat out on Bishamon-numa. It’s especially lovely in autumn as the color of the autumn leaves reflects on the deep green surface of the lake. In winter, there are even snowshoe trekking tours offered. The color of the lakes looks particularly vivid in winter, seeing as the minerals in some of the lakes stop them from freezing over, meaning you can see their colors contrasted with the white of the snow. Be sure to stop by the Urabandai Visitor Center, which is a large and well-equipped facility. You can find great information here about tours as well as the various geography, wildlife, and even the history of the area. It’s a great chance to learn more about the ecosystem that makes up the Goshiki-numa Ponds.

Ouchi-juku
Historical Sites

Ouchi-juku

Take a journey to the past in Fukushima Prefecture’s Ouchi-juku area. This isolated village boasts thatched-roof houses and natural streets making you feel at one with the people wholived here hundreds of years ago. Nestled in the southwestern mountains of Fukushima, Ouchi-juku is a great spot to visit thanks to its unique charm and history. This village was established under the post station system of the Edo period, and played a vital role as a rest stop for travelers. In 1981, the well-preserved streets of Ouchi-juku led to it being designated as an Important Preservation District for a Group of Traditional Buildings. It isn’t difficult to see why—the village looks as it did during its heyday. And with no telephone or electric wires above ground, the view from the top of the hill overlooking the village is marvelous. It is a picturesque village where you can lose yourself to the flow of time. The traveler’s road that used to run through this village was called the Shimotsuke Kaido Route, or the Aizu Nishi Kaido Route. Ouchi-juku not only connected Aizu to Nikko, it also connected Aizu-Wakamatsu to Imaichi, a post town on the Nikko Kaido Route in Tochigi Prefecture. This road was frequented by many travelers as well as by the processions of feudal lords who had to travel to and from Edo periodically. Travelers of the Edo Period rested at the inns of Ouchi-juku to relieve their fatigue. Nowadays, festivals and events help draw in new visitors. The annual Snow Festival in February turns Ouchi-juku into a pretty candlelit scene. Visit in July to see a procession of dancers dressed in traditional Edo Period costumes, and you might even get to wear a happi (festival attire jacket) and join the locals in their celebrations! And when you’re feeling hungry be sure to try some of the local specialties, which include negi soba (fresh buckwheat noodles eaten using a green onion), stick-roasted char fish, and more. There’s a little bit of everything at Ouchi-juku.

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Trips in Fukushima

Autumn Colors of Fukushima
Autumn Colors of Fukushima
Autumn Colors of Fukushima
Driving

Autumn Colors of Fukushima

Spend a couple of beautiful days admiring the colors of autumn in Fukushima from the comfort of your car. You will love zooming around the prefecture and seeing all that autumn has to offer. With some of the best autumn vistas in the prefecture right outside your window, be sure to have your camera at the ready. Rent a car at Fukushima Station, and make your way down the picturesque Bandai-Azuma Skyline where you’ll see trees and mountainous views on either side. The colors of autumn will surround you like a cozy blanket and you will definitely want to take it slow to enjoy these brilliant leaves. Drive the mountain road down to the Bandai-Azuma Lake Line and admire the reflections of the autumnal trees on the surface of the beautiful waters. Take in the panorama of colors and nature in this tranquil setting before moving on to the next amazing site. Visit the fascinating Goshiki-numa Ponds that change color throughout the day; admire the various shades of these volcano-created ponds. Finish your crimson leaf tour of Fukushima at To-no-hetsuri Crags where you can drink up the gorgeous vista of trees against the stony edifice before heading back to Shin-Shirakawa Station and ending your trip.  

A Summertime Traditional Experience
A Summertime Traditional Experience
Culture

A Summertime Traditional Experience

There’s no better way to celebrate summertime in Japan than with an impressive display of fireworks and masterful pyrotechnics along the riverside with a cold drink. Begin your Japanese summer adventure at Fukushima Station and travel by bus to the site of the Fukushima Fireworks Festival. Be prepared to be wowed as the night sky comes alive with a spectacle of lights and color. Let the sound of the fireworks, like rolling thunder, wash over your senses as you ooh and ah at the magnificent displays. The next day, make your way to the Soma Nomaoi to see the masterful horsemanship before your very eyes. The Soma Nomaoi has been performed abroad and was originated hundreds of years ago from military training carried out on horseback. Feel history and culture come to life and ignore the heat of summer with these fascinating and awe-inspiring experiences. Finish up your trip at Fukushima Station where you can do a spot of shopping before heading home. Please note, while Fukushima Fireworks Festival and Soma Nomaoi are generally held on the same weekend in July, please make sure to check the dates before planning your trip. Also, please be aware that the Fukushima Fireworks Festival may be cancelled in the event of rain.

Onsen & Sightseeing in Aizu by Train
Onsen & Sightseeing in Aizu by Train
Onsen & Sightseeing in Aizu by Train
Nature

Onsen & Sightseeing in Aizu by Train

Jump start your vacation in Fukushima’s Aizu region with this multi-day tour, which can be enjoyed at any time of year. These ideas make for great additions to already existing plans, or as a tour of their own. No matter how you decide to use this itinerary, you won’t be disappointed. Travel by train and local bus, or taxi, to enjoy Aizu to the fullest. Begin your adventure at Aizu-Wakamatsu Station (don’t forget to snap some pics of its bowing red akabeko cow out front) and use the local bus or taxi to make your way for Tsurugajo Castle. Walk through the gardens and grounds of this magnificent castle and marvel at the red-tile roof—the only one of its kind in all of Japan. Inside you can tour the castle keep and see the artifacts of Aizu, let history come to life before your eyes. From the castle, travel to Nanokamachi-dori Street; this quaint area has preserved its early-20th century architecture and is now home to souvenir boutiques and many diners and hidden gems. With that being enough for one day’s excitement, head over to Higashiyama Onsen and soak your travel aches away in the hot springs of Harataki ryokan, which even has its own hot spring source. You’ll love taking a dip in these hot, refreshing, and soothing waters—the outside open-air bath is especially recommended. The next day, why not head over to Ouchi-juku, here you can tour an authentic preserved Aizu village and try local cuisine. The whole area gets really busy in winter and, if you’re brave enough to face the cold, the snow festival is a popular event.  

Onsen and Relaxation Tour
Onsen and Relaxation Tour
Onsen and Relaxation Tour
Culture

Onsen and Relaxation Tour

Take a 2-day tour of relaxation, history, and culture on this trip you can enjoy by train or taxi. You’ll journey around Fukushima Prefecture to see some stunning sights and relax in some of the best springs. Begin your first day at Fukushima Station where you will travel to Iizaka Onsen by a quick bus ride. Iizaka Onsen has been a famous hot spring town of Japan for more than 1,000 years. Soak up the rejuvenating waters and history that has inspired countless artists and poets of the past before moving to Nakano Fudoson Temple. Founded some 800 years ago, this famous temple has three minor deities worshipped on the grounds. Find your own inner peace as you take in the cleansing atmosphere and breathe in the culture and history. From Nakano Fudoson Temple, visit Kyu Horikiri-tei, a former residence of the Horikiri family from the Edo Period. Enjoy soaking your feet in the foot bath and taking this calming scenery. You’ll enjoy your time by both relaxing and exploring the past.

Diamond Route Japan

Diamond Route Japan

Seasons on Fukushima

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