Lake Inawashiro No. 1 Tadami Bridge View Spot

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Your journey to Fukushima starts here. From historical sites to outdoor activities, find something new that matches your interest.

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.

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.

Kura Café Sen no Hana
Cultural Experiences

Kura Café Sen no Hana

The Kura Café Sen no Hana is located on the grounds on Kunitaya Miso Factory in a remodeled kura (storehouse). Try the local flavors of Fukushima cuisine with their lovely lunch items featuring locally Nihonmatsu-produced miso and soy sauce. There are also many other menu items to appreciate, such as amazake, Mongolian-style tea, and coffee. The inside of the shop is also calming and decorated with local pressed flowers. Open from 11am to 6pm (with a break from 2 to 3pm), the Kura Café Sen no Hana is sure to give your taste buds a treat. Their fair prices and delicious cuisine make them popular with locals and visitors alike. The amazake, a nonalcoholic drink made from koji, or fermentation starter, is popular with guests. As for food, the zaku zaku soup is a traditional soup of chunky cubed vegetables which is eaten on special occasions like festivals and ceremonies, it is a famous Nihonmatsu specialty. But if you’re wanting to go for dinner, make sure you’re there before last order at 5:30pm (4:30pm on Sundays). Next door to the Kura Cafe Sen no Hana, guests can also visit the Kunitaya Miso Factory. The red-wood lattice of the exterior is especially attractive. In addition to the tours, the Factory also sells miso, soy sauce, and koji which is used to make Fukushima’s famous sagohachi pickles. All the products for sale are made at the Kunitaya Miso Factory and use pure water from Mt. Adatara and locally grown ingredients. It’s a great way to get the fresh flavors of Fukushima Prefecture. There are also seasonal products available, so be sure to have a look!

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

The Famous Sights of Aizu
The Famous Sights of Aizu
The Famous Sights of Aizu
Culture

The Famous Sights of Aizu

Spend a day traveling to the most famous sights of the Aizu region of Fukushima by train. Begin your trip in Kitakata City, famous for its delicious ramen, sake made from the best quality mountain water, and traditional Japanese crafts. Specializing in the local Kitakata-style, there are more than 100 ramen shops in the area—the most per capita in the world! Kitakata is also famous for horse-drawn carriage tours and the city center where over 4,200 traditional kurazashiki storehouses remain or have been converted into inns, shops, and breweries. You can even visit the local ramen shrine of Kitakata that doubles as a ramen museum. Learn all about this famous and much beloved food. From the Kitakata Ramen Museum travel to Tsurugajo Castle, famed for its beautiful red tiles and the tragic history of the Byakkotai samurai brigade. After a brush with history, move on to the charming shopping street of Nanokamachi-dori Street. There are plenty of wonders and shops for you to explore in the area. Take a few hours to find souvenirs and take photos. You'll be spoiled by the sights and wonder of everything that Aizu has to offer you.

Fukushima Ski Tour
Fukushima Ski Tour
Adventure

Fukushima Ski Tour

Appreciate the brisk cold of Fukushima’s winter with this 2-day winter sport and hot spring extravaganza. You will get your fill of active winter sports and then be able to spend a relaxing time in a hot spring on this winter trip. Leave from Koriyama Station and head for Hoshino Resorts Nekoma Snow Park & Resort. It’s the perfect place for newcomers or veterans to skiing. Be treated to the luxury of the beautiful snowy slopes and get ready to experience any of the ski tours that this stunning resort has to offer. If you are feeling even more adventurous why not try out their rich variety of terrain or a spot of snowboarding? After you are done hitting the slopes, head over to Urabandai Onsen town and soak in the enriching hot spring waters to relax your mind and muscles. Many onsen hotel or ryokan offer a brilliant view of the area, especially at those with outdoor baths! Be sure to breathe in the cold winter air while your body remains immersed in the steamy waters. You will love this winter trip that celebrates both action and relaxation. So, get out there and have an adventure!   Check out the other ski resorts in Fukushima Prefecture to find one that's a perfect fit.

Historical Samurai Tour
Historical Samurai Tour
Historical Samurai Tour
Samurai

Historical Samurai Tour

Enjoy this one-day trip around Aizu-Wakamatsu City, made possible thanks to the local city sightseeing buses that drive between the major sightseeing spots in the city. No matter what time of the year you decide to visit Fukushima, the Aizu-Wakamatsu area is sure to entrance you with its many sights and attractions. See Mt. Iimoriyama, where the Byakkotai samurai brigade tragically took their lives after the supposed fall of their lord and castle. Visit Sazaedo Temple with its double-helix shaped interior and wonder at the peace and tranquility of the temple grounds and history. Move onto Aizu Bukeyashiki where this expansive samurai household has been well-preserved for visitors to walk through and imagine life as it was. Guests will enjoy this scenic home with its lovely gardens. Compare these gardens with those at Tsurugajo Castle and walk the grounds of this majestic castle. Visit the exhibits inside the castle and learn more about the Byakkotai boys, and the fascinating samurai history of the Aizu region. Finally, Nanokamachi-dori Street will welcome you with its charming rustic buildings and shopping sites; wander the narrow streets to find some truly wonderful hidden gems. Finish your day back at Aizu-Wakamatsu Station.  

Ouchi-juku Gourmet Tour
Ouchi-juku Gourmet Tour
Ouchi-juku Gourmet Tour
Food

Ouchi-juku Gourmet Tour

Have a gourmet adventure in Ouchi-juku, Aizu. The Aizu area of Fukushima Prefecture is known for its eclectic and delicious foods, not to mention the absolutely fantastic scenery. Enjoy this one-day itinerary that you can do at any time of year by public transport. Walk your way through Ouchi-juku and admire the local sights and cuisine. You’ll arrive at Ouchi-juku by bus from Yunokami Onsen Station. The unique architecture will be a feast for your eyes but the real feasting will begin once you arrive at Misawaya. At Misawaya, you can experience any of the three amazing shops; take a lunch of authentic buckwheat noodles, called soba, or try some of the local Japanese sake, or if alcohol isn’t your thing, why not enjoy a refreshing cup of hot green tea? Refresh yourself at Misawaya and then venture out to Honke Kanouya. While there might not be much to munch on at Honke Kanouya, you can instead please your other senses with the local handicrafts of the area. Find some delightful souvenirs to take home. Finish off your visit just around the corner from Honke Kanouya; here you’ll find Sabo Yamadaya Café, a lovely café that fully displays the charms of the Aizu region in their décor and food. You should definitely try some of their snow-cured coffee (yukimuro coffee) while you’re there!

Diamond Route Japan

Diamond Route Japan

Seasons on Fukushima

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