Lake Inawashiro No. 1 Tadami Bridge View Spot

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Tours in Fukushima

Unique in Fukushima

Lake Inawashiro
Nature & Scenery

Lake Inawashiro

Japan's fourth-largest freshwater lake, Lake Inawashiro is situated in Bandai Asahi National Park. It is also known as the “Heavenly Mirror Lake” and has a surface area of 104 square kilometers! The combination of Lake Inawashiro and Mt. Bandai form one of Aizu's representative landscapes. And being less than three hours from Tokyo by shinkansen and local train means that you have easy access from a major transport hub. The lake offers year-round fun. Enjoy cherry blossoms in spring at Iwahashi Shrine, one of Aizu’s five famous cherry trees. Summer at Lake Inawashiro is slightly cooler than the rest of Fukushima, so take advantage of camping by the lakeshore, and a wide variety of marine sports. Colored leaves and hikes are the popular thing to do in autumn, view the fiery hues and take in the crisp air. In winter, visitors can enjoy fresh powder snow and winter thrills in the form of skiing and snowboarding; and you can even catch a glimpse of migrating swans on the shores. It’s truly a beauty no matter when you decide to visit. There are also a wide range of scenic spots from where visitors can take photographs and soak in the view. It’s a great place to escape from the stress of work and life or just to experience Japanese nature and landscapes. Lake Inawashiro's size means that it is accessible from a number of sightseeing spot, including Tenkyokaku stately house and Hideo Noguchi Memorial Museum (a museum dedicated to the life and work of a Japanese scientist famous for his research on yellow fever). There’s plenty more to do nearby: view some amazing works by international artists at the Morohashi Museum of Modern Art, or visit the rainbow-colored Goshiki-numa Ponds.

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.

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.

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Trips in Fukushima

Inawashiro's Nature and Spirituality
Inawashiro's Nature and Spirituality
Nature

Inawashiro's Nature and Spirituality

Feeling a little tired of high-pace tours that are taking you this way and that? Why not slow down and enjoy the nature of Inawashiro and get in a side of spiritual cleansing while you’re at it? That’s exactly what this one-day side trip is for. Experience Inawashiro at a pace that suits you, during spring, summer, or autumn. You can travel minimally by train and bus to take away the stress of having to drive. Start out at Inawashiro Station and make your way to Lake Inawashiro. This lake is the 4th largest in Japan and its pristine, sparkling surface will definitely ease your worries away. Let yourself be transported into the heart of beautiful nature. Take advantage of everything that the lake has to offer; water sports, camping, and fishing are among the popular things to do here. So just relax and breathe in that fresh, crisp air. From Lake Inawashiro, gain even more solitude and clarity at Hanitsu Shrine. This beautiful shrine is especially lovely in autumn when the crimson leaves blanket the grounds. You’ll have an experience of introspection all to yourself as you walk the quiet shrine grounds.

A Snowshoe Winter Frolic
A Snowshoe Winter Frolic
Adventure

A Snowshoe Winter Frolic

Explore a winter wonderland in the Urabandai area. Not feeling up to skiing the slopes of Urabandai? Try a more casual activity that everyone can enjoy; snowshoe trekking through the wintery scenery of Urabandai in Aizu. Take a taxi from Inawashiro Station to Moku-Moku Shizen Juku. It is here that your authentic snowshoe trekking tour will begin. Walk along the snowy paths and see sights not offered by other sightseeing tours in the area. See winter up close and even chance to walk upon frozen lakes or ponds—with the guidance of your travel guide. What sort of animal tracks will you be able to spot along the way as you trek through the fresh snow? Feel the uncharted course of Aizu wilderness. Now that you have become accustomed to the Aizu winter, let’s try some skiing or snowboarding at Hoshino Resorts Nekoma Snow Park & Resort! With slopes for beginners or veterans, you will love everything that Hoshino Resorts Nekoma Snow Park & Resort has to offer. There are a number of facilities that offer snowshoe trekking experiences in the Urabandai area.

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.

Refreshing Fruits and Waters of Fukushima
Refreshing Fruits and Waters of Fukushima
Refreshing Fruits and Waters of Fukushima
Culture

Refreshing Fruits and Waters of Fukushima

It’s time to be refreshed by the fresh fruits and hot waters of Fukushima City. This one-day itinerary can be experienced any time of the year. Catch a taxi from Fukushima Station and head out to Marusei Orchard. Here you’ll be able to pick fresh, juicy fruit already ripe for the eating. Eat all you can, and fill up on Fukushima’s best fruits. After you’ve had your fill of fruit, take a taxi to Iizaka Onsen. This hot spring area is famous in Japan for being one of the best in the area. After dipping your feet in the foot bath at Kyu Horikiri-tei, head over to Hanamomo no Yu (Hotel Juraku's onsen facility), soak in the hot, hot waters, and let your stress just melt away. You’re definitely in for a treat at all of these wonderful places and you’ll leave full and satisfied, not to mention warm and relaxed. It’s truly a rejuvenation for mind and body!

Diamond Route Japan

Diamond Route Japan

Seasons on Fukushima

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