Lake Inawashiro Aquamarine Fukushima

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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

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.

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!

Komine Castle
Historical Sites

Komine Castle

Shirakawa Castle (Komine Castle) was heavily damaged during the Boshin War (also known as the Meiji Restoration), and was restored in the 1990s. Komine Castle's restoration marked the first time in over 120 years that a restoration had been attempted on a triple turret (yagura) structure. Blueprints from the late Edo Period were used as references for the repair of this structure. As a result of using these blueprints, it was possible to restore the castle almost exclusively using wood construction techniques. This amazing architecture, along with the extraordinary techniques used to make the stone wall around the castle, make this castle extremely special. There is also an exhibition hall on site.

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).

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Trips in Fukushima

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!

Samurai Spirit Experience
Samurai Spirit Experience
Samurai Spirit Experience
Samurai

Samurai Spirit Experience

Discover the spirit of the Japanese samurai on this one-day tour of samurai history in the beautiful Aizu region of Fukushima. Feel the history of the past come to life all around you as you experience the places where samurai once walked. This tour can be enjoyed any time of the year and with the ease of trains and buses in the area, you’ll be well on your way to living the samurai life. Leave from Aizu-Wakamatsu Station and journey to Tsurugajo Castle. The red-tile roof of Tsurugajo Castle is one of a kind. Stroll through the gardens before heading inside the keep to see the artifacts of history. After you’ve finished at the castle, make your way to Aizu Hanko Nisshinkan, the premier school for young samurai of the time. This is where the fledgling samurai received training and education. See what it took for a boy to grow into a samurai. Then move to Aizu Bukeyashiki, the 28-room sprawling estate that once belonged to a samurai family of the region. The preserved estate showcases everyday samurai life as well as some stunning artifacts and gardens. You will be thrilled every step of the way through your trek into the past and your adventure into discovering the soul of the samurai.  

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.

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.

Diamond Route Japan

Diamond Route Japan

Seasons on Fukushima

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