The Tadami Line is an incredibly scenic railway that runs across Aizu.
Connecting the bustling samurai city of Aizu-Wakamatsu with the serene, gorgeous countryside of Oku-Aizu, this route is definitely one to try out if you want a chance to see rural Japan at its best.
The Tadami Line is great because it provides a way for visitors to see areas of this beautiful prefecture basically undiscovered by tourists. Riding the train is a fun experience in itself, as is the fact you can hop off and on at any stations you’re interested in visiting.
While being a passenger on the train means you’ll be provided with fantastic, panoramic views of the historic towns which lie on the Tadami Line, getting off at Aizu Miyashita Station, and catching the bus to Mishima Town’s observation points means you can see the train in action, passing over the stunning No. 1 Tadami River Bridge.
No matter what the season, the views along the Tadami Line are absolutely breathtaking.
TOP SIGHTSEEING SPOTS ON THE TADAMI LINE
1. AIZU WAKAMATSU: TSURUGAJO CASTLE
Fukushima’s most well-known castle. Destroyed at the climax of the Boshin War, this reconstruction of the castle serves as a reminder to the people of Fukushima of their history, and the code of honor that has been at the heart of Aizu samurai society.
2. YANAIZU: HISTORIC ENZOJI TEMPLE
Enzoji is a stunning temple with a legendary history, which has sat majestically on top of a cliff edge for over 1300 years. The temple is where the story of the akabeko – the symbol of Fukushima Prefecture began. A red cow is said to have appeared out of nowhere to assist with the building of the temple when all hope seemed to be lost.
3. MISHIMA: NO. 1 TADAMI RIVER BRIDGE VIEW SPOT
The famous viewpoint of Tadami Bridge that crosses over Tadami River. This viewpoint is accessible from a stairway that begins outside Michi-no-Eki Mishima-juku (Roadside Station).
4. KANEYAMA: OSHI VILLAGE LOOKOUT
Known for being one of the only places in Japan where carbonated water occurs naturally, Kaneyama Town is home to not only amazing onsen, but also fantastic view spots, like this one looking out over Oshi Village.
5. TADAMI: BEAUTIFUL SCENERY
Oku-Aizu is definitely the most rural area I’ve been to in Japan. The sight of farmers going about their daily tasks makes you realize that although we get pretty tied up in our fast-paced lives, there is something really special about being surrounded by nature.
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The first stop on the Tadami Line is Aizu-Wakamatsu Station, easily accessible from Tokyo or other areas in Fukushima Prefecture. See here for details about reaching Aizu-Wakamatsu.
Due to part of the railway line being damaged by the earthquake of 3.11, part of the Tadami Line route has been replaced by a bus service between Aizu Kawaguchi Station and Tadami Station. But the buses leave from outside their respective stations, and the bus drivers announce their arrival clearly – so you don’t have to worry about getting the wrong bus!