Bandai-Azuma Skyline Snow Corridor

Bandai-Azuma Skyline Snow Corridor

The Bandai-Azuma Skyline is a 29-kilometer sightseeing road to the west of Fukushima City. The roadway makes for a lovely drive as it weaves its way through the Azuma Mountain Range, tying together Takayu Onsen and the Tsuchiyu Mountain Pass. It has even been nicknamed “the road that runs across the sky” as it offers such spectacular panoramic views of Fukushima City and the beautiful countryside.

The road opens for the season in early April, coinciding with cherry blossom viewing season in Fukushima City. At Fukushima City's Hanamiyama, you can see the rare combination of cherry blossoms and snow in the course of a single day.

Venue Details

Venue Details
Websitehttps://fukushima-guide.jp/discover/bandai-azuma-skyline/
Contact

Fukushima City Tourism & Convention Association

(+81) 24-563-5554

fukushima.guide@f-kankou.jp

Best Season
  • Spring
ParkingParking is available at Jododaira Rest House.
Related infoThe road is closed during the winter season, from mid-November until mid-April. Best season: The first ten days of April, immediately following the annual reopening of the Bandai-Azuma Skyline. The snow thaws steadily, so it is best to come early.
Access Details
AccessTorikodaira, Chinai, Tsuchiyu Onsen-Machi, Fukushima City, Fukushima Pref.
View directions
Getting there

By Car to the Skyline Takayu Gate: From Fukushima Nishi I.C. exit off the Tohoku Expressway, take Route 115 toward Takayu Onsen for about 25 min. It takes around 30 min to reach the Snow Corridor after passing through the Takayu Gate.

Nearby

The World Glassware Hall
Nature & Scenery

Miharu Takizakura

Miharu is a small town in central Fukushima Prefecture. The town’s name means “three springs” and it is easy to see how it got such a name. With cherry, plum, and peach trees blossoming in spectacular displays every spring, it is almost as if spring has tripled! But the most famous of the trees in Miharu is the Miharu Takizakura tree, which is a nationally recognized Natural Monument. Over ten centuries old, the beautiful Miharu Takizakura is a flowering cherry tree that spreads out in all directions and makes for a breathtaking vista. The cascading blankets of blossoms are how this tree got the name takizakura, or “waterfall cherry tree.” It is even one of the “three great cherry trees” of Japan (along with Usuzumizakura in Gifu and the Jindaizakura in Yamanashi Prefecture). Miharu Takizakura sits in a sakura hollow in order to protect it from the elements while providing excellent drainage. The heavy boughs of the tree are supported by wooden beams and lend to its elegant form. The Miharu Takizakura begins blooming from mid-April. During the day the sight is whimsical, but visit in the evening and you’ll be treated to an almost haunting beauty as the tree is illuminated. Aside from this huge cherry tree (over 12 meters tall and 18 to 22 meters in spread), the area is also blessed with various wildflowers, including cherry and rapeseed flowers. But, of course, the Miharu Takizakura is what the annual 200,000 visitors are there to see. The view from the base of the sakura is considered to be the most beautiful and the Miharu Takizakura often ranks as the best sakura tree in all of Japan.

The World Glassware Hall
Local Foods

Himonoya Sake Brewery

Fukushima’s sake is renowned across Japan, and Nihonmatsu is known in particular as a region with great sake production and high-grade sake producers. Using water from Mt. Adatara, the sake of the area is characterized by a mellow taste and is popular with sake lovers around the world. Himonoya Sake Brewery was established in 1874 and specializes in Senkonari sake; Senkonari is named after the battle standard "Sennari Hyotan (1000 Gourds)" of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the famous military leader and one of the great unifiers of Japan. The sake at Himonoya is a local secret that many outsiders, even Japanese, don’t know about. To get real sake-brewing experience to be sure to visit in the winter on a morning when the sake brewing art begins and most of the day’s tasks are performed. Because Himonoya Sake Brewery operates in a traditional and artisanal manner, it only makes sake during the winter season (a centuries-old rule). The tours and sake tasting offered at this old-fashioned brewery are available by reservation and are a treat to anyone with a taste for Japanese sake, or Nihonshu. These sake brewery tours are free for groups of one to ten people and take only 30 minutes to experience the brewing process. Guests should be legal Japanese drinking age, 20 years old or more, in order to enjoy the free tasting. There are four types of sake to be sampled along the tour, among them Kinpyo is the most highly recommended with its sweet aftertaste it makes an excellent match for Japanese snacks.

The World Glassware Hall
Historical Sites

Mt. Iwatsuno

Mt. Iwatsuno is the name of a hill in Motomiya City which is populated with numerous temples, shrines, carvings, statues, caves, and other ancient things. Mt. Iwatsuno has long been known as a place for Shugendo and other religious training for Buddhist monks from the school of Tendai. One of the most notable of Mt. Iwatsuno's temples is Gankakuji Temple, which was founded in 851. Other highlights include Okunoin, located at the top of Mt. Iwatsuno, which was built in the Kamakura Era, and Bisshamondo, which was rebuilt in the mid-19th century. Mt. Iwatsuno can be explored on foot in around 1 hour, but visitors can easily spend longer if they want to explore all of the hidden treasures the hill has to offer. It's possible for groups to do Zazen meditation on the hillside if visitors contact Mt. Iwatsuno in advance (bookings must be conducted in Japanese).

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Abukuma Cave
Nature & Scenery

Abukuma Cave

A world of mystical beauty created over millions of years, Abukuma Cave is said to have the greatest variety and the largest number of stalactites in the whole of Asia. It takes about an hour to explore the inner world of the cave and the terrain is easy to navigate on foot. Abukuma Cave is a limestone cave that was discovered in 1969. Inside, visitors can walk the 600-meter-long path to explore and view the beautiful cave formations. Visitors can’t help but be impressed by the beauty of these natural creations formed over the course of 80 million years. The largest hall in the cave, called Takine Goten (Takine Hall), and Tsuki no Sekai (The Moon World), is illuminated with dramatic stage lighting and is particularly impressive. Also not to be missed are the rare cave formations called boxwork, you can identify them by their unique shape; thin blades of minerals coming off the walls and ceilings forming a honeycomb or box-like pattern. Abukuma Cave is the only cave in Japan with boxwork that is open to the public. Another notable stop along the cave path is the Christmas Tree and Silver Frost; both are impressive stalagmites that resemble festive holiday trees. The Christmas Tree is over two meters tall and said to be the largest example in all of Asia. There is an additional thrilling adventure course; experience crawling through narrow passages and climbing a ladder to spectacular views over the cave! This 120-meter-long course runs parallel to the main passage, but please note that visitors may have to crawl on their hands and knees at times. When you have finished exploring the mysterious depths and come back to the surface you can find plenty of restaurants and souvenir shops. Visit in mid-June to July to see the neighbouring hillside covered in 50,000 lavender plants.

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