Diamond Route (4 days 3 nights)

  • 12 destinations
  • Multi day

Have you ever wanted to take a cross-prefecture tour of Japan, from Tokyo to the impeccable countryside of Fukushima? Well, now is your chance to travel from the international hub of Tokyo and see what else Japan and—especially—Fukushima have to offer. Enjoy this cross-country tour of Japan any time of the year, over the span of a few days so that you can enjoy things at your pace. You’ll find life outside of Tokyo goes at a much slower pace.
Start your trip from Tokyo Station and ride a short distance to Asakusa. See one of the busiest shrine-and-temple locations in Tokyo. You’ll love the bustling atmosphere and the street stalls with their many trinkets and souvenirs. Once you’ve finished in Asakusa, head out of the city and make your way for Tochigi Prefecture’s Nikko. Nikko is perhaps most famous for the three monkey statues that people equate with “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil”. You’ll see these wonderful statues and more while you stop over in Nikko. From there, travel north to Higashiyama Onsen and enjoy the sights form the train along the way. Higashiyama Onsen is Fukushima’s home to some truly great hot springs and Japanese-style inns. Soak up the hot waters and relax your tired muscles.
At Tsuruga-jo Castle, you can walk the pristine gardens and enjoy the castle grounds. Be sure to make note of the red-roof tiles of the castle as well, this is the only castle in Japan that boasts having these deep-red tiles. Inside the castle keep, discover the history of the Aizu samurai through the many exhibits and displayed artifacts. Make your way to Nanokamachi-dori Street and admire the local architecture, which is quite different than that from the rest of the area. Search out local hidden gems along the narrow streets and find the perfect souvenir to take home. Enjoy your time in Tokyo, Tochigi, and Fukushima like never before with this route.
 

Start

Tokyo Station

Ouchi-juku

  • Aizu Area

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.

FromOuchi-juku,To-no-hetsuri Crags is a 20min taxi ride.

To-no-hetsuri Crags

  • Aizu Area

A national natural monument, To-no-hetsuri Crags consists of tower-shaped cliffs overlooking Okawa River. Hetsuri is an Aizu word meaning "a cliff overlooking a river" or "a steep slope" in the local dialect. These strange-shaped cliffs are thought to be made of various types of rocks formed around 28 million years ago and feature deep cracks along the vertical joints. Thanks to trees growing between the white multi-layered rocks the view in autumn is quite spectacular. In spring and summer, the lush greens create a beautiful carpet down the rocks; in winter, the heavy snows make To-no-hetsuri Crags look otherworldly.

FromTo-no-hetsuri Crags, Higashiyama Onsen is a 1-and-a-half-hour train and Bus ride.

View directions

Higashiyama Onsen

  • Aizu Area

Higashiyama Onsen is a quaint hot springs resort on a hill just east of Aizu-Wakamatsu. There are numerous hotels, ryokans, and shops along with a beautiful river. There are many traditional ryokan to choose from, such as Makaitaki or Harataki. These classic Japanese-style accommodation often have baths near the river and beautiful gardens.

From Higashiyama Onsen,Aizu Bukeyashiki is 5min and Bus ride.

Aizu Bukeyashiki (Samurai Residence)

  • Aizu Area

Aizu Bukeyashiki (Samurai Residence) is an historical open-air museum where visitors can learn about the history of Aizu and sample some of the specialty products of Fukushima.

FromAizu Bukeyashiki, Mt. Iimoriyama is 15min and Bus ride.

Mt. Iimoriyama

  • Aizu Area

Known for its tragic history as the place where the 19 members of the Byakkotai (asquad of teenage samurai warriors) took their own lives upon gazing down at their castle in flames during the Boshin civil war. Their gravestones now stand here. Mt. Iimori is also home to Sazaedo, a designated Important Cultural Property, and other historic spots of Aizu-Wakamatsu.

It's about 25 minutes Bus ride from Mt.Iimoriyama to Tsuruga-jo Castle.

Tsurugajo Castle

  • Aizu Area

Tsuragajo Castle, also known as Aizu-Wakamatsu Castle, is arguably Tohoku’s most impressive castle remembered for its role in Japan’s civil war, when it was one of the last remaining samurai strongholds. The castle was fully rebuilt in the 1960s and houses an interesting history museum within the keep. The grounds of Tsuruga-jo are an excellent place to catch Tohoku’s cherry blossoms in mid-April and the view from atop the outer walls is particularly impressive.

It's a 10-minute taxi ride from Tsuruga-jo Castle to nanokamachi-dori Street.

View directions

Nanokamachi-dori Street

  • Aizu Area

This historic street in Aizu-Wakamatsu City is known for its traditional buildings, local crafts, and Japanese antique goods. This is a highly recommended location for souvenir shopping (yukata, kimono, etc.) and for those looking to get involved, you can paint your own candles or lacquerware, both popular crafts in the region.

It's a 1 hour taxi or car ride from nanokamachi-dori Street to Kyukamura Urabandai.

Kyukamura Urabandai

  • Aizu Area

Kyukamura Urabandai has it all: western-style hotel rooms, Japanese tatami rooms, open-air baths, tennis courts, an extensive campsite, and more. In fact, Kyukamura Urabandai boasts 5 camping areas, which include fixed sites where guests can camp and enjoy a barbeque without bringing any equipment or food.

It's a 5 min taxi or car ride from Kyukamura Urabandai to Goshiki-numa Ponds.

Goshiki-numa Ponds

  • Aizu Area

This is the most popular out of the 19 mountain climbing and hiking courses in Urabandai. With little variation in elevation, this hike can be enjoyed in 1.5 hours.

It's a 30 min taxi ride from Goshiki-numa Ponds to Bandai-Azuma Skyline.

Bandai-Azuma Skyline

  • Central Area
  • 2

This sightseeing road that runs from Fukushima City's Takayu Onsen to the Tsuchiyu Pass, commanding panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.The spectacular views that stretch out at an average altitude of 1,350 meters attract visitors time and time again, and Bandai-Azuma Skyline has been selected as one of the 100 Best Roads in Japan.

It's a 15 min taxi or car ride from Jododaira Visitor Center to Takayu Onsen.

Takayu Onsen

  • Central Area
  • 60

This famous hot spring area is located at an altitude of approximately 750 meters, which is why it’s called 'taka-yu' ('taka' means 'high-up' and 'yu' means 'hot spring'). Located on the slopes of the Azuma mountain range, Takayu Onsen area was once known as “Shinobu Takayu” and, together with Zao Takayu and Shirabu Takayu, prospered as one of three Takayu in what was once known as the northern Ou region.

"From Fukushima Station, take a bus heading to Iwaki from Fukushima Station East Exit. It will take around 2 hours. From Iwaki Station, take the Hitachi-Tokiwa Line train to Izumi Station. From Izumi Station, take a bus from the east exit, heading to Onahama 小名浜 or Ena 江名. It will take 15 minutes. Get off at Shiyaku Iriguchi (支所入口). From there, Aquamarine Fukushima is a 10 minute walk. (Alternatively, take a taxi for 13 min from Izumi Station)"

Aquamarine Fukushima

  • Coastal Area

Aquamarine Fukushima is an aquarium based on the theme of the Pacific Ocean current rips, a characteristic of the ocean scenery you'll find in Fukushima. With a museum of science, a botanical garden and more, the facility also functions as an educational establishment where you'll find exhibitions recreating the same environments seen in nature. Inside the facility, visitors can take part in hands-on programs such as workshops and backyard tours, as well as enjoy outdoor facilities where you'll be barefoot and interacting with living creatures.

This route is recommended to return to Tokyo after Aquamarine by stopping at the Hitachi Seaside Park, Michinoeki, Hitachi Osakana Center (Hitachi Fish Market) in Ibaraki prefecture.

View directions
Finish

Tokyo Station

Other Trips

The Coast of Fukushima
The Coast of Fukushima
The Coast of Fukushima
Adventure

The Coast of Fukushima

Refresh yourself along the coast of Fukushima with this one-day plan, which includes three of Iwaki's best spots. You can enjoy these places any time of the year, so it’s perfect to fit into your pre-existing travel plans. Start out at Iwaki Station and make your way down to Aquamari...

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...

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 ...

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 Festiva...