One-Day Sakura Hunting in Central Fukushima on the Tohoku JR Pass
- Central Area
- 3 destinations
- One Day
This one-day cherry blossom hunting route will take you to two beautiful cherry blossom spots in the central area of Fukushima.
We recommend following this route around mid-April to see the blossoms at their fullest.
You will start your trip from Fukushima Station, from where you’ll visit Hanamiyama park first thing in the morning.
The great variety of flowers at the park (plum blossoms, cherry blossoms, magnolias, azaleas, etc.) means that the park can be enjoyed throughout the year, although it sees most of its visitors between end of March to early April, when the landscape of the delicate blossoms against the snow capped Mt. Azuma signals the beginning of the spring.
This is a wide park and will possibly entail an hour-long hike, if not longer. Bearing this in mind, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothes.
You’ll then go south to Shirakawa City, where you’ll be able to enjoy seeing delicate flowers against the elegant black-and-white Komine Castle.
This itinerary is designed for holders of the Tohoku JR Pass, who will travel between destinations on ‘shinkansen’ bullet trains and local buses (the bullet train fare is covered by the Tohoku JR Pass; the fare for the local buses amounts to an additional fee of approx. 500 yen per person).
It takes 15-20 minutes by bus to get from the Fukushima Station East Exit Bus Stop No. 8 to the Hanamiyama Iriguchi bus stop (you’ll have to walk for approximately 25 minutes from the bus stop to Hanamiyama Park). During the peak cherry blossom season, buses run approximately every 15 to 20 minutes (the bus fare is 480 yen both ways as of February 2023).View directions
- Central Area
From Hanamiyama, take the bus back to Fukushima Station (15-20 min). Using the JR Pass, take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Shin-Shirakawa Station (approx. 32 minutes), and transfer to the JR Tohoku Main Line from Shin-Shirakawa to Shirakawa Station (3 minutes).View directions
- Central Area
- Central Area
Fun Hanami and Aquarium Day Trip With Kids in Iwaki City
Get the entire family on board for a fun one-day road trip! Although this itinerary can be followed any time of the year, only if you do it sometime in early April you’ll get to enjoy the spectacular sight of the cherry blossoms against the pristine blue sea at Misaki Park. Misaki Park, which you’ll visit in the morning, has a long slide and a playground area, as well as wide green hills for children to run and play. From there, it’s time for lunch at Iwaki Lalamew. This shopping complex has a food court where you can indulge in local seafood. There are play areas for children of different ages. Everyone in the family will find something to look forward to! The last stop will be Aquamarine Fukushima, a research aquarium where the little ones will get to meet their favorite marine animals. Apart from being a fun visit, they’ll definitely learn a lot! Aquamarine Fukushima hosts many fun events. Be sure to check their website before your visit if you’d be interested in participating! The three locations are easily accessible by car and have parking areas available.
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.
Onsen & Sightseeing in Aizu by Train
Jump start your vacation in Fukushima’s Aizu region with this multi-day tour, which can be enjoyed at any time of year. These ideas make for great additions to already existing plans, or as a tour of their own. No matter how you decide to use this itinerary, you won’t be disappointed. Travel by train and local bus, or taxi, to enjoy Aizu to the fullest. Begin your adventure at Aizu-Wakamatsu Station (don’t forget to snap some pics of its bowing red akabeko cow out front) and use the local bus or taxi to make your way for Tsurugajo Castle. Walk through the gardens and grounds of this magnificent castle and marvel at the red-tile roof—the only one of its kind in all of Japan. Inside you can tour the castle keep and see the artifacts of Aizu, let history come to life before your eyes. From the castle, travel to Nanokamachi-dori Street; this quaint area has preserved its early-20th century architecture and is now home to souvenir boutiques and many diners and hidden gems. With that being enough for one day’s excitement, head over to Higashiyama Onsen and soak your travel aches away in the hot springs of Harataki ryokan, which even has its own hot spring source. You’ll love taking a dip in these hot, refreshing, and soothing waters—the outside open-air bath is especially recommended. The next day, why not head over to Ouchi-juku, here you can tour an authentic preserved Aizu village and try local cuisine. The whole area gets really busy in winter and, if you’re brave enough to face the cold, the snow festival is a popular event.
A Day of Cherry Blossoms
Enjoy this day-long magical romp through springtime while you travel by train. Leave from the charming Fukushima Station and experience what the prefecture has to offer to lovers of nature and history. Bring your camera and your walking shoes and get ready for a day amongst the flowers of Fukushima. After leaving Fukushima Station, you’ll visit Hanamiyama. This springtime park paradise of flowers will leave you breathless from its beauty. You will fall in love with the hillsides colored in shades of pink, purple, and yellow. See the cherry trees in blossom, along with plum trees and forsythia trees with snow-capped mountains in the background. After Hanamiyama, travel to Nihonmatsu Castle for a time-traveling trip to the past. See the castle grounds and learn about the history of the area all while you enjoy the splendor of spring with the almost two thousand cherry trees in bloom. When you’ve had your fill of nature and history, use the train and head back to Nihonmatsu Station.