One-Day Sakura Hunting in Central Fukushima on the Tohoku JR Pass
  • Nature
  • Spring

  • 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).


Fukushima Station

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
  • 60

Drawing thousands of visitors each year, Hanamiyama Park is Fukushima’s flower paradise. You’ll stroll from the foot of the hill to the summit crossing innumerable flower shrubs and trees and contemplate the mountainous city landscape adorned by the blossoms.

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

Komine Castle

  • Central Area
  • 60

Your last stop will be Komine Castle, one of Shirakawa City’s historical gems. This castle was restored in the 1990s following blueprints from the late Edo period. It looks spectacular surrounded by cherry blossoms.

  • Central Area

Finish your day at Shirakawa Station, a short walk away from Komine Castle. If you’ve built an appetite, we recommend visiting “eki no cafe”, the cafe at the station, which has a retro ambiance, or trying the famous shirakawa ramen.


Shirakawa Station

Other Trips

Onsen & Sightseeing in Aizu by Train
Onsen & Sightseeing in Aizu by Train
Onsen & Sightseeing in Aizu by Train

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.