Onsen & Sightseeing in Aizu by Train
- All Year
- 6 destinations
- Multi day
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.
From Aizu-Wakamatsu Sta., it takes 30 min to reach Tsurugajo Castle by sightseeing loop bus, or around 12 min by taxi.View directions
- Aizu Area
Tsurugajo Castle to Nanokamachi-dori Street takes 20 min by sightseeing loop bus, or 10 min by taxi.View directions
- Aizu Area
From Nanokamachi-dori Street, reach Higashiyama Onsen in 40 min by sightseeing loop bus, or around 15 min by taxi.View directions
- Aizu Area
Harataki sits along the main road of the Higashiyama Onsen area.View directions
- Aizu Area
Take a bus from Higashiyama Onsen back to Aizu-Wakamatsu Sta. and travel to Yunokami Onsen Sta.; from there take the sightseeing bus to Ouchi-juku. The trips takes 2 hours.View directions
- Aizu Area
Get back to Yunokami Onsen town from Ouchi-juku by bus (takes around 20 min).View directions
- Aizu Area
It takes around 60 min to reach Aizu-Wakamatsu Sta. from Yunokami Onsen by train.View directions
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.
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.
Explore the Heights of Aizu
It’s time to visit the dizzying heights of Aizu on this one-day tour that can be enjoyed any time of the year. Travel by train to Aizu-Wakamatsu Station and make your way for Michi-no-Eki Ozekaido Mishima-juku (Roadside Station). At this countryside road stop, you’ll find snacks, local handicrafts and produce galore, not to mention fantastic paulownia wood crafts. Be sure to pick some up. From Michi-no-Eki Ozekaido Mishima-juku (Roadside Station), take a short 10-minute walk to the lookout point for the Tadami Bridge. This is the number one place to look out at the bridge from and you’ll be entranced by the scenery - time your trip right and you might be able to see the Tadami Line train passing over it. The majestic mountains almost seem to hug the bridge and the landmark makes a beautiful contrast against a backdrop of nature. After you’ve finished bridge-watching, head south to ride a ferryboat across a jagged ravine at Mugenkyo no Watashi. The splendor of the natural craggy rocks and trees that cling to them will astound you from your seat at water level. Get a sense of size of these beautiful mountains and cliffs.
Ultimate Fukushima Prefecture Road Trip
This trip highlights some of the best Fukushima has to offer and is perfect for those looking to get the most out of the prefecture in a limited time. Take in castles, nature, traditional villages, and more as you treat yourself to local styles of soba and ramen along the way. Renting a car is a must if you want to hit all the spots on this tour. You can take it slow and complete this trip over three days, or skip out an overnight stay in Urabandai area, and do it in two days. Start the day from Fukushima Station with a scenic drive to the the beautiful Urabandai region. We recommend taking the Bandai-Azuma Skyline road so that you can enjoy a mountain drive and check out the great sights at Mt. Azuma-Kofuji. From there, take the stunning sightseeing road Azuma-Bandai Lake Line into Urabandai. Explore the Urabandai area, have lunch, go on a walk around the five-colored ponds of Goshiki-numa, and maybe even take a dip in a hot spring or two. Choose whether take it slow and stay the night in Urabandai area, or whether to press on to Aizu-Wakamatsu City. Later that day - or the next morning, depending on your schedule - head into the castle town of Aizu-Wakamatsu City where samurai culture is prevalent. The majestic Tsurugajo Castle offers beautiful views of the surroundings from the keep. Check out the nearby Tsurugajo Kaikan to paint an akabeko or two and maybe have some lunch. Then explore the mysterious Sazaedo Temple and the surrounding Mt. Iimoriyama area. From here, we suggest staying overnight in the city. There are plenty of budget hotels in Aizu-Wakamatsu, but if you are looking for something traditionally Japanese, we recommend looking into lodging at the nearby Higashiyama Onsen hot springs town just east of the city. On the next day prepare to jump into the past with a trip to the Ouchi-juku mountain village. You can spend hours here shopping and eating local foods while walking up and down the street lined with traditional thatched-roof houses. Lastly, head to the To-no-Hetsuri Crags, a natural monument filled with towering cliffs overlooking the Okawa River. Cross the nearby suspension bridge which offers breathtaking views of the surroundings. After getting fully refreshed head back to Shin-Shirakawa station by car, drop off your rental car, and connect back to Tokyo or the next stop on your journey!