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.
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.
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.
Diamond Route (4 days 3 nights)
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.