Ultimate Fukushima Prefecture Road Trip
- 9 destinations
- Multi day
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!
Mt. Azuma Kofuji is about 1 hour's drive from Fukushima Sta.View directions
- Central Area
Drive an additional 40 min to get on to the Bandai-Azuma Lake LineView directions
- Central Area
Drive for around 20 min to reach the Goshiki-numa Ponds.View directions
- Aizu Area
There are places to dip in an onsen / stay the night between a 5 min drive and a 15 min drive from Goshiki-numa Ponds.
- Aizu Area
It takes about 1 hour to reach Tsurugajo Castle from Urabandai.View directions
- Aizu Area
Sazaedo Temple is a 15 min drive from Tsurugajo Castle.View directions
- Aizu Area
Higashiyama Onsen is a 10 min drive from Sazaedo Temple.View directions
- Aizu Area
Ouchi-juku is a 50 min drive from central Aizu-Wakamatsu City.View directions
- Aizu Area
The To-no-hetsuri Crags are accessible by car, approximately 20 minutes from Ouchi-jukuView directions
- Aizu Area
Returning by car to Shin-Shirakawa Sta. will take around 50 min from To-no-hetsuri Crags.View directions
Must See Sights of Fukushima:Halal Friendly Model Route
Including halal friendly information! This is a two-day model course by public transportation and rental car that takes you through breathtaking nature to the historic post town of Ouchi-juku and Tsurugajo Castle, home of the once mighty Aizu samurai clan! Information about halal restaurants and lodgings is available at the bottom of this page. From Tokyo to Fukushima, you can conveniently use the Shinkansen bullet train or the Tobu Liberty train that leaves from Asakusa station. From the terminus at Aizu Tajima Station, you can easily hire a cab that offers a full-day plan to get to the historic Ouchi-juku and nearby Aizu-Wakamatsu City. On the first day, you will visit Ouchi-juku, where you can experience the historical charm of the Edo period, followed by the castle town of the former Aizu clan, Tsurugajo Castle in Aizu-Wakamatsu City. On the second day, get a taste for the rich nature of Tohoku. From Aizu-Wakamatsu Station, you can rent a car and drive towards the Urabandai area. Goshiki-numa, located in Bandai Asahi National Park, is a beautiful natural park named after its five colored lakes and ponds, which appear to change colors depending on the light at different times or day and seasons. Hop into a rowboat and paddle around to admire the carp swimming around in the crystal-clear waters of the lake. There is a trail that takes you around the Goshiki-numa area, where you can appreciate the hues of the various ponds. If you happen to be visiting in the fall, you will be blown away by the spectacular array of autumn leaves in their stunning gradients of red and gold. Finally, be sure to go fruit picking so that you can taste the delicious flavors of Japanese fruits at the end of your trip. HALAL-friendly Restaurant ※Reservations required [Japanese Restaurant] Kissui Restaurant Aizu-Wakamatsu City "Halal / VG Requests OK / Reservations required" http://aizu-kissui.jp [Chinese Restaurant] Hotel Hamatsu / Shaga Chinese Restaurant Koriyama City https://www.hotel-hamatsu.co.jp HALAL-friendly accommodations ※Reservations required ・Yosikawaya Iizaka Onsen Ryokan http://www.yosikawaya.com/ ・Inawashiro Rising Sun Hotel (Villa Inawashiro) https://www.villa.co.jp/ ・Bandai Lakeside Guesthouse Kitashiobara Village https://www.bandai.ski/ Taxi ・Minamiaizu Kanko（Hire a Taxi for 2-hour or 4-hour flat rate plan） https://www-minamiaizu-co-jp.translate.goog/tour/index.php?_x_tr_sl=ja&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=ja Rent a Car ・Eki Rent-a-car https://www.ekiren.co.jp/phpapp/en/
Autumn Colors of Fukushima
Spend a couple of beautiful days admiring the colors of autumn in Fukushima from the comfort of your car. You will love zooming around the prefecture and seeing all that autumn has to offer. With some of the best autumn vistas in the prefecture right outside your window, be sure to have your camera at the ready. Rent a car at Fukushima Station, and make your way down the picturesque Bandai-Azuma Skyline where you’ll see trees and mountainous views on either side. The colors of autumn will surround you like a cozy blanket and you will definitely want to take it slow to enjoy these brilliant leaves. Drive the mountain road down to the Bandai-Azuma Lake Line and admire the reflections of the autumnal trees on the surface of the beautiful waters. Take in the panorama of colors and nature in this tranquil setting before moving on to the next amazing site. Visit the fascinating Goshiki-numa Ponds that change color throughout the day; admire the various shades of these volcano-created ponds. Finish your crimson leaf tour of Fukushima at To-no-hetsuri Crags where you can drink up the gorgeous vista of trees against the stony edifice before heading back to Shin-Shirakawa Station and ending your trip.
Aizu Gourmet Day Tour
Bring an empty stomach to this one-day tour of Aizu cuisine and drink! This wonderful tour can be enjoyed any time of the year, making it an exceptional choice to add into your existing travel plans for the area. Travel by train, local bus, and taxi to reach your destinations and let your appetite lead you to your goal! How many new foods will be added to your favorites? Leave from Kitakata Station to try Fukushima’s famous Kitakata ramen for an early lunch at the popular Shokudo Hasegawa. The gentle flavor of the broth lends itself especially well to the ramen’s toppings and the texture of the homemade noodles. Kitakata Ramen is one of the most famous types of ramen in Japan, and Kitakata City is crowded with shops and diners, with Hasegawa being a popular spot to dine! From there, travel to Aizu-Wakamatsu Station, where you will have easy access to many of the most wonderful sightseeing spots of the region—but you’re here for food and drink! You’ll go on to Suehiro Sake Brewery where you can learn how the drink is made and—at the end of the tour—enjoy a wide variety of free samples (so long as you aren’t driving). Finally, head over to Mitsutaya and treat yourself to some of their delicious hearth-roasted skewers. The flavors will melt in your mouth and warm you up should it prove a cold day. Finish off back at Aizu-Wakamatsu Station with a full stomach and plenty of memories.
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.