Getting Around Fukushima

Fukushima has so much to offer in the way of sights and activities; and its several train lines, both JR and private, will help you have an easily navigable trip.

Trains

Fukushima Prefecture is well covered by its network of train lines, making getting around simple and efficient.

Main train lines

The JR Ban’etsu line splits into the East Line and West Line from Koriyama Station. This line helps cover most of Fukushima Prefecture and joins to meet many other stations and lines.

  • JR Ban’etsu West Line (Kitakata to Koriyama)
  • JR Ban’etsu East Line (Koriyama to Iwaki)
  • JR Tohoku Shinkansen Line (From Tokyo to Shin-Aomori; with stops in Koriyama and Fukushima)
  • JR Yamagata Shinkansen Line (From Fukushima to Shinjo)
  • JR Tohoku Main Line (From Tokyo; with stops all over Fukushima Prefecture)
  • JR Joban Line (From Shinagawa; with stops in Iwaki and Soma)
  • JR Hitachi-Tokiwa (From Shinagawa to Iwaki)
  • JR Tadami Line (From Aizu-Wakamatsu to Tadami)
  • Aizu Railways Line (From Aizu-Wakamatsu to Aizu Tajima)
  • Nikko Kinugawa/ Aizu Revaty (Tobu Line) (From Asakusa; with stops in Aizu and Tajima)
  • Fukushima Transportation Iizaka Line (From Fukushima to Iizaka Onsen)

Notable train types

Tohoku Shinkansen

Tohoku Shinkansen

The JR Tohoku Shinkansen connects many places to Fukushima Prefecture with ease. Since beginning service in 1982, it has become the longest of the JR East Shinkansen lines. It currently runs from Tokyo to Shin-Aomori Station and has many sightseeing spots along the way. It’s a great option for JR Rail Pass holders to get to Fukushima Prefecture quickly and easily.

Oza Toro View

Oza Toro View

Enjoy the beautiful views of Aizu on the Oza Toro View Train presented by Aizu Railway. From these unique tatami-mat train cars, you can look out the window at the passing scenery from the kotatsu-style seating. Feel closer to nature as the breeze blows through your hair in the open-window cars, popular with children and adults. It’s a particularly incredible feeling as the train passes over ravines and though tunnels.

Tobu Railway Limited Express Revaty

Tobu Railway Limited Express Revaty

Ride the Revaty, an elegant train that uses the styled white of Tokyo Skytree to bring out the natural beauty of the interior wood grain; with soft curves that remind passengers of the Kido and Sumida Rivers, you’ll feel like you’re floating away. Ride in comfort on seats that are an Edo-purple and decorated with inden, an Edo craft. The limited Express fare from Asakusa Station to Aizu-Tajima Station is 2,110 yen.

FruiTea Fukushima

FruiTea Fukushima

It’s time to hop on board the FruiTea Fukushima, a traveling cafe that was created around the concept of enjoying the fresh fruits Fukushima Prefecture has to offer. Enjoy finely crafted desserts and beverages, all made from local Fukushima fruit, including apples, Asian pears, peaches, and grapes. Enjoy a blissful train ride with the taste of fruits.

Pass types

If you’re planning to travel to and fro across Fukushima Prefecture than you’d be best aided by one of the many passes. This will not only make travel easier but will also save you a lot of time at the ticket gate.

Aizu Area

Aizu Gurutto Card (Japanese)

This card, available for adults at 2,600 yen and children at 1,300 yen, gives you unlimited 2-day access within the Aizu region on most of the transportation, including buses. In addition, you can even get a discount at participating tourism, lodging, and restaurants.

Machinaka Tour Bus (Japanese)

Easily identifiable and local installations of the community, these red and blue city buses are an affordable way to travel the city. A one-day pass costs 600 yen for adults and 300 yen for children. Ride either the blue bus (clockwise), Haikara-san; or the red bus (counter-clockwise), Akabee, for easy transportation around the city.

Aizu Castle Town Tour Free Bus Ticket (Japanese)

The Aizu Castle Town Tour Free Bus Ticket combines the Machinaka Tour Bus one-day ticket with additional routes on the Machinaka North, South, and West Cycles. It has convenient access to Nishiwakamatsu Station while only being 100 yen more!

Aizu Free Ticket (Japanese)

For those traveling between Aizu and Nikko, consider the affordable Aizu Free Ticket which covers either the Wakamatsu area from Nishiwakamatsu Station or the MinamiAizu area from Yunokami Onsen Station--both terminating at Tobu Nikko Station. Prices for this unlimited 2-day ticket start at 4,120 yen.

Aizu Tobu Free Pass (Japanese)

With three free-ride zones to choose from the 4-day Aizu Tobu Free Pass is a great value. The three zones include fares from Shimo-Imaichi to Tobu Nikko/Kitakata Station; from Shimo-Imaichi to Tobu-Nikko/ Ashinomaki-Onsen Station; or Shimo-Imaichi to Tobu-Nikko/Aizu-Tajima Station.

Urabandai Area

Lake Sugawara Bus “Mori no Kumasan” Free Ticket (Japanese)

Drive past some great sights in the Urabandai area, including the five-colored lakes. The “Mori-no-Kumasan” Free Ticket offers two routes, each valid for 1 day.

Aizu Gurutto Card (Japanese)

This card, available for adults at 2,600 yen and children at 1,300 yen, gives you unlimited 2-day access within the Aizu region on most of the transportation, including buses. In addition, you can even get a discount at participating tourism, lodging, and restaurants.

Ouchi-juku Area

Aizu Railway & Retro Bus Discount Ticket (Japanese)

Make some great savings when you get the Aizu Railway and Retro Bus Discount Ticket. This ticket combines service for both the railway and the bus. The ticket is valid for two days and offers some great sights along the way.

Tsuchiyu Onsen Area

Fukushima Station to Tsuchiyu Onsen Kotsu Bus Free Ticket (Japanese)

For those staying at the Tsuchiyu Onsen, consider this great free ticket which is sold as either a 2-day or 3-day pass. Board at any station between Fukushima Station and the onsen facilities, even receive special discounts are various facilities.

Buses

Fukushima is well-connected by bus, with most regions accessible by daily bus services.

External links

Rental Cars

Rent a car easily in Japan and head to your destination without worry. The Tohoku Expressway Pass is a special service that allows for unlimited use of Tohoku expressways at a flat rate via the ETC system! Be sure to rent a designated ETC card with a vehicle.

Taxis

There are many amazing spots in Fukushima Prefecture that are difficult to visit by public transportation alone. Using a taxi makes visiting some of the prefecture’s more out-of-the-way destinations much easier. Some quick pointers to remember:

  1. Carry enough cash in case the taxi doesn’t accept credit cards or ask before entering.
  2. Tipping isn’t necessary as the exemplary service is included in the fare.
  3. Ask staff at a hotel, station, or sightseeing spot to call a taxi for you if you can’t find one.
  4. Put your hand out for an empty taxi, displaying the lit up 空車 sign, to get them to stop for you.
  5. Ask for the destination by name or Japanese address--one great tip is to look the place up on Wikipedia and then change the language setting to Japanese.
  6. If you’re stopping for a short time, ask the taxi to come back after a certain amount of time.
  7. For an exciting time, try a drift taxi from the Ebisu Circuit in Fukushima.

See our video guide on getting a taxi in Fukushima.