Plan your trip

The following resources will assist you in planning your trip to Fukushima Prefecture. From reaching Fukushima from other parts of Japan and basic access information about moving between cities, to some cultural guides to inspire your travel plans, find what you need in this section.

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Fukushima in Detail

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Browse our selection of tourism guides and pamphlets – available in PDF format and free to download

Useful Information

  1. Useful Information

    2023 Autumn Festivals in Fukushima: Dates & Times

    As the heat of summer fades and the cool autumn breeze sets in, Fukushima Prefecture is energized with its autumn festivals. Travelers who visit from late September to Mid-November get to enjoy both breathtaking foliage and rich cultural festivities. Here are some of the festivals scheduled for the fall of 2023:Aizu Festival (Aizu-Wakamatsu City)This is one of the main events in the Aizu area. It features a procession of horseback riders dressed in samurai attire, parades, sword performances, and more. In Japanese: 会津まつり Place: Tsurugajo Castle & other locations in Aizu-Wakamatsu City. Date: September 22 (Friday), 2023: Lantern Procession, Aizu-Mt. Bandai Dance September 23 (Saturday), 2023: Thanksgiving Ceremony for Ancestors, Procession of Aizu Domain Lords, Aizu-Mt. Bandai Dance September 24 (Sunday), 2023: Nisshinkan Children’s Parade, Drum and Fife Corps Parade Time: Varies depending on the event Tickets/Cost: Free to attend, but there might be a parking feeIf you are interested in participating in the parade, consider trying the SAMURAI CITY AIZU Special Program: Aizu Clan Lord Procession & Samurai Experience. The Kengido Samurai Experience is also scheduled for the same weekend as the Aizu Festival. Iizaka Kenka Matsuri (Fukushima City)Iizaka Onsen Town’s main yearly event is an exciting ‘fighting’ festival! Apart from taiko drums and food stalls, what makes this festival unique is the 'yatai' festival stalls that are fiercely pushed against each other as contending groups (each representing a different area of the town) try to get their mikoshi (portable shrine) into the Hachiman Shrine grounds first. More information about this festival and travel ideas in Iizaka Onsen. In Japanese: 飯坂けんか祭り Place: Hachiman Shrine. Click here for directions to Iizaka Onsen by train from Fukushima Station Date: October 6 (Friday) to October 8 (Sunday), 2023. Time: Varies depending on the event. The main event will be on October 7 (Saturday) at around 19:15. Nihonmatsu Lantern Festival (Nihonmatsu City)With a history spanning back over 350 years, this vivid festival is a highly anticipated event in the central area of Fukushima! Large floats as tall as 11 m are lit up with over 300 paper lanterns and paraded to the beat of traditional music. In Japanese: 二本松の提灯祭り Place: Nihonmatsu Shrine Date: October 7 (Saturday), 8 (Sunday), and 9 (Monday). Held every year on the first Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of October. Time: Depends on the event Tickets/Cost: Free Nihonmatsu Chrysanthemum Doll Festival (Nihonmatsu City)In Nihonmatsu City, autumn brings beautiful flowers! The city prides itself on its cultivation of chrysanthemums, the National Flower of Japan, which bloom spectacularly in the fall. Each year for a month, from Mid-October to Mid-November, the Kasumigajo Castle Park Grounds are enlivened with a colorful display of chrysanthemum flowers and decorated dolls. In Japanese: 二本松の菊人形 Place: Kasumigajo Castle Park Grounds (Nihonmatsu Castle) Date: October 10 (Tuesday) to November 19 (Sunday), 2023 Time: From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets/Cost: General entry is 800 yen; 600 yen for those with disabilities, and free for middle-school-aged students and younger. Discounts may be applicable for groups of 20 people or more. Aizu Shiokawa Balloon Festival (Kitakata City)This local festival in Kitakata City is incredibly picturesque! Riding on one of the balloons requires a fee and previous registration, but spectators can enjoy the sight of balloons rising into the crisp autumn skies for free. In Japanese: 会津塩川バルーンフェスティバル Place: Nippashi-gawa Green Park Free Plaza (日橋川緑地公園自由広場) in Shiokawa-machi, Kitakata City Expected Date: October 8 (Sunday) and 9 (Monday) [to be confirmed] Time: TBD Tickets/Cost: Previous application (in Japanese) is required to fly, for which there is a fee. Please check the event's website (in Japanese) for more information. Hinoemata Kabuki (Hinoemata Village)This traditional art form passed on through generations is a fundamental tradition for the inhabitants of Hinoemata Village. There are typically three kabuki performances held each year, the last of which will be on September 2nd this year. For more information, please check our blog post 'Hinoemata Kabuki: A Hidden Gem of Japanese Folk Culture'. In Japanese: 桧枝岐歌舞伎 Place: 670 Idaira, Hinoemata Village, Minamiaizu District Date: September 2 (Saturday), 2023 Time: Venue opens at 18:00, performance starts at 19:00 Tickets/Cost: 1,000 yen per person (free for guests staying at the village) Taimatsu Akashi Fire Festival (Sukagawa City)A spectacular fire festival in Sukagawa City, the Taimatsu Akashi Fire Festival has a history stretching back 400 years. As the evening grows darker, the glowing fire and the rhythm of the taiko drums will make you feel as if you were transported to a different era. In Japanese: 松明あかし Place: Mt. Gorozan in Midorigaoka Park, Kuriyasawa, Sukagawa City Date: November 11 (Saturday), 2023 Time:  Main torches (Hon-taimatsu) Procession: 2:00 p.m. Big torches (Dai-taimatsu) Procession: 3:00 p.m. Main Event of lighting up the big torches (Dai-taimatsu): 6:30 p.m. Tickets/Cost: FreeUseful LinksTop 10 Places to See Autumn Leaves in Fukushima5 Ginkgo Tree Spots To Visit In Fukushima This AutumnAutumn Colors of Fukushima

    2023 Autumn Festivals in Fukushima: Dates & Times
  2. Useful Information

    Learn More About Fukushima as Seen in Japan’s New Blockbuster Film ‘Suzume’

    Suzume (original title in Japanese: すずめの戸締り, Suzume no Tojimari) is an animated movie and the latest blockbuster from Japanese director Makoto Shinkai and production company CoMix Wave, which also produced hit films like Weathering with You (天気の子) and Your Name (君の名は).The film tells the story of a highschooler and a young man on a mission to close doors throughout Japan to prevent natural disasters. The film is already a box office success both domestically and abroad after only a few months of screening.Suzume Official YouTube Trailer (Toho Movie Channel, 東宝MOVIEチャネル)Many areas that have been hit by disasters in the country are shown in the movie, including the Tohoku area in Northern Japan, which suffered greatly from the devastating effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear accident in 2011.At one point in the film, the characters pass through an area with “Difficult-to-return” signs reminiscent of those that had to be placed in areas where evacuation orders were enforced due to radiation in Fukushima.Although some remain today, evacuation orders have been lifted in many of the areas that were once labeled “difficult-to-return zones'' (only approx. 2.3% of Fukushima Prefecture’s territory is under evacuation order now).The Remains of Ukedo Elementary School in Namie Town is a popular destination for visitors who want to learn more about the effect of the disaster in the coastal area of Fukushima.These past years have seen people come together to rebuild these areas, taking on the challenge of rekindling a community, honoring the history of towns and villages, as well as fighting the lingering stigma and misinformation surrounding Fukushima.As ‘Suzume’ sheds light on the importance of disaster preparedness and brings attention to the devastation brought by 3.11, many young people are drawn to learn more about what happened in Fukushima and how the prefecture has sought to recover. Commutan Fukushima (Communication Building of the Centre for Environmental Creation, Fukushima prefecture) in Miharu Town has a lot of information for visitors to learn about Fukushima's environmental recovery.Fukushima remains the only place in the world to have survived an earthquake, a tsunami, and a nuclear disaster, and by visiting Fukushima, particularly the coastal area, you can learn a lot about how disaster preparedness saves lives, see the recovery efforts for yourself, and get to know the stories behind those driving the prefecture's revitalization.If you would like to know more, please check model the model itinerary ‘Fukushima's Revitalization Educational One-Day Trip’.

    Learn More About Fukushima as Seen in Japan’s New Blockbuster Film ‘Suzume’
  3. Useful Information

    2023 Summer Festivals in Fukushima: Dates and Times

    Firework displays, people dressed in yukatas, and delicious street food are some of the typical elements of Japanese summer festivals. During the warmer months of the year, Fukushima prefecture hosts a wide range of events, from festivals of great historical significance to events for fun. These are some summer festivals to look forward to in 2023 (please note that events are subject to change/cancellation):Soma Nomaoi Festival (Minamisoma City)Possibly one of the most anticipated events in Fukushima, this horse-centric festival held yearly in the city of Minamisoma, in the coastal area, has roots in samurai practices reaching back over 1,000 years ago. Read more about the Soma Nomaoi festival here. In Japanese: 相馬野馬追 Place: Hibarigahara Festival Site, Hashimoto-cho 4-13-27, Haramachi-ku, Minamisoma City, Fukushima Pref. 975-0051 View directions Date: July 29 (Sat.), 30 (Sun.) and 31 (Mon.), 2023 Time: The festival has several events, each occurring at different times. Check the official website for details, and check our blog post for a detailed explanation of the flow of the festival. Tickets/Cost: Advance tickets (online): 800 yen. Same-day tickets (on site): 1,000 yen.Fukushima Waraji Festival (Fukushima City)Image courtesy of the Fukushima Waraji Festival Executive Committee (画像提供 福島わらじまつり実行委員会) In this unique festival, dozens of people parade a huge straw sandal through the streets of Fukushima City. There are dance performances and music, as well as different festivities for visitors to enjoy. In Japanese: わらじ祭り Place: Route 13 in Central Fukushima City (5 min walk from JR Fukushima Station) View directions Date: August 4 (Fri.), 5 (Sat.) and 6 (Sun.), 2023 Time: Evening (around 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m) Tickets/Cost: Free entry, no advance booking requiredTsukimachi no Akari, ‘the Light-Filled Moon-Waiting Party’ (Bandai Town)Image courtesy of Gokujo Aizu (極上の会津プロジェクト協議会)In this incredibly photogenic festival, Enichi-ji Temple, Tohoku’s oldest temple with foundational stones on display, becomes beautifully illuminated. In Japanese: 月待ちの灯り Place: Enichi-ji Temple (Motoderakami-4950 Bandai, Yama District, Fukushima 969-3301) View Directions Date: May 27 (Sat.) & 28 (Sun.), 2023 Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets/Cost: Free entry, no advance booking requiredOuchi-juku Hange (Mid-summer) Festival (Shimogo Town)Image courtesy of Gokujo Aizu (極上の会津プロジェクト協議会)This traditional event is celebrated on the 11th day after the summer solstice, July 2nd, each year. The main event is a solemn procession of men carrying a portable shrine. In Japanese: 大内宿半夏祭り  Place: Ouchi-juku (Yamamoto, Ouchi, Shimogo Town, Minamiaizu District, Fukushima Pref. 969-5207) [Access information] Date: July 2 (Sun.), 2023 Time: To be confirmed Tickets/Cost: Free entry, no advance booking requiredSukagawa Shakadogawa River Fireworks Festival (Sukagawa City)The most famous fireworks display event in Fukushima will be back after a four-year hiatus! See more information about this event here. In Japanese: 釈迦堂川の花火大会  Place: Sukagawa City Citizens’ Sports Plaza Date: August 26 (Sat.), 2023 Time: From 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (memorial fireworks scheduled to start at 6:45 p.m.) Tickets/Cost: Free entry, no advance booking requiredAizu-Tajima Gion Festival (Minamiaizu)In this centuries-old festival, designated a National Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property, there are music performances, kabuki performances and a procession of women dressed in kimono. For a detailed account of the event, read this post. In Japanese: 会津田島祇園祭  Place: A short walk away from Aizu-Tajima Station View Directions Date: July 22 (Sat.), 23 (Sun.), 24 (Mon.), 2023 Time: To be confirmed (previous year’s schedule as a reference: 22nd: noon to 10 p.m.; 23rd: 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., 24th: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.) Tickets/Cost: Free entry, no advance booking requiredOtaue (Rice Planting) Festivals (Aizu Misato & Aizu Bange Towns)There are two rice planting festivals in the Aizu region (one in Aizu Misato town, and the other one in Aizu Bange town). During these events, townspeople pray for a bountiful harvest.Image courtesy of Gokujo Aizu (極上の会津プロジェクト協議会) In Japanese: 御田植祭 Place:  Aizu Misato Town: Isasumi Shrine (4377 Miyabayashi, Aizumisato, Onuma District, Fukushima 969-6263) View directions Aizu Bange Town: Kurimurainari Shrine (1922 Nakaiwata, Aizubange, Kawanuma District, Fukushima 969-6564) View Directions Dates: Aizu Misato Town: July 7 (Fri.), 2023 Aizu Bange Town: July 12 (Wed.), 2023 Time: To be determined Tickets/Cost: Free entry, no advance booking required Lake Numazawa Festival (Kaneyama Town)Image courtesy of Gokujo Aizu (極上の会津プロジェクト協議会)During this two-day event, held at lake Numazawa during the first weekend of August each year, there are concerts, fireworks, and the reenactment of a folktale from Kaneyama Town. See more information here. In Japanese: 沼沢湖水まつり Place: Lake Numazawa, Kaneyama Town, Onuma-gun, Fukushima Pref. View Directions Date: August 5 (Sat.), 6 (Sun.) 2023 Time: Saturday event times tend to be 1:00 PM - 9:00 PM, with the Sunday event running from 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM (Please check the official event page for up-to-date information) Tickets/Cost: Free entry, no advance booking required

    2023 Summer Festivals in Fukushima: Dates and Times