Things to do in Fukushima

Find a wealth of things to see and do in Fukushima Prefecture, from beautiful natural environments or cultural and historical discoveries to regional flavors, crafts, and festivals.

Unique in Fukushima

Hanamiyama
Nature & Scenery

Hanamiyama

Hanamiyama Park is a privately-owned field for flowering and ornamental trees, in southeast Fukushima City.The park is located within a satoyama-type landscape i.e. managed woodland hill country close to human habitat. What originally began more than 60 years ago with local farmers planting flowers and trees, has grown into a beautiful scene. The landowner generously turned the area into a park in 1959 to allow visitors to enjoy the beautiful flowers there.Hanamiyama Park, and the wider Hanamiyama area, is now visited by thousands of admirers every year!Springtime visits see cherry, plum, and forsythia trees paint everything in vivid colors. A gentle pink and purple landscape waving in the breeze with the picturesque snow-capped Azuma Mountains in the distance makes for an amazing sight.The riot of spring colors is spectacular enough to merit calling this park Fukushima's very own paradise.The flowering landscape moves all who see it and has been preserved through the cooperation of the local residents. Enjoy a leisurely one-hour stroll that will take you from the foot of the hill to the summit. Travel through groves of flowering trees and other vibrant flowers in full bloom.Hanamiyama is the perfect getaway for a day for nature lovers, hikers, or people trying to escape for a short time.The best part is that spring isn’t the only beautiful time to visit. Marvel in wonder during the lush green summer foliage or the dappled colors of autumn. When you visit this fairytale-like wonderland, it is recommended that visitors wear comfortable walking shoes as the terrain includes graveled paths, steep slopes, and slippery areas. Mid- through late April is the peak season, so ready your camera and your heart for the beauty that awaits.

Mt. Shinobu (Shinobuyama)
Nature & Scenery

Mt. Shinobu (Shinobuyama)

Mt. Shinobu, with a total altitude of 275 meters, is one of the landmarks of Fukushima City. It is estimated that it formed about 500.000 years ago when the Fukushima basin caved in and Mt. Shinobu became an isolated hill, which later became the object of multiple local poems, stories, and legends.Visitors can hike up Mt. Shinobu for unobstructed views of the cityscapes. Hikers of all levels can try climbing Mt. Shinobu, as its peak can be reached in a few hours and many parts of it can be reached by car.Each year in April there is a spring festival with cherry blossom night illuminations that attract hordes of visitors. Summer and autumn are also great times to follow the hiking routes at Mt. Shinobu.A spiritual power spot for locals, Haguro Shrine can be found at the top of the central peak, where there is also a giant straw sandal that weighs about 2 tons and is 12 meters in length and is believed to be among the biggest in Japan. The sandal is paraded along Fukushima City each year in August during the Waraji Festival. Also in Mt. Shinobu, you can find the Shinobuyama Neko Inari Jinja(‘cat shrine’), and the Gokoku Shrine, along with several parks.For stunning views of the city, including the Shinkansen bullet train tracks, head to the Karasugasaki Observation Deck on the western side. Located nearby are the Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art and the Fukushima Prefectural Library.

The Warehouses of Kitakata
History & Culture

The Warehouses of Kitakata

In the Meiji and Taisho eras, Kitakata City experienced a boom in the construction of kura (traditional Japanese storehouses). There are approximately 4,200 still left in the city today. While these were used both as storehouses for businesses in the brewing and lacquerware industries, the building of a kura has traditionally been considered among Kitakata locals as a great symbol of status, and a source of pride.In the Mitsuya District, the rows of brick storehouses are reminiscent of rural Europe, whereas in the Sugiyama district, they have roofs that take the appearance of helmets. Visitors can see a range of kura and other traditional buildings at Kitakata Kura-no-Sato museum, or enjoy exploring the kura of the city on foot or by bike.See here for a 1 day itinerary for visiting Kitakata City.Check out a map of the kura located around Kitakata City.

Kyu Horikiri-tei
History & Culture

Kyu Horikiri-tei

Kyu Horikiri-tei is a property steeped in history. Built in 1775, the building has been preserved since the Edo Period thanks to wealthy farmers and merchants. The property contains a large kura (storehouse), called Jukken Kura, as well as a traditional Japanese manor house.There is a public footbath located onsite. Use of the public footbath - which gets its water from the nearby onsen hot spring source - is accessible for wheelchair users. Japanese-speaking volunteer guides, knowledgeable about the history of Kyu Horikiri-tei and the rest of Iizaka Onsen, are available upon request. 

Areas in Fukushima

Fukushima by season

Nature & Scenery

Mt. Azuma-Kofuji
Nature & Scenery

Mt. Azuma-Kofuji

Every year in spring, as the snow melts away, it leaves behind the shape of a giant white rabbit on the side of Mt. Azuma-Kofuji. This is called the “seeding rabbit”, and it signals to the people of Fukushima that the farming season has come.From April to November each year, you can experience the beauty of the awe-inspiring natural landscape of Mt. Azuma-Kofuji.Mt. Azuma-Kofuji is an active volcano with an appealing symmetry to it and a soft conical shape; because of these classic features, it was named Kofuji ('little Fuji'), after the iconic Japanese mountain.Thanks to its volcanic ground, the area has given birth to many nearby onsen areas perfect for relaxing, such as Tsuchiyu Onsen and Takayu Onsen.Mt. Azuma-Kofuji is a great destination for those who decide to drive through the area as the Bandai-Azuma Skyline happens to pass just below the crater of Mt. Azuma-Kofuji. Along the roadway is the Jododaira Visitor Center, which offers visitors a place to park, rest up, get a snack, and maybe even buy souvenirs. It is the perfect spot to take a break and explore one of the many short hiking routes to stretch out your muscles after a long car ride. From there, it is just a short hike up to the crater, and there are plenty of other great trails. Circle the crater of Mt. Azuma-Kofuji on a relaxed 40-minute walk and—if you are lucky—enjoy gorgeous views of Fukushima City, Mt. Bandai, and the Urabandai area. But do watch your step as the ground can be uneven and even slippery on grey days. The mountain is open from spring to autumn every year.

Shioyazaki Lighthouse
Nature & Scenery

Shioyazaki Lighthouse

Shioyazaki Lighthouse (塩屋崎灯台) stands on the Usuiso Coast of Iwaki City in eastern Fukushima. Now a historical landmark, the lighthouse was first erected in 1899. Despite having sustained considerable damage from natural disasters over the years, including the 2011 tsunami, the lighthouse has been rebuilt and restored and now enjoys great popularity. Many visitors climb to the top to enjoy its stunning views of the ocean.It was counted among the 50 best lighthouses in Japan. Consider visiting during sunset: seeing the ocean bathed in the beautiful afternoon light is the perfect way to end the day.

Bandai-Azuma Skyline
Nature & Scenery

Bandai-Azuma Skyline

This sightseeing road that runs from Fukushima City's Takayu Onsen to the Tsuchiyu Pass, commanding panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.The spectacular views that stretch out at an average altitude of 1,350 meters attract visitors time and time again, and Bandai-Azuma Skyline has been selected as one of the 100 Best Roads in Japan.In spring, tourists can enjoy flower viewing while at the same time taking in the otherworldly winter scenery of the "Snow Corridor".In summer, the Nemoto Shakunage (Rhododendron brachycarpum), a species of alpine rose, and other alpine plants display their colorful flowers and fresh, brilliant green leaves. During autumn, the drive warms as roads become enclosed by fiery seasonal leaves.There are also many hot springs in the vicinity of the Skyline where visitors can enjoy a bath and relax stiff muscles while out on a daytrip.The roadway passes next to the crater of Mt. Azuma-Kofuji. Visitors can easily park their car at the nearby guest center and enjoy a short hike up to the crater’s rim.The Bandai-Azuma Skyline Roadway has been selected as one of the top 100 roads in Japan, and unlike many others, this one is free to use. There are rest stops along the way for the hungry traveler; the most popular is Jododaira, as it’s home to a rest house and an observatory.Be sure to plan ahead though, from mid-November to early April the roadway is closed due to heavy winter snowfall.

Goshiki-numa Ponds
Nature & Scenery

Goshiki-numa Ponds

The Goshiki-numa ponds of Urabandai are a cluster of five volcanic lakes at the foot of Mt. Bandai. When Mt. Bandai erupted in 1888, Goshiki-numa - which translates as "Five-Colored Ponds - were formed.In actuality dozens of lakes were created due to the 1888 eruption, but the Goshiki-numa Ponds are the most famous. It was thanks to the eruption that the lakes each took on rich color; the various minerals found in each lake give them a unique color and create a mystical aura.The colors of the Goshiki-numa Ponds also change throughout the year depending on weather and time of day, a truly mysterious phenomenon. The lakes have become a popular tourist destination. The five main lakes are Bishamon, Aka, Ao, Benten, and Midoro, and their colors range from a lime green to deep turquoise to a topaz blue. A scenic walking route guides visitors around the ponds. At 3.6 km in length, this walking route - which will take you past many of the ethereal colors - takes about 70 minutes to complete.If you’d like a view of all five lakes at once, why not take the 4 km walking trail from Bishamon-numa (largest of the five lakes) up to nearby Lake Hibara. Alternatively, if hiking is not on your itinerary, enjoy a simple rowboat out on Bishamon-numa. It’s especially lovely in autumn as the color of the autumn leaves reflects on the deep green surface of the lake. In winter, there are even snowshoe trekking tours offered. The color of the lakes looks particularly vivid in winter, seeing as the minerals in some of the lakes stop them from freezing over, meaning you can see their colors contrasted with the white of the snow.Be sure to stop by the Urabandai Visitor Center, which is a large and well-equipped facility. You can find great information here about tours as well as the various geography, wildlife, and even the history of the area. It’s a great chance to learn more about the ecosystem that makes up the Goshiki-numa Ponds.

History & Culture

Maezawa L-shaped Farmhouses
History & Culture

Maezawa L-shaped Farmhouses

The deep snows of the Aizu region meant that, in the past, cut off from other areas for months at a time, its residents had to use all their wits just to make it through the winters. These L-shaped farmhouses known as "magariya" conceal a number of the innovations developed by this local people.As you can see in the layout of the house, the long earth floor stretches out towards the road. Long ago, horses were indispensable in farming, but the deep snow of winter meant that keeping them tied up in external stables was cruel. Therefore, stables were built into the house, meaning that the unfloored working area inevitably became larger. Having this area far from the road made getting to the road through the snow more difficult, as up to a meter can fall overnight. Accordingly, with the aim of reducing work, locating this working area as close as feasible to the road ended up with the house being laid out in an L-shape.Many of these houses were built in Maezawa and throughout Tateiwa Village, as a way of living with horses in the deep snows of the Aizu region.The houses have become more and more comfortable over time, with the "magariya" design lasting until the present day. While this magariya-style farmhouse used to be built everywhere that saw heavy snow, they are gradually disappearing. Accordingly, the Maezawa magariya have been designated as historical cultural assets.In 1985, the village began actively preserving these houses, and this area now attracts many visitors. One of the magariya buildings have been repurposed into a museum in the village where visitors can learn about life in Maezawa.

Shiramizu Amidado Temple
History & Culture

Shiramizu Amidado Temple

Shiramizu Amidado Temple (Amitabha Hall) was constructed in 1160 by Princess Tokuhime of the Oushu Fujiwara clan, which built the "golden culture" in Oushu (the present Tohoku Region). It is the only building in Fukushima Prefecture that has been designated as a national treasure. Inside the hall stands a wooden statue of Amida Nyorai as well as a number of other Buddhist statues such as Kannon Bosatsu, Seishi Bosatsu, Jikoku Tenno, and Tamon Tenno.The garden, called Jodo Teien (Jodo, or "the pure land", is the Buddhist paradise) is a realm of natural beauty in every season. The scenery is especially breathtaking in summer when the lotus flowers are in bloom, prompting one famous writer to liken the garden to a mythical paradise.

Tsurugajo Castle
History & Culture

Tsurugajo Castle

Tsurugajo Castle allows visitors the opportunity to experience history, nature, and tradition with all five senses.Despite being mostly reconstructed, the surrounding park's stone walls remain in their original state. In 2010, for the first time since it was refurbished in 1965, the castle underwent a cosmetic restoration. Following completion in 2011, the same red-tile roofs seen by the Byakkotai (during the Boshin War and finals days of the Tokugawa shogunate) are now displayed for all to see.This castle is one of the final strongholds of samurai that remained loyal to the shogunate and today stands as a symbol of courage and faithfulness.Within the castle tower's museum, the swords and armor of the castle’s successive lords are on display. Visitors can watch a CG-enhanced theatrical video reflecting on the great history of Aizu.In addition to the historical atmosphere surrounding Tsurugajo, visitors can sense the changes that have occurred throughout history, thanks to the engaging and informative museum within the castle walls. It’s fun to gaze across Aizu from the fifth floor, like a feudal lord admiring his domain—the viewing platform up here provides panoramic views taking in Mt. Bandai and Mt. Iimoriyama.The castle is also a must-see in the springtime when approximately 1,000 cherry trees offer a magnificent display within the castle's grounds.When you’re in the mood for a rest, visit the Rinkaku Tea Rooms for some freshly-prepared matcha green tea. This tea house on the grounds of Tsurugajo was vital in the spread of this traditional art—and had it been destroyed during the Meiji Restoration, tea ceremony as it is known in Japan might have vanished.Tsurugajo Castle is truly a place where the modern visitor can slip into the past and become immersed in history. 

Aizu Hanko Nisshinkan
History & Culture

Aizu Hanko Nisshinkan

Aizu Hanko Nisshinkan was the highest-level learning institution of its time. It was established in 1803 by the Aizu Domain to foster Japan's next generation of talented samurais.Children of samurai families entered this school at the age of ten and worked on academic studies and physical exercises to instill both physical and mental discipline.The property, covering about 26,500 square meters in area, used to house such facilities as a martial arts training hall, an astronomical observatory, and Suiren-Suiba Ike, Japan's oldest swimming pool.During the late Edo Period, the school turned out a great deal of excellent talent, including the legendary group of young warriors, the Byakkotai. The facilities, which were burned down during the Boshin War, have been rebuilt faithful to their original design. They now function as a hands-on museum that features exhibits of the magnificent architecture of the Edo Period and dioramas of school life as it used to be.Visitors can enjoy practicing some of the essential disciplines of the samurai, including tea ceremony, Japanese archery, meditation, and horseback riding, as well as experiencing hand painting an akabeko (red cow), a traditional good-luck charm of Aizu.Make a reservation : https://nisshinkan.jp/reservation*Since the website is in Japanese, we recommend that you use Google Translate or other translation functions to make reservations. 

Hot Springs

Oze Hinoemata Onsen
Hot Springs

Oze Hinoemata Onsen

Oze Hinoemata Onsen has hot springs fed to every household, as well as bathing facilities run by the village for day visits. Aruza Oze no Sato, Hiuchi no Yu, Koma no Yu are all names of hot spring establishments in the town. Hinoemata area is also famous for Kabuki, a form of traditional performing art in Japan. Traditional Kabuki performances with a rich history dating from the Edo Period are still performed to this day on Hinoemata's kabuki stage, which is over 250 years old. There are three performances per year (May 12, August 18, and the first Saturday of September). Explore historical and cultural treasures such as the kabuki stage, the unique shrine featuring a stone statue of Hashiba-no-Banba, itakura (wooden storehouses), the six jizo statues, and the Hinoemata Folk Village by foot. Make sure to try Hinoemata area's 'Yamodo Cuisine': a characteristic cuisine centered on 100% buckwheat noodles, which features dishes such as 'Hatto soba' and rice cakes. Visitors can also enjoy walking and fishing at Hinoemata Mini Oze Park, a spacious park which comes to life with bright colours throughout the year as various flowers take turns to bloom. Oze Hinoemata Onsen is at the gateway to Oze National Park, making it as a base for hiking around Ozegahara Marsh, and for climbing mountains such as Mt. Hiuchigatake, Aizu Komagatake, Teishakuzen, and Tashiroyama.

Tsuchiyu Onsen
Hot Springs

Tsuchiyu Onsen

Tsuchiyu Onsen, located at the heart of Mt. Azuma, is surrounded by beautiful scenic spots, and is home to many ryokan and hotels - such as Hotel Sansuiso - that make the most of the abundant onsen water. As well being to make day-trips to the baths at many of Tsuchiyu Onsen's ryokan, there are also footbaths and public baths dotted throughout this quaint town. A Japan of years gone by is captured in the nostalgic streets of Tsuchiyu Onsen. Check out the various shops selling the town’s famous Kokeshi Dolls (a Japanese traditional craft), browse for omiyage or stop by at a café.

Outdoor Activities

Bandai-Azuma Skyline Cycling Route
Outdoor Activities

Bandai-Azuma Skyline Cycling Route

The Bandai-Azuma Skyline is one of the top cycling routes of Japan!  The route brings cyclists through dense green forests to volcanic terrain and sweeping views of Fukushima city and the volcanic peak of Mt. Kofuji, or “Little Fuji”. In autumn this course is warmed by vibrant autumn leaves, that make for a magical ride! Fukushima has routes for cyclists of all levels! Click here for more information about Cycling Courses and Events in Fukushima!  (Click here to read our blog about cycling the scenic Bandai-Azuma Skyline!)

Cultural Experiences

Design Your Own Shirakawa Daruma
Cultural Experiences

Design Your Own Shirakawa Daruma

There are records of Shirakawa Daruma (Japanese traditional dolls) being sold as far back as the feudal reign of the Niwa Domain in 1627. Current Shirakawa Daruma are known as “Shirakawa Tsurugame Shochikubai Daruma.” The faces of these dolls are painted to incorporate various animals and plants, with the eyebrows representing cranes, the mustache representing a turtle, the ears representing pines and plum trees, and the beard representing bamboo or pine trees. All of these images are thought to bring good luck. The daruma is known to be a very classical, lucky talisman, started by Matsudaira Sadanobu, the lord of Shirakawa, when he hired the renowned painter Tani Buncho to paint the now famous face on the daruma doll. Once every year a large Shirakawa Daruma Market is held to celebrate and sell the beloved daruma dolls. You can paint your own daruma at the two daruma workshops in town!

Makie Painting Lacquerware Experience at Suzuzen
Cultural Experiences

Makie Painting Lacquerware Experience at Suzuzen

Suzuzen was established in 1832 as a lacquerware wholesale shop. Not only can visitors see process of lacquerware being finished using gold and silver dusted designs called 'Makie', but visitors can also have the opportunity to design their own lacquered product using Makie design techniques, which is perfect to take home as a souvenir. Booking & More InformationSuzuzen is made up of 6 kura (Japanese-style warehouses), which have been renovated. The Suzuzen warehouses include a gallery featuring pieces by contemporary artists who use lacquer in their work, and a cafe which is open for lunch. English-language signs also make the history of lacquer in Aizu accessible for overseas visitors.

Gourmet & Shopping

Kura Café Sen no Hana
Gourmet & Shopping

Kura Café Sen no Hana

The Kura Café Sen no Hana is located on the grounds on Kunitaya Miso Factory in a remodeled kura (storehouse). Try the local flavors of Fukushima cuisine with their lovely lunch items featuring locally Nihonmatsu-produced miso and soy sauce. There are also many other menu items to appreciate, such as amazake, Mongolian-style tea, and coffee. The inside of the shop is also calming and decorated with local pressed flowers.Open from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (with a break from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m.), the Kura Café Sen no Hana is sure to give your taste buds a treat. Their fair prices and delicious cuisine make them popular with locals and visitors alike.The amazake, a nonalcoholic drink made from koji, or fermentation starter, is popular with guests. As for food, the zaku zaku soup is a traditional soup of chunky cubed vegetables which is eaten on special occasions like festivals and ceremonies, it is a famous Nihonmatsu specialty. But if you’re wanting to go for dinner, make sure you’re there before the last order at 5:30 p.m. (4:30 p.m. on Sundays). Next door to the Kura Cafe Sen no Hana, guests can also visit the Kunitaya Miso Factory. The redwood lattice of the exterior is especially attractive. In addition to the tours, the Factory also sells miso, soy sauce, and koji, which is used to make Fukushima’s famous 'sagohachi' pickles.All the products for sale are made at the Kunitaya Miso Factory and use pure water from Mt. Adatara and locally grown ingredients. It’s a great way to get the fresh flavors of Fukushima Prefecture. There are also seasonal products available, so be sure to have a look!

Suehiro Sake Brewery Kaeigura
Gourmet & Shopping

Suehiro Sake Brewery Kaeigura

Suehiro Sake Brewery was founded at the end of the Edo Period, in the mid 19th century. The Kaeigura (the building where the sake is brewed) has been designated as an important historical building by Aizu-Wakamatsu City. Here, visitors can take a guided tour of the sake-brewing process, as well as of old Japanese-style rooms which were built during the Meiji Period. The brewing process takes place from October to March every year. During this time, visitors can see the process and conditions inside the fermentation tanks. Visitors may try between six and ten different kinds of sake for free year-round. Suehiro sake and other Aizu products are available for sale on-site. On the left side after entering the gate stands a café called Kissa Ann. The architecture of Kissa Ann was remodelled from the Kaeigura's oldest storehouse. Here, you can enjoy coffee made with water prepared especially for making sake, and cake made using high-quality sake.

Honke Kanouya
Gourmet & Shopping

Honke Kanouya

Among the simple color palette of Ouchi-juku, Honke Kanouya will draw your eyes with their brightly-colored collection of goods. Lining the store front is a wide assortment of items like vegetable-shaped beanbags to ornaments to decorations to fabric accessories. All these crafts are handmade. The eye-catching goods make great souvenirs for family and friends alike! Recommended items include the Aizu-made fabric accessories and selected seasonal vegetables beanbags.  

Iwaki Lalamew
Gourmet & Shopping

Iwaki Lalamew

At Iwaki's Tourism and Products Center, visitors can purchase products and specialties from Iwaki as well as enjoy eating local produce. The Tourism and Products Center also introduces visitors to Iwaki City's local history and culture.The Lalamew complex includes 7 fish shops, 15 gift shops, and 12 eating and drinking establishments. The fish shops have the feel of an open-air market, and visitors can bargain for seafood direct from the port.Please enjoy dining in the establishments that present to you an abundance of seasonal seafood.

Events

Ouchi-juku Snow Festival
Events

Ouchi-juku Snow Festival

Ouchi-juku’s rows of thatched-roof houses (which date back to the Edo Period) are transformed into a winter wonderland during Ouchi-juku Snow Festival, which takes place every February. Bright white snow falls and slowly builds up, as candles burn bright in snow lanterns, bathing the old post town in warm light. Various events are held during the two-day festival, the highlight being the fireworks on the first evening.----------------------------Snow Festival Schedule for 2024Getting to Ouchi-juku BY LOCAL TRAIN & BUS 2024:Download in PDF:Ouchi-juku Snow Festival 2024 The Event Scedule & The Special Schedule for Public Transportation Note added on January 9, 2024.We checked with the bus company that operates the Saruyugo Bus to see if reservations can be made. They are accepting reservations through their reservation website or by phone. Reservations have priority. The reservation site was only in the Japanese language, so we strongly recommend that you use the translation function to make reservations.Saruyugo Bus Reservationhttp://london-taxi.jp/saruyu_reserve/

Aizu Festival
Events

Aizu Festival

The Aizu Festival is one of the largest fall events in the Aizu Area. The main feature of the festival is the Aizu Hanko Gyoretsu, a procession of Aizu Domain Lords.Headed by flag-bearers holding the flags of the successive feudal lords of the Aizu Domain, the procession is attended by participants representing well-known feudal lords such as Lord Uesugi, Lord Hoshina, and Lord Matsudaira, and by groups of festival participants wearing garments and carrying tools associated with each of these lords.Each year, some 500 people parade through downtown Aizu-Wakamatsu in an event that magnificently recreates the world of samurai. Before the procession starts off, there is a kick-off ceremony at Tsurugajo Castle.Visitors can enjoy watching the sword dancing of the Byakkotai worriors and sword fight performances given by professional actors, with the castle keep of Tsurugajo in the background.

Nihonmatsu Lantern Festival
Events

Nihonmatsu Lantern Festival

The Nihonmatsu Lantern Festival is held yearly on the first Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of October. The highlight of the festival is the procession of festival floats during the first evening. Seven large festival floats adorned with lanterns and filled with locals playing taiko drums make their way through the streets of Nihonmatsu City, filling the streets with festival music as they move.  The final destination for the floats is the Nihonmatsu Shrine.Don't miss the breathtaking sight of 3000 lanterns attached to the floats, burning against the night sky.

Disaster Recovery & Revitalization

The Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster Memorial Museum
Disaster Recovery & Revitalization

The Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster Memorial Museum

The Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster Memorial Museum (東日本大震災・原子力災害伝承館, often referred to in Japanese only as ‘Denshokan’ [伝承館]) is located in Futaba town, in the coastal area of Fukushima prefecture.Through exhibitions, storytelling, research and interactive displays, visitors can learn about this area before, during and after the disaster, deepen their understanding of the revitalization of Fukushima and the decommissioning of the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, as well as listen to testimonies of residents.This museum shows how Fukushima has dealt with a complex and unprecedented disaster and its ongoing consequences, and communicates lessons for the future on the importance of disaster prevention and mitigation.The museum opened in September 2020 and has about 200 items related to the The Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster on permanent exhibition.Exhibits include explanations in both English and Japanese.Located near the museum is the Futaba Business Incubation and Community Center.

The Remains of Ukedo Elementary School in Namie Town
Disaster Recovery & Revitalization

The Remains of Ukedo Elementary School in Namie Town

The Remains of Ukedo Elementary School in Namie Town (震災遺構浪江町立請戸小学校) are located in the coastal area of Fukushima prefecture.Ukedo Elementary School, located 300 meters from the sea, was having classes when the earthquake struck at 2:46 p. m. on March 11, 2011. A few minutes later, a tsunami warning was issued for Ukedo. The school staff urged students to evacuate immediately to nearby Mount Ohirayama, approximately 1.5 km from the school. When the tsunami hit about 40 minutes after the earthquake, all of the students and staff had evacuated safely.The school building suffered great damage from the earthquake and the tsunami, as did most of Namie town, which shortly after became under evacuation order due to the nuclear disaster (the evacuation order for some areas in Namie Town was lifted on March 31, 2017).In 2021, the remnants of the Ukedo Elementary School building opened to the public. The facilities remain largely untouched, with debris, broken floors and ceilings, smashed objects, collapsed furniture and other school items. Visitors can see the extent of the destruction caused by the earthquake and tsunami and learn about the importance of disaster preparedness.At the entrance, you can scan a QR code using your phone to access the English translation of each explanation panel as you proceed through the school grounds.

Iwaki 3.11 Memorial and Revitalization Museum
Disaster Recovery & Revitalization

Iwaki 3.11 Memorial and Revitalization Museum

Opened on Saturday, May 30, 2020, the museum was established to share the history of the disaster and the following reconstruction efforts by preserving and exhibiting materials related to the earthquake and tsunami, giving talks by local storytellers, and other activities. This way, they are able to preserve the memories and lessons of the disaster. There are panel displays about the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant accident, as well as about recovery and reconstruction, and displays of actual items damaged in the disaster, such as a blackboard from the former Toyoma Junior High School.The Iwaki Storyteller's Group offers regular lectures on the disaster. For more information on lectures, please visit this website.

Futaba Art District
Disaster Recovery & Revitalization

Futaba Art District

Futaba Art District is an art initiative carried out by art collective Over Alls in Futaba (双葉町), a town in the coastal area of Fukushima.As of February 2023, Futaba Art District comprises ten murals located between the JR Futaba station and the Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster Memorial Museum.Futaba town had to be evacuated and was severely affected by the nuclear accident in 2011. In 2020, the evacuation order was lifted for the area around Futaba station.The murals that make up Futaba Art District depict various aspects of Futaba's culture and pay homage to its residents.When the artists asked Futaba residents what was most representative of their town, many answered ‘daruma dolls’ (traditional Japanese dolls for good luck). Since the Edo period, Futaba town held a yearly daruma market which had a famous tug-of-war. There are now murals depicting both the tug-of-war and the daruma dolls. In 2023, the Futaba Daruma Market was held again in Futaba town after 12 years.A woman who tended the local cafe and a family who used to live in the town, as well as other members of the community, are depicted in some of the murals.On each mural, you’ll find a QR code that you can scan to learn more about it (in Japanese).You can easily reach the Futaba Art District from the JR Futaba Station. Click here for a map of the Futaba Art District (in Japanese).

Snow Activities

Minowa Ski Resort
Snow Activities

Minowa Ski Resort

The base area of the slopes is as high as 1,050 m above sea level, ensuring skiers high quality snow and crisp, clean air. The squeak of snow when you step on it and the feel of the snow underfoot are unforgettable.All the roads to Minowa Ski Resort are national routes, so even when they are covered with snow, they make for safe and comfortable driving. Moreover, the resort is within 30 minutes from the nearest ICs (interchanges) on all major expressways and free parking is available just in front of the rest house.Moreover, the entire surface of the parking area is paved so it's easy to walk on. Such ease of access is yet another attraction of this ski resort.

Adatara Kogen Ski Resort
Snow Activities

Adatara Kogen Ski Resort

The Adatara Kogen Ski Resort is located about halfway up the eastern side of Mt. Adatara, one of the One Hundred Famous Mountains of Japan. Powder-snowed slopes extending from an altitude of 950 meters to 1,350 meters offer superb enjoyment to everyone from beginners to advanced skiers. The well-equipped facilities include a high-speed 6-passenger gondola, a quad chairlift, three T-bar lifts, a ski center, and three restaurants. In addition, a 1,000 meter-long slope perfect for families has opened recently and there is also a snowboarding park (one-make jump, rails and boxes) as well as a newly-opened nursery room inside the restaurant Rendezvous. The open-air hot spring bath at the Fujikyu Hotel, located just in front of the ski slopes and with water piped directly from the hot spring source, will refresh you after skiing.  

Activities in Fukushima

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