Fukushima is a city in the beautiful Tohoku region of Japan and is the main city in Fukushima Prefecture. Since 2011, Fukushima Prefecture has suffered a huge loss because of the effects of the disaster after the tsunami which devastated the area.
Over the years, the government of Fukushima together with its people have worked together to revitalize the prefecture and make it a safe and wonderful place to live in and to visit. Now, Fukushima City welcomes local and international tourists to visit the city throughout the year. Each season in the city can give visitors a different opportunity. Here are four recommended things you can do in each of the four seasons in this charming city!
Autumn is beautiful in Fukushima City. Surrounded by mountains, Fukushima boasts the Azuma mountain range and its impressive views, which are particularly good from October to November every year. If you’re up for a driving adventure, then the popular road for autumn-viewing, Bandai Azuma Skyline, could be perfect for you.
Taking this road will also take you to the Mount Azuma Crater. The perfect autumn weather might even inspire you to walk the short hike down to the crater. The wonderful scenic drive will also take you to a deep gorge and some waterfalls. Another location in Fukushima that is worth a visit is the Mizubayashi Natural Park along the Arakawa River.
At the entrance of Bandai Azuma Skyline, you will find Takayu Onsen Town where you can choose from many ryokan to stay in. If you’re not staying overnight, you can still try their public bath for a minimal fee or dip your tired feet in the free outdoor foot baths! You can find out more about Takayu Onsen Town here.
Fukushima is covered with snow in winter time and it isn’t hard to find a nice hot spring! If you’d like a perfect place for a hot spring that has been popular for centuries and has great views at night, try Iizaka Hot Spring near the Surikami River. Other great choices are the Tsuchiyu Hot Spring found in Route 115 near the Arakawa River, and of course the Takayu Onsen that I mentioned above.
In February, a ritual called “Akatsuki-mairi” is held during the Shinobu Sanzan Akatsuki Matsuri. You’ll find this on Mount Shinobu in the city, where you’ll see white-clad participants carrying a heavy Japanese sandal made of straw. This is a special event for the locals that foreigners may want to experience and see!
Fukushima City has many places that are great for cherry blossom viewing in spring. If you think you’ve seen enough of cherry blossoms in Tokyo or other cities famous for them, try visiting Hanamiyama Hill.
This famous blossom viewing hill is a popular spot for Fukushima locals as it transforms into a blanket of pink, white, and yellow blossoms during the spring. The hill park is a haven for photo and nature enthusiasts as it showcases different kinds of cherry, peach, and plum blossoms.
There are also several nanohana (rapeseed) fields in the park. Also, Mount Azuma isn’t only perfect for an autumn visit but also for spring. You’ll be enchanted by the sea of white and pink blossom flowers and the rabbit-like shapes which signal the farming season for locals!
Fukushima City is gifted with lush greenery in the summer season. It offers tremendous outdoor activities during the hot summer, such as mountain climbing, fishing, camping, fruit-picking, and much more.
Be impressed by the mysterious colors of the Goshiki-numa Marshes or try visiting the Surikamigawa Dam, an important water source for Fukushima and nearby cities. The colorful hydrangeas in Doaidate Park are also a sight to behold during the summer season. And of course, try Fukushima’s famous peaches! You can personally pick and buy the best quality fruits along the “Fruit Line” or “Peach Line” roads in the city. These roads can be found along ‘Route 5’ in Fukushma City. Click the link below to browse the various orchards which allow fruit picking!
To find out more about the situation in Fukushima Prefecture since the 2011 Tsunami, visit the Decontamination Information (Saisei) Plaza (formerly Josen Plaza). It is a five-minute walk from JR Fukushima Station. This place offers a lot of information about the condition of the city, the projects of the government after the disaster, and the radiation levels in the city and nearby towns.
If you don’t speak Japanese, there are pamphlets available in English and other major languages of the world. Also, there’s a staff member there who can speak English and will be able to answer your questions.
How to Get There From Tokyo
To get to Fukushima City from Tokyo, you can take the JR Shinkansen (approximately 90 minutes) from Tokyo or Ueno Station to Fukushima City. The train fare is around 8750 yen.
If you want a cheaper option and have some more time to spare, you can take a bus from Shinjuku Bus Station to Fukushima City. The bus fare is around 3750-4900 yen.
Fukushima City has a lot of things to offer in every season. It welcomes visitors to see its natural wonders and take part in unique activities. I hope this article encourages readers to visit this beautiful city!