Fukushima Prefecture is a popular tourist destination for foreign tourists. In this issue, we would like to introduce three sightseeing spots you should visit when visiting Fukushima Prefecture. The first is Aizu Wakamatsu Castle. The Castle is an old castle designated as a national treasure and is a very valuable place to see the old buildings. Next, we will introduce Lake Inawashiro, the largest lake in Fukushima Prefecture. The Lake is where visitors can take a walk along the lakeside, row a boat on the lake, or enjoy a barbecue. Finnaly, we reccomend to visit Urabandai area. By visiting these three attractions, you will be able to enjoy the charm of Fukushima Prefecture fully.
Introduction to Fukushima Prefecture
Fukushima Prefecture is located in the Tohoku region of Japan, about 60 miles (100 km) south of Sendai. With a population of over 2 million, Fukushima Prefecture is known for its rich cultural heritage, spectacular scenery, and pristine natural environment. It is also known for its deep history, being the site of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in 2011, which caused the second most devastating nuclear disaster in history. Despite its complicated past, the prefecture remains a popular destination for foreign tourists and continues to attract visitors with its unique charm.
Historical Explorarion at Aizu Wakamatsu Castle
Aizu Wakamatsu Castle, knownas “Tsurugajo-Castle” has existed for more than 1,000 years and is one of the most famous landmarks in the Aizu region, where visitors can learn about Japan’s past. Aizu Wakamatsu Castle is the symbol of Aizu. It is the most iconic samurai castle in the world and one of the most visited tourist attractions in the region. The main layout of the castle consists of an inner wall and three sub-walls on the west, north, and east sides. The southern face of the castle was protected by a river. The inner wall is pentagonal, about 200 meters long, and surrounded by a deep moat and high stone walls. Today, the castle has been reconstructed in a modern style, and visitors can still see the castle as it was in the past.
Recommended Activities and Highlights
Aizu Wakamatsu Castle is surrounded by beautiful parks and gardens, making it a great place to take in the stunning views of the castle and its surroundings. A walk around the castle grounds is also recommended. There is also a museum dedicated to the history of the castle and the surrounding area. The museum displays artifacts such as armor and weapons, as well as the culture and art of the samurai. Visitors can learn more about the history of the castle and the region.
Suggestions for Enjoying Sightseeing to the Fullest
The Aizu region was spared from severe contamination by the 2011 nuclear power plant accident, and radiation levels have returned to pre-accident levels. The Aizu region is home to such attractions as Ouchi-juku, a former trading post town, the modernly restored Tsurugajo Castle, and the Aizu Buke Yashiki, a museum of samurai residences, as well as Restaurant Aizu. Also not to be missed is the vegan restaurant Kontsu, which is housed in a beautiful building founded 120 years ago as a lacquerware store. Visitors can not only experience the culture of Aizu, but also enjoy the surrounding countryside scenery.
Points for enjoying sightseeing at Aizu Wakamatsu Castle
When visiting Aizu Wakamatsu Castle, be aware that it may be crowded and that it is not always open to the public. Before attempting to enter, please check the information regarding the opening hours. We recommend checking the official website of Aizu Wakamatsu Castle. It is also important to pay attention to the weather, as some areas may be difficult to access when it rains because the stones are slippery. Finally, keep in mind that this is a popular tourist destination, and be sure to respect the castle ruins and its history.
Discover the mystery of Urabanndai
Another popular tourist attraction in Fukushima Prefecture is Urabandai area.
The shortest drive from Tokyo is 2.5 hours. It is a scenic area rich in nature, including the Goshikinuma group of lakes and marshes. The present landscape was formed by the phreatic explosion of Bandai-san in 1888. The “Land of Lakes” is dotted with more than 300 lakes and marshes that were formed when the eruption choked off rivers. Each has its own unique charm, and because of their beauty, countless photo spots are sacred places for photography enthusiasts. This is a scenery that can only be found in Urabandai.
Immerse yourself in the charm of Goshiki-numa Ponds
Located at the foot of Mount Bandai in Yamagata Prefecture, Urabandai Goshiki-numa Pond is a popular destination for travelers who want to get away from city life. The easiest way to get to Goshikinuma is to take the train from Tokyo to Koriyama Station. From there, transfer to the Ban-Etsu-Nishi Line rapid train to Inawashiro Station. From Inawashiro Station, a 30-minute bus ride will bring you to the entrance of Goshiki-numa.
Colors of Nature
The name Goshiki-numa comes from the “five colored ponds” that make up part of the lake. The colors of the lakes and the trees surrounding them change with the seasons, making each visit a unique and vivid experience. formed by the 1888 eruption of Mt. Bandai, the lake is composed of dozens of volcanic lakes. Among them, eight lakes stand out for their beautiful colors.
A Treasure Trove of Wildlife
Goshikinuma is a treasure trove of wildlife. From migratory birds such as cormorants and mandarin ducks to anemones and aquatic plants, the wildlife in Goshiki-numa is diverse and beautiful. It is also a habitat for brown bears and other wildlife.
Trip Planning Points for fully enjoying Goshikinuma
To enjoy the beauty of Goshiki-numa, it is important to plan in advance. Since crowds are expected during peak times, be sure to check the operation schedule of public transportation. In addition, try to arrive at Goshiki-numa early, before the tour buses arrive. That way, you can fully enjoy the beauty of the lake in a quiet and peaceful atmosphere.
Nature and Recreation by Lake Inawashiro
If you are visiting Fukushima Prefecture, you cannot miss Lake Inawashiro, the largest lake in the prefecture. Lake Inawashiro is the perfect spot to enjoy the serene beauty of the area. You can take a leisurely stroll along the shores of the lake or rent a fishing or rowing boat to experience the lake in a completely different way. There are also plenty of barbecue areas, campgrounds, and ski resorts where you can enjoy activities while taking in the beauty of nature.
Explore history at Lake Inawashiro
Lake Inawashiro is a lake steeped in long history. Many buildings from hundreds of years ago still remain, and the ancient beauty of the lake will fascinate anyone who visits. You can visit the Oirase Stream, known as Inawashiro Grand Castle, and Tamonbong Castle, famous for its heroic castle tower. There are many other historical sites as well. There is also the Inawashiro Landmark Museum where you can see ancient relics.
Boat trip around Inawashiro Lake
If you want to experience the beauty of Inawashiro Lake from a different angle, take a boat ride around the lake. Boats are available for rent and you can enjoy the scenery of the lake. The lake is known for its clarity, reflecting Mt. Bandai and the sky, so you will be able to see beautiful scenery. You can also enjoy the unique experience of riding in a hot air balloon and viewing the lake from high above.
Enjoy a lakeside barbecue
Whether you want to get together with family or enjoy the beautiful weather with friends, barbecuing by the lake is the perfect activity. You can rent grills, tongs, and other necessary equipment from lakeside facilities, or you can bring your own. There are also many restaurants near the lake where you can enjoy barbecue.
Dining at a lakeside restaurant
Eating at a lakeside restaurant with a wonderful view is a great way to lose track of time. Lake Inawashiro restaurants offer something for everyone, from Japanese cuisine to traditional dishes. Many restaurants also offer boat rides around the lake while you enjoy your meal. After a delicious meal, you can take a leisurely stroll along the lakeside and enjoy the scenery.
Fukushima Prefecture is a region of beautiful nature, deep history, and unique cultural attractions. Whether you are looking for historical exploration, nature experiences, or recreation, you are sure to have a wonderful time in Fukushima Prefecture.