Fukushima Travel Guide: Top 33 Things to Do in Fukushima, Japan

Nestled in the heart of the Tōhoku region in northeastern Japan, Fukushima Prefecture is a beautiful amalgamation of rich history, breathtaking landscapes, rejuvenating hot springs, and warm-hearted locals. It’s a destination that has faced adversity but has emerged with grace and resilience, making it a poignant and deeply enriching place to visit. Though widely recognized because of the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster, Fukushima has so much more to offer that goes beyond that narrative, with centuries of cultural heritage and natural beauty waiting to be explored.

Geography and Climate

Fukushima is Japan’s third-largest prefecture, with a diverse geography that ranges from Pacific coastlines in the east to magnificent mountain ranges in the west. The region is split into three main parts: Aizu in the west, Nakadōri in the center, and Hamadōri in the east.

The climate varies considerably across the prefecture. Coastal areas experience humid summers and mild winters, while the western highlands might surprise you with snow-blanketed landscapes in the colder months, making it an attractive destination for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts.

Historical Significance

Fukushima’s history is a rich tapestry of samurai legends, ancient temples, and traditional crafts. Aizu, in particular, boasts a storied past of samurai culture. The Aizu-Wakamatsu Castle, also known as Tsuruga Castle, stands as a proud testament to these times, having played significant roles in many feudal conflicts. Here, you can immerse yourself in stories of brave warriors, iconic battles, and historic turning points that shaped Japan.

Natural Attractions

Nature lovers will be enthralled by the plethora of options in Fukushima. From the mesmerizing Bandai-Asahi National Park with its pristine lakes, active volcanoes, and cascading waterfalls, to the Oze National Park with its sprawling marshlands, you’re in for a visual treat. The Goshiki-numa, or “Five Colored Ponds,” is a series of volcanic lakes that change color depending on the time of day and angle of light, offering a unique spectacle that encapsulates the region’s natural magic.

For those seeking rejuvenation, the numerous onsen (hot springs) towns, such as Iizaka, Tsuchiyu, and Higashiyama, beckon with the promise of relaxation. These aren’t just places to soak but are deeply embedded in Japanese culture, offering a therapeutic blend of physical and spiritual healing.


Fukushima’s gastronomy is as varied as its landscapes. Known for its delicious peaches and mouth-watering ramen varieties, there’s no shortage of culinary delights. The locally brewed sake, influenced by the pure waters of the region, is a must-try for connoisseurs.

Post-2011 Recovery

The resilience of Fukushima’s people is evident in their efforts to rebuild and restore the region after the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster. Today, many areas have been reopened to the public, and locals welcome visitors with open arms, eager to share their stories and showcase the true spirit of Fukushima. Traveling here also supports their revitalization efforts.

Fukushima, with its undulating landscapes, historical depth, and resilient spirit, is a testament to the enduring beauty and strength of Japan. It offers a travel experience that touches the heart and soul, teaching lessons on resilience, recovery, and the profound bond between man and nature. Whether you’re hiking through verdant trails, soaking in an onsen, or savoring a bowl of local ramen, Fukushima promises an enriching journey that goes beyond mere sightseeing.

Venturing into Fukushima is an act of discovery, uncovering the myriad facets of a region that defies expectations and enriches the spirit. It’s more than just a destination; it’s a narrative of hope, renewal, and timeless beauty.

Fukushima Travel Guide: Things to do in Fukushima, Japan for visitors

Fukushima City Guide: A Brief History Of Fukushima, Japan For Visitors

Delve into Fukushima’s rich past, and you’ll find a narrative of ancient empires, samurai warriors, cultural evolution, and resilience in the face of adversity. Situated in the northeastern part of Japan’s Honshu island, Fukushima’s history offers visitors a deep understanding of its intrinsic values and traditions.

Ancient Times and Early Settlements

Fukushima’s history traces back to the Jomon period (circa 14,000-300 BCE), a prehistoric era marked by early settlements of hunters and gatherers. Archaeological excavations in the region have unveiled pottery, stone tools, and other artifacts from this era, providing insights into the early way of life.

The subsequent Yayoi period saw the introduction of rice cultivation, leading to the establishment of permanent settlements and the formation of early tribal societies. As these tribes and settlements grew, the region witnessed the development of distinctive local cultures.

The Age of the Samurai and the Aizu Domain

Fukushima’s historical prominence is often linked with its samurai heritage, particularly in the Aizu region. By the Heian period (794-1185), local clans began to consolidate power, leading to a series of territorial conflicts and alliances.

The Muromachi period (1336-1573) saw the rise of powerful warlords or daimyō. The Ashina clan was one of the dominant forces in Aizu during this era. They fortified the Aizu-Wakamatsu Castle, turning it into a strategic stronghold.

However, during the Sengoku period, a time of constant military conflict, the Date clan emerged as a powerful force in the region. Under the leadership of Date Masamune, they expanded their territories and played a pivotal role in shaping Fukushima’s history.

The Edo period (1603-1868) brought relative peace, with the Tokugawa shogunate consolidating power. Aizu became a semi-independent domain known for its loyalty to the shogunate. This allegiance culminated in the Boshin War (1868-1869) during the Meiji Restoration, where the Aizu clan fought against the imperial forces. Despite their fierce resistance, the Aizu forces were defeated, marking the end of the samurai era.

Cultural and Economic Flourishing

During the peaceful Edo period, Fukushima experienced cultural and economic growth. The region was known for its craftsmanship, especially lacquerware and ceramics. Trade routes flourished, connecting Fukushima to other parts of Japan.

Modern Times and the 20th Century

The Meiji period (1868-1912) brought significant changes to Fukushima, with modernization efforts reshaping its economy and infrastructure. Railways were introduced, industrialization took root, and Fukushima began to integrate more closely with the rest of Japan.

The 20th century saw Fukushima navigating the challenges of wars, economic downturns, and natural disasters. Post World War II, the region focused on rebuilding its infrastructure and economy, gradually establishing itself as a key contributor to Japan’s progress.

The 2011 Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster

On March 11, 2011, Fukushima faced one of its most challenging moments when a massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck the northeastern coast of Japan. The disaster severely affected the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, leading to a nuclear meltdown. This event resulted in the evacuation of thousands of residents and had profound implications for Fukushima’s image internationally.

In the years following the disaster, efforts have been focused on decontamination, rebuilding, and revitalizing the region. With resilience and determination, the people of Fukushima are working tirelessly to overcome the challenges and ensure a bright future for the next generations.

Fukushima’s history is a compelling narrative of rise and fall, of battles and peace, of cultural evolution, and, most importantly, of resilience. Its diverse past offers visitors a unique perspective into the spirit of Japan – a blend of traditional values, samurai honor, and modern resilience. As you explore Fukushima, each historical site, monument, and museum offers a chapter from this rich tapestry, waiting to be discovered and appreciated.

source: japan-guide.com on YouTube

Top 33 Things To Do in Fukushima, Japan For Visitors

Fukushima is an intriguing blend of history, culture, natural beauty, and resilience. If you’re planning a visit, here’s a list of 33 must-do activities to ensure a well-rounded experience.

1. Tsuruga Castle (Aizu-Wakamatsu Castle): Delve deep into samurai history by visiting this iconic castle. Don’t miss the panoramic view from the top!

2. Goshiki-numa: Explore these mystical “Five Colored Ponds” that change color depending on the time of day and angle of light.

3. Ouchi-juku: Step back in time in this preserved post-town with thatched-roof houses, reminiscent of the Edo period.

4. Bandai-Asahi National Park: Nature enthusiasts should hike around this park, home to the active Mount Bandai volcano.

5. Spa Resort Hawaiians: Enjoy a tropical getaway in this large hot spring theme park, complete with Polynesian performances.

6. Lake Inawashiro: One of Japan’s largest lakes, it’s perfect for boat rides, beach activities, and witnessing the migratory swans in winter.

7. Kitakata Ramen Streets: Sample Kitakata’s famed ramen from various stalls, each offering unique flavors.

8. Mount Azuma-Kofuji: Challenge yourself with a hike up this beautiful, symmetrical volcanic mountain.

9. Sazaedo Temple: Marvel at this double-helix structured temple, a rare architectural masterpiece.

10. Iizaka Onsen: Soak in one of Fukushima’s oldest hot springs, known for its therapeutic properties.

11. Morohashi Museum of Modern Art: View an impressive collection of artworks, including pieces by Salvador Dali.

12. Nisshinkan Samurai School: Learn about samurai culture and practices at this historic school in Aizu-Wakamatsu.

13. Hanamiyama Park: Visit in spring to witness the spectacular bloom of cherry blossoms and other flowers.

14. Ura-Bandai: Explore this picturesque highland area with its beautiful landscapes, particularly in autumn.

15. Nakano Fudoson: Witness the majestic waterfall backdrop at this serene temple.

16. Horuru, The Fukushima Sake Experience: Savor locally brewed sake and learn about the brewing process.

17. Shirakawa Daruma Doll Painting: Try your hand at painting traditional Japanese Daruma dolls, symbols of perseverance.

18. Aizu Samurai Residences: Walk through preserved samurai homes to experience their traditional way of life.

19. Playpark Oze: Explore Oze’s marshlands, known for their diverse flora and fauna.

20. Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art: Dive into local artistic expressions spanning various periods and styles.

21. Byakkotai Memorial: Pay respect at this site dedicated to young samurai warriors who perished during the Boshin War.

22. Aizu Bukeyashiki (Samurai Mansion): Witness the grandeur of a high-ranking samurai’s residence.

23. Mount Iimori: Hike this historical mountain for views of Aizu-Wakamatsu and surrounding historical sites.

24. To-no-hetsuri: Marvel at this natural rock formation sculpted over millennia by erosion.

25. Takayu Onsen: Enjoy another of Fukushima’s famous hot springs, set amidst serene mountain landscapes.

26. Suehiro Sake Brewery: Dive deeper into the sake culture with a guided tour of this renowned brewery.

27. Tsuchiyu Traditional Kokeshi Dolls: Learn about and shop for these handcrafted wooden dolls, symbolic of the region.

28. Abukuma Cave: Explore the enchanting limestone formations in one of Japan’s largest caves.

29. Bentenjima: Visit this small island dedicated to Benzaiten, a goddess of music and good fortune.

30. Koriyama City Fureai Science Space Park: Engage with interactive science exhibits – great for families!

31. Enichi-ji Temple: Admire the stunning architecture and spiritual aura of this ancient temple.

32. Aquamarine Fukushima: Discover marine life native to Fukushima’s coastal regions at this modern aquarium.

33. Visit War Reconstruction Zones: Understand the 2011 disaster’s impact and witness the remarkable recovery efforts.

Fukushima, with its multifaceted offerings ranging from historical sites to natural wonders, caters to every kind of traveler. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or someone seeking spiritual solace, Fukushima promises a memorable journey packed with enriching experiences.

source: Yellow Productions on YouTube

What To Eat and Drink in Fukushima, Japan

Fukushima Prefecture, nestled between the coastal regions and mountainous terrains, is a hub of culinary exploration. From traditional flavors to innovative creations, it is a haven for food enthusiasts. Dive into this guide to savor the best of Fukushima’s gastronomic offerings.

Savory Delights

  • Kitakata Ramen: Enjoy this unique ramen with a soy sauce-based broth, flat noodles, succulent pork slices, and bamboo shoots. It’s one of Japan’s “Three Great Ramens.”
  • Aizu Horse Meat & Basashi (Horse Sashimi): Relish the rich and slightly sweet horse meat, whether raw as sashimi, grilled, or stewed.
  • Soba (Buckwheat Noodles): Try handmade soba from the Tsuchiyu region, either cold with dipping sauce or in a warm, comforting broth.
  • Miso Dengaku: Skewered and grilled tofu or konnyaku, topped with a rich miso glaze.
  • Harakomeshi: A flavorful rice bowl adorned with pickled and fresh seafood, enhanced with sweet soy sauce.
  • Ikaninjin: Experience this sweet-savory combo of carrots and dried squid, simmered in soy sauce and sugar.
  • Aizu Beef: Indulge in the renowned Aizu beef, known for its marbling and velvety texture, prepared in various styles.
  • Tamago-yaki: Fukushima’s take on the classic Japanese rolled omelette, often incorporating regional ingredients.
  • Shingorō: Grilled ball-shaped rice cakes filled with sweetened miso — a perfect cold-weather snack.

Sweet Treats

  • Fruit Delights: Revel in Fukushima’s celebrated fruits like peaches, pears, and cherries. Don’t miss the orchard fruit-picking experiences!


  • Sake: Savor the local sake, brewed from the region’s pristine waters.
    • Aizu Chūjō: A dry sake, perfect with meals.
    • Okunomatsu: An award-winning sake, known for its complex profile.
    • Suehiro: Taste the legacy from one of the oldest breweries in Fukushima.
  • Craft Beers: Explore the burgeoning craft beer scene with offerings from breweries like Aizu Homare and Michinoku Fukushima Beer.
  • Peach Wine: Experience the sweet and aromatic peach wines, reflecting Fukushima’s fruit farming heritage.


  • Pickled Products: Dive into a variety of pickled vegetables, seasoned with Fukushima’s distinct miso, serving as perfect side dishes or memorable souvenirs.

Fukushima’s culinary landscape offers an enticing blend of ancient traditions and modern flavors. Each meal in this prefecture promises a sensory journey, encapsulating its rich heritage and the artisanal prowess of its residents. Dining here is more than just a meal; it’s an enriching cultural experience.

source: 5 AM Ramen on YouTube

Top Restaurants In Fukushima, Japan

With a rich tapestry of culinary heritage, Fukushima is home to a variety of restaurants that cater to both traditional and modern palates. Let’s explore some of the top eateries where you can experience the gastronomic essence of this fascinating region.

1. Ippuku-tei

  • Location: Aizu-Wakamatsu
  • Cuisine: Traditional Japanese
  • Highlights: This long-standing restaurant, set in a renovated traditional Japanese house, is renowned for its authentic local dishes. Their specialties include seasonal sashimi and Aizu beef dishes. With tatami mat seating and a tranquil ambiance, you’ll experience the true essence of Japanese dining.

2. Mukaitaki Ryokan

  • Location: Higashiyama Onsen
  • Cuisine: Kaiseki
  • Highlights: This isn’t just a restaurant but also a historic ryokan (inn). Diners are treated to exquisite multi-course kaiseki meals that showcase the season’s best ingredients. The aesthetic presentation and depth of flavors are masterfully combined to elevate your dining experience.

3. Ramen Ippo

  • Location: Kitakata
  • Cuisine: Ramen
  • Highlights: Kitakata is one of the three great ramen capitals of Japan, and Ramen Ippo is an iconic spot to sample this. The restaurant’s signature dish boasts thick, chewy noodles in a savory broth, complete with tender pork slices.

4. Akira

  • Location: Fukushima City
  • Cuisine: Modern Fusion
  • Highlights: Akira marries traditional Japanese flavors with Western culinary techniques. The result is an innovative menu that surprises and delights. The wine pairing, predominantly featuring Fukushima’s local wines, enhances the experience.

5. Sakaeya

  • Location: Aizu-Wakamatsu
  • Cuisine: Soba
  • Highlights: Known for its handmade soba noodles, Sakaeya offers dishes that emphasize the rich, nutty flavor of buckwheat. The setting, amidst traditional architecture and decor, enhances the dining experience.

6. Sabakoyatei Itsuki

  • Location: Iizaka
  • Cuisine: Seafood
  • Highlights: Specializing in seafood, this restaurant offers dishes that capture the freshness of Fukushima’s coastal bounty. The grilled fish and seafood donburi (rice bowls) are particularly popular.

7. Hasegawa

  • Location: Fukushima City
  • Cuisine: Yakiniku (Grilled Meat)
  • Highlights: A must-visit for meat lovers, Hasegawa offers premium cuts of local beef, pork, and even horse meat. Guests can grill their selections on tabletop barbecues, ensuring the meat is cooked to their preference.

8. Tsurugajo Kaikan

  • Location: Near Tsuruga Castle
  • Cuisine: Traditional Japanese
  • Highlights: After touring Tsuruga Castle, visitors can indulge in traditional dishes at this nearby eatery. Their set menus, which incorporate local vegetables and meats, provide a comprehensive taste of Aizu’s culinary offerings.

9. Kappo Ito

  • Location: Koriyama
  • Cuisine: Traditional Japanese
  • Highlights: This upscale dining establishment serves dishes that are both a visual and gastronomic treat. Seasonal ingredients, sourced locally, are transformed into artistic presentations.

10. Café de L’ambre

  • Location: Aizu-Wakamatsu
  • Cuisine: Café and Desserts
  • Highlights: Perfect for a light snack or dessert after exploring the town, this café offers delightful pastries, cakes, and a range of coffee and tea options. Their matcha latte, paired with a slice of fresh fruit tart, is a favorite among visitors.

From age-old establishments echoing the culinary traditions of yesteryears to modern fusion eateries breaking culinary boundaries, Fukushima’s restaurant scene is dynamic and diverse. Whether you’re indulging in a bowl of famed Kitakata ramen or savoring a meticulously curated kaiseki meal, you’re partaking in a rich gastronomic narrative that Fukushima has meticulously crafted over the centuries.

source: Yellow Productions on YouTube

Tours For Visitors To Fukushima, Japan

Fukushima’s historical richness, natural beauty, and culinary prowess provide an expansive canvas for a diverse range of tours. Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, or a foodie, Fukushima has a tour that caters to your interests. Let’s explore some of the most recommended tours that help you experience the essence of this captivating prefecture.

1. Historical Aizu-Wakamatsu Tour

  • Focus: History and Culture
  • Highlights: This guided tour takes you through the historical heart of Fukushima, Aizu-Wakamatsu. Visit the iconic Tsuruga Castle, witness the samurai residences in the old samurai district, and learn about the Byakkotai (White Tiger Brigade) at the Iimori Hill. Finish your tour with a visit to the Aizu Bukeyashiki, a reconstructed samurai mansion.

2. Kitakata Ramen Factory Experience

  • Focus: Culinary and Culture
  • Highlights: Delve deep into the world of Kitakata ramen, one of Japan’s top three ramen varieties. Participate in a ramen-making workshop, learn about its history, and, of course, enjoy a bowl of freshly made ramen as the culmination of your tour.

3. Bandai Asahi National Park Exploration

  • Focus: Nature and Adventure
  • Highlights: Wander through the pristine landscapes of the Bandai Asahi National Park. See the breathtaking Goshiki-numa Ponds, hike the trails around Mount Bandai, and in winters, enjoy skiing or snowboarding activities.

4. Onsen Getaway in Iizaka

  • Focus: Relaxation and Wellness
  • Highlights: Experience the therapeutic wonders of Iizaka Onsen, one of Japan’s oldest hot springs. Beyond the relaxing baths, learn about the history and culture of onsen in Fukushima.

5. Sake Brewery Tour

  • Focus: Culinary and Culture
  • Highlights: Dive into the world of sake in Fukushima, known for producing some of Japan’s finest brews. Visit traditional breweries, witness the intricate brewing process, and partake in sake tasting sessions to discern the nuances of different varieties.

6. Fukushima Fruit Picking Tour

  • Focus: Culinary and Agriculture
  • Highlights: Relish the experience of picking fresh fruits from the orchards of Fukushima. Depending on the season, gather peaches, cherries, pears, or apples. Many orchards also offer jam-making workshops as part of the tour.

7. Coastal Exploration of Soma

  • Focus: Nature and History
  • Highlights: Venture to the coastal region of Soma, known for its beautiful beaches and the ancient Nomaoi (wild horse chase) festival. Understand the region’s rich equine history and, if timed right, witness the thrilling horse races and ceremonies.

8. Traditional Craftsmanship in Aizu

  • Focus: Culture and Craft
  • Highlights: Aizu region is renowned for its traditional crafts. Participate in workshops to experience the making of Aizu lacquerware, Aizu cotton, and the iconic Akabeko (red cow) toys. This hands-on tour offers both insight and souvenirs to take back home.

9. Tsuchiyu Kokeshi Doll Experience

  • Focus: Culture and Craft
  • Highlights: Delve into the charming world of Tsuchiyu Kokeshi dolls. Meet local artisans, learn about the history of these wooden dolls, and even try your hand at painting your own Kokeshi.

10. Ouchi-juku Historical Village Tour

  • Focus: History and Culture
  • Highlights: Step back in time as you stroll through the preserved post-town of Ouchi-juku. With thatched-roofed houses lining the streets and devoid of modern utilities like electricity poles, the village provides an immersive Edo-period experience.

Fukushima, with its myriad attractions, offers tours that promise in-depth insights and unforgettable experiences. Each tour tells a story – of Fukushima’s resilience, its profound history, its unparalleled natural beauty, and its rich culture. Whether it’s your first time visiting or a return trip, there’s always something new to discover and cherish in Fukushima.

Fukushima cityscape views in Japan from aerial views

Fukushima Accommodations Guide: Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels

Nestled in the heart of the Tohoku region, Fukushima boasts a plethora of accommodations suited to every kind of traveler, from the luxury-seeker to the budget backpacker. Here’s an exhaustive guide to help you find the best place to rest and recharge while exploring the captivating landscapes and cultures of Fukushima.

Luxury Hotels

  1. Hotel Listel Inawashiro
    • Location: Overlooking the magnificent Lake Inawashiro.
    • Features: Lavish rooms with modern amenities, on-site spa, restaurants, and access to outdoor activities including skiing in winter and hiking in summer.
  2. Higashiyama Daiichi Hotel
    • Location: Higashiyama Onsen
    • Features: Elegant rooms with traditional touches, natural hot spring baths, gourmet dining options, and impeccable service.

Mid-range Hotels

  1. Hotel Mets Fukushima
    • Location: Fukushima City
    • Features: Modern, comfortable rooms, on-site restaurant, conveniently located close to the main train station.
  2. Hotel Route-Inn Aizu Wakamatsu
    • Location: Aizu Wakamatsu City
    • Features: Cozy rooms, complimentary breakfast buffet, and a public bath for relaxation.

Traditional Ryokan

  1. Mukaitaki Ryokan
    • Location: Higashiyama Onsen
    • Features: Experience traditional Japanese hospitality in this historic inn. Tatami-matted rooms, kaiseki meals, and natural onsen baths offer a genuine taste of Japan’s Ryokan culture.
  2. Shosuke-no-Yado Takinoyu
    • Location: Aizu Wakamatsu
    • Features: A blend of tradition and modernity, this ryokan offers serene rooms, culinary delights, and a variety of onsen baths.

Budget Hotels & Business Hotels

  1. Toyoko Inn Fukushima-eki Nishi-guchi
    • Location: Near Fukushima Station
    • Features: Functional rooms suited for business travelers or short stays. Free breakfast and reliable Wi-Fi are added bonuses.
  2. Super Hotel Fukushima
    • Location: Fukushima City
    • Features: Clean and compact rooms with essential amenities, ideal for budget travelers.

Guesthouses & Minshuku (Bed and Breakfast)

  1. Guesthouse Tsunogawa
    • Location: Aizu Wakamatsu
    • Features: A warm, home-like atmosphere with shared facilities. Perfect for those looking to interact with locals and fellow travelers.
  2. Minshuku Rindou-no-ie

Hostels & Backpacker Lodgings

  1. K’s House Fukushima
  • Location: Fukushima City
  • Features: A popular choice among backpackers, offering dormitory-style rooms, communal kitchen, and a lounge area for socializing.
  1. Aizu Higashiyama Youth Hostel
  • Location: Aizu Wakamatsu
  • Features: Economical dormitory rooms, basic amenities, and a friendly environment conducive to meeting fellow travelers.

Unique Accommodations

  1. Urabandai Royal Hotel
  • Location: Ura-bandai
  • Features: Overlooking the stunning Goshiki-numa Ponds, this hotel offers not only comfortable rooms but also activities like fishing, skiing, and hiking.
  1. Ouchi-juku Satonoyu Ryokan
  • Location: Ouchi-juku
  • Features: Stay in a historical village in a traditional thatched-roof inn. Experience Edo-era vibes, paired with modern comforts.

From luxurious resorts by tranquil lakes to historic ryokans in ancient towns, Fukushima’s accommodation landscape mirrors its diverse appeal. Whether you’re seeking a traditional Japanese experience, traveling on a budget, or looking for a touch of opulence, Fukushima ensures every traveler finds a cozy spot to call home during their stay. Always consider booking in advance, especially during peak seasons, to secure your preferred choice and get the best rates.

Fukishima Prefecture Mountain Views In Japan

Fukushima 3-4 Days Travel Itinerary

Dive into the serene beauty and rich history of Fukushima with this comprehensive 3-4 days travel itinerary. From hot spring havens to samurai towns, you’ll get a taste of what this stunning prefecture has to offer.

Day 1: Discover Fukushima City


  • Fukushima Inari Shrine: Start your journey by seeking blessings at this Shinto shrine, dedicated to Inari, the god of rice and agriculture.
  • Hanamiyama Park: If visiting in spring, don’t miss the park’s stunning cherry blossom views. During other seasons, enjoy its landscaped gardens and panoramic city views.


  • Iizaka Onsen: Revitalize your senses with a dip in one of Japan’s oldest hot springs. The town also offers quaint streets to explore and delightful local eateries.
  • Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art: Immerse yourself in the local art scene, featuring works of modern Japanese artists and seasonal exhibitions.


  • Dinner at Akira: Savor fusion dishes at this renowned restaurant, pairing traditional Japanese flavors with Western culinary techniques. Pair it with local Fukushima wine.

Day 2: Step Back in Time in Aizu-Wakamatsu


  • Tsuruga Castle: Visit this iconic castle, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city from its keep.
  • Aizu Bukeyashiki (Samurai Residence): Get a glimpse of the samurai lifestyle in this reconstructed residence, complete with a garden, teahouse, and museum.


  • Sazaedo Temple: Explore this unique wooden pagoda with a double-helix structure, allowing visitors to ascend and descend without crossing paths.
  • Oyakuen Garden: Stroll in this tranquil garden, known for its medicinal herbs. Enjoy tea overlooking the central pond.


  • Stay at Mukaitaki Ryokan: Experience traditional hospitality, sleep on tatami mats, and dine on a kaiseki meal. End the night with an onsen bath.

Day 3: Nature’s Bounty in Bandai


  • Goshiki-numa Ponds: Begin with a hike around these stunning multi-colored ponds formed by Mount Bandai’s eruption.
  • Lake Inawashiro: Enjoy a peaceful boat ride or simply relax by the lakeside. If you’re visiting in winter, you might spot swans.


  • Mount Bandai: If you’re up for adventure, take a hike or, in winter, ski down its slopes.
  • Dake Onsen: After a day of activities, relax in this lesser-known onsen, surrounded by nature.


  • Dinner in Kitakata: Known as one of Japan’s ramen capitals, you must try the local ramen variant. Opt for an eatery like Ramen Ippo.

Day 4: Cultural Immersion in Ouchi-juku and Kitakata


  • Ouchi-juku: Walk through this preserved post-town, reminiscent of the Edo period. The thatched-roofed houses, which now serve as shops and restaurants, offer a true historic vibe.


  • Kitakata Warehouses: Discover Kitakata’s distinctive kura (traditional storehouses) and learn about their architectural significance.
  • Tsuchiyu Kokeshi Doll Workshop: Participate in a workshop, crafting and painting your very own traditional Kokeshi doll.


  • Return to Fukushima City: Wrap up your journey by revisiting the city, perhaps purchasing souvenirs or indulging in a final local meal.

Fukushima offers a seamless blend of nature, history, and culture. This 3-4 day itinerary barely scratches the surface, but it provides a balanced experience of what the prefecture stands for. Depending on personal interests and seasonal events, you can customize this schedule, ensuring Fukushima leaves an indelible mark on your travel memories.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube

Where To Visit After Your Trip To Fukushima?

After exploring the rich tapestry of culture, history, and natural beauty in Fukushima, you may be keen to continue your journey through Japan. Given Fukushima’s location in the Tohoku region, there are many captivating destinations nearby and further afield that you can seamlessly transition to. Here’s a guide to some options:

Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture

  • Overview: The largest city in the Tohoku region, Sendai offers a mix of urban delights and natural wonders.
    • Matsushima Bay: Often listed as one of Japan’s three most scenic views, it’s a bay dotted with pine-clad islands.
    • Sendai Tanabata Festival: If visiting in August, experience this vibrant star festival with elaborate decorations.
    • Osaki Hachiman Shrine: A designated national treasure, this shrine showcases intricate wooden architecture.

Yamagata, Yamagata Prefecture

  • Overview: Known for its hot springs and mountainous landscapes, it’s a treat for nature lovers.
    • Zao Onsen: A famous hot spring resort that’s also known for ‘snow monsters’ (trees covered in heavy snow) in winter.
    • Yamadera: A scenic temple located on a mountain, offering panoramic views.
    • Yonezawa: Dive into history and savor the renowned Yonezawa beef.

Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture

  • Overview: A world heritage site, Nikko brims with historical and natural attractions.
    • Toshogu Shrine: Japan’s most lavishly decorated shrine and the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu.
    • Kegon Falls: One of Japan’s highest and most beautiful waterfalls.
    • Lake Chuzenji: A scenic lake in the mountains above Nikko.

Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture

  • Overview: Located near Mount Fuji, Hakone is famed for its hot springs, nature, and views of the iconic mountain.
    • Owakudani: An active volcanic zone where you can try black eggs boiled in its sulphurous waters.
    • Hakone Open-Air Museum: A massive park showcasing outdoor sculptures.
    • Lake Ashinoko: A picturesque lake that offers boat tours.


  • Overview: The bustling capital city, which is a stark contrast to the serenity of Fukushima.
    • Asakusa & Senso-ji Temple: Dive into Tokyo’s history and cultural center.
    • Shibuya Crossing: Witness and walk through the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing.
    • Odaiba: An entertainment hub with shopping, dining, and panoramic views of the Tokyo Bay.

Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture

  • Overview: A historic city known for districts, museums, and regional handicrafts.
    • Kenrokuen Garden: One of Japan’s top three gardens.
    • Nagamachi: A well-preserved samurai district.
    • Kanazawa Castle: A historic castle with beautifully landscaped surroundings.


  • Overview: The cultural heart of Japan, steeped in history.
    • Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion): A Zen temple covered in gold leaf.
    • Gion: Kyoto’s most famous geisha district.
    • Fushimi Inari Taisha: An iconic shrine with thousands of red torii gates.

Ibaraki, Ibaraki Prefecture

  • Overview: A coastal gem offering beautiful parks, traditional culture, and art museums.
    • Hitachi Seaside Park: Known for its seasonal flowers, especially the blue nemophila fields in spring and kochia bushes in autumn.
    • Kairakuen Garden: One of Japan’s top three gardens, famous for its plum blossom festival.
    • Oarai Isosaki Shrine: A picturesque shrine on the coast, offering views of the Pacific.

Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture

  • Overview: Nestled in the Japanese Alps, Matsumoto offers historical sites and breathtaking landscapes.
    • Matsumoto Castle: One of Japan’s most beautiful original castles.
    • Kamikochi: A pristine highland valley in the Japanese Alps, perfect for hiking and nature lovers.
    • Wasabi Farm: Japan’s largest wasabi farm where you can sample wasabi-infused products.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube


  • Overview: Japan’s ancient capital before Kyoto, renowned for its giant Buddha statue and roaming deer.
    • Todai-ji Temple: Houses the world’s largest bronze Buddha statue.
    • Nara Park: Meet the friendly wild deer that are considered messengers of the gods.
    • Kasuga Taisha: Nara’s most celebrated shrine with thousands of stone lanterns lining its approach.


  • Overview: A city that stands as a symbol of peace and resilience.
    • Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park & Museum: Commemorates the atomic bombing, fostering hope for world peace.
    • Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima Island: Famous for its “floating” torii gate.
    • Okonomiyaki: Savor Hiroshima-style pancakes, a delightful local delicacy.

Sapporo, Hokkaido

  • Overview: The capital of Hokkaido, offering a blend of urban sophistication and natural charm.
    • Odori Park: A central park hosting various events and festivals.
    • Sapporo Snow Festival: Visit in February for grand ice sculptures and snow structures.
    • Historic Village of Hokkaido: A museum showcasing the architectural evolution of Hokkaido.

Takayama, Gifu Prefecture

  • Overview: A city in the mountainous Hida region with a beautifully preserved old town.
    • Sanmachi Street: Wander around well-preserved buildings from the Edo Period.
    • Hida Folk Village: Explore traditional thatched-roof farmhouses.
    • Morning Markets: Sample local treats and crafts from friendly vendors.


  • Overview: Tropical islands offering distinct culture, coral reefs, and historic sites.
    • Shurijo Castle: Dive into the Ryukyu Kingdom’s history.
    • Churaumi Aquarium: Marvel at the massive Kuroshio tank housing whale sharks.
    • Beaches: Relax at pristine beaches like Emerald Beach and Kondoi Beach.

source: Samuel and Audrey on YouTube


  • Overview: A vibrant metropolis known for its modern architecture, vibrant nightlife, and hearty street food.
    • Dotonbori: Osaka’s entertainment hub, alive with neon lights, eateries, and theaters.
    • Osaka Castle: A reconstructed fortress with a museum about the city and panoramic views.
    • Universal Studios Japan: Dive into thrilling rides and shows at this popular theme park.

Kagoshima, Kagoshima Prefecture

  • Overview: Located on Kyushu’s southern tip, Kagoshima offers a blend of active volcanoes, historical sites, and subtropical landscapes.
    • Sakurajima: An active volcano and symbol of the city. You can hike its trails and visit nearby hot springs.
    • Sengan-en: A historical garden overlooking Sakurajima, once a residence of the Shimazu clan.
    • Shirahama Onsen: Soak in natural hot springs with views of the sea.

Beppu, Oita Prefecture

  • Overview: Famous for its hot springs, Beppu offers unique “hells” or jigoku, which are scenic hot springs for viewing rather than bathing.
    • Onsen Steam Baths: Unique sand and steam baths offer therapeutic relaxation.
    • Jigoku Meguri (Hell Tour): Explore colorful and boiling natural hot springs.
    • Takasakiyama Monkey Park: Watch wild monkeys in a natural setting.


Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture

  • Overview: A tropical paradise offering white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and coral reefs.
    • Kabira Bay: Famous for its emerald waters and white sands.
    • Ishigaki Yaima Village: Experience traditional Okinawan culture and mingle with native squirrels.
    • Stargazing: The island’s low light pollution makes for an unforgettable stargazing experience.

Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture

  • Overview: Known for its signature beef, Kobe is a port city with a cosmopolitan vibe.
    • Ikuta Shrine: One of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan.
    • Arima Onsen: One of Japan’s oldest hot spring resorts.
    • Nada Sake District: Dive into Japan’s sake brewing heritage.


  • Overview: The gateway to Kyushu, Fukuoka seamlessly blends modernity with history.
    • Canal City Hakata: A large shopping and entertainment complex.
    • Ohori Park: A city oasis perfect for relaxation or paddle boating.
    • Hakata Ramen: Don’t miss trying the city’s famous ramen dish.

Naoshima, Kagawa Prefecture

Japan is a country of endless exploration, with every city and prefecture offering its unique flavor. Whether you’re drawn to bustling urban settings like Tokyo, historic heartbeats like Kyoto, or natural paradises like Hakone, the journey after Fukushima promises to be as enriching. Given the country’s efficient rail system, especially the Shinkansen (bullet trains), transitioning from one place to another is a breeze. Always check for rail passes and regional connectivity to make the most of your travels.

Fukushima Lake Winter Scene In Japan

Fukushima Travel Guide: Final Thoughts

The multifaceted allure of Fukushima Prefecture stands as a testament to Japan’s unparalleled ability to harmonize the ancient with the modern, the tranquil with the dynamic, and the natural with the man-made. It’s a region that, despite facing tremendous challenges in the recent past, has showcased resilience, hope, and a continuous drive toward renewal. As we wrap up this comprehensive guide, let’s reflect deeply on what makes Fukushima not just a destination, but an experience.

Resilience and Renewal

The global memory of Fukushima is often overshadowed by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and the ensuing nuclear incident. However, the overwhelming spirit of the people, their drive for recovery, and their commitment to rebuilding their homeland is inspirational. The transformation of the region and its return to a state where it can once again welcome global travelers is a testament to human spirit and resilience.

Rich Historical Tapestry

Fukushima’s history is vast and diverse, encapsulating the essence of Japanese evolution. From samurai legends, ancient shrines, and castles to stories of feudal lords and traditional arts, this region preserves Japan’s rich past while embracing its future. Visiting locations like Aizu-Wakamatsu provides a tangible journey back in time, allowing travelers to immerse themselves in authentic Japanese history.

Diverse Natural Beauty

The prefecture offers some of Japan’s most varied landscapes. From the serene Bandai Plateau, azure Urabandai lakes, and the majestic Mount Azuma to the scenic coastal lines of Iwaki, Fukushima’s geography is a visual delight. The changing seasons further enhance its beauty, making it an attractive destination throughout the year, whether you’re seeking cherry blossoms, vibrant autumnal hues, snow-clad vistas, or the verdant greens of summer.

Culinary Delights

A trip to Fukushima is a gastronomic adventure. The region boasts a variety of culinary delights, from the succulent peaches of summer to the soul-warming ramen and sake that reflect the artistry and craft of local chefs and brewers. Every meal in Fukushima can be a story of its land, people, and traditions.

Onsen (Hot Springs) Culture

Fukushima’s rich geothermal activity has given birth to numerous onsen towns like Iizaka and Tsuchiyu. These hot springs are not just about relaxation but are also an integral part of Japanese culture, providing therapeutic benefits and a chance to reflect and reconnect.

A Gateway to Tohoku and Beyond

Fukushima’s strategic location in the heart of the Tohoku region makes it an ideal base for exploring neighboring prefectures. Its excellent connectivity, especially with the Shinkansen (bullet train) network, ensures that travelers can transition seamlessly to other Japanese marvels, be it Sendai’s vibrant festivals or Nikko’s historic shrines.

Engaging Festivals and Events

Throughout the year, Fukushima hosts an array of festivals that celebrate its cultural, historical, and natural heritage. From the vibrant Aizu Festival that echoes samurai valor to the ethereal lantern festivals, each event offers a unique perspective into the region’s communal spirit.

Fukushima is more than just a travel destination; it’s an emotional and sensory journey that epitomizes the essence of Japan. It’s a region that welcomes you with open arms, shares its tales of yore, and offers serene moments of introspection. As you depart, it leaves you with memories, stories, and a profound appreciation for the undying spirit of its people.

While the world knows Fukushima for its recent adversities, as travelers, we have the privilege to experience its heart, soul, and undying spirit. Let Fukushima’s narrative be one of hope, beauty, and continuous rebirth in your memories, and may it inspire you in all your future journeys.

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