Fukushima Tourist Information  ~Places to Go in Fukushima~

Look at pictures on the cover of our monthly “Fukushima-no-Shinro”


Tourist Information: Sightseeing in Fukushima
On the cover of our monthly journal ”Fukushima-no-Shinro,” literally “Fukushima’s Course”, we introduce various sightseeing spots or beautiful landscapes in Fukushima Prefecture every month.

桑折の追分:羽州街道への分岐点 【桑折町】

December Edition
Crossroads Diverging into Ushu Area, Koori Town
Oiwake means a crossroad or a fork in the road in Japanese. Located in the northern part of the Nakadori District, Koori Town used to be a post station during the Edo Period. In the town, there is a crossroad called Oiwake where the Ushu-kaido Road diverges from the Oshu-kaido Road which was one of the Go-kaido, the five main highways. The Oshu-kaido starts from Nihonbashi, Tokyo and leads to the northern area such as present-day Sendai and Morioka Cities. Look at the picture. The Ushu-kaido starting from the left side of the Oiwake leads to present-day Yamagata and Akita Cities. The Oiwake revived its appearance thanks to the Koori Town’s restoration project in 2006. The town is home to rich nature and lots of historic spots. Isn’t it wonderful to take a walk around the town on a chilly winter day?
【Directions: Approx.5 min on foot from JR Tohoku Line Koori Station】

Location of the Spots
Number on the Map Month Location
1 January Kita-Shiobara Village
2 February Tanagura Town
3 March Iwaki City
4 April Minami-Soma City
5 May Kitakata City
6 June Kagamiishi Town
7 July Inawashiro Town
8 August Nihonmatsu City
9 September Iwaki City
10 October Koriyama City
11 November Kawauchi Village
12 December Koori Town

Back Numbers

11月 | November


November Edition
Tenzan Library, Kawauchi Village
Kawauchi Village is located in a mountainous area to the north of Iwaki City. It was 1953 when Simpei Kusano, a poet from present Iwaki City, visited Kawauchi Village for the first time. He is famed as a poet of frogs, because he composed a lot of works on frogs during his life. Shimpei, thereafter, continued interchanging with people of the village. He became the Honorary Villager in 1960, when he donated his collection of 3,000 books to the village. People in the village volunteered for building this Tenzan Library in order to have these books stored. “Tenzan,” meaning a heavenly mountain in Japanese, was named after the Tianshan Mountains by Shimpei, who wished the library to be the cultural crossroads of the Tohoku District. The Tianshan Mountains are located on the Silk Road in China, which connects the East and the West.
【Directions: Approx.20 min by car from Joban Tomioka IC, Joban Expressway】

10月 | October


October Edition
Kinoko-Iwa Rocks at Jodomatsu Park,Koriyama City
Jodomatsu Park, literally meaning Pure Land Pine Park, is located in the western part of Koriyama City, right in the heart of Fukushima Prefecture.
The area is dotted with pine trees, which makes it resemble Matsushima in Miyagi Prefecture, one of the three most scenic spots in Japan. So the park is called the “Land of Matsushima.” There are strange-looking “Kinoko-Iwa” mushroom-shaped rocks in the park, which are made of tuff and sandstone. Having been weathered over many years, they look like Cappadocia, a world heritage site in Turkey. We call them the “Cappadocia of Japan.” Regrettably, a part of the rocks collapsed due to the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. Though the rocks still keep a majestic appearance, the softness of the rocks has lead to a rapid weathering. So let’s go out to see these Kinoko-Iwa rocks as soon as possible!

【Directions: Approx.15min by car from Koriyama-Minami IC, Tohoku Expressway】

9月 | September

勿来(なこそ)の関公園 【いわき市】
いわき市最南端に位置する勿来の関は、白河の関(福島県白河市)、念殊関(ねずがせき)(山形県鶴岡市)とともに「奥州三関」と呼ばれています。関址の一帯は公園として整備されていて、その中に立っているこの像は、平安時代後期(11世紀後半)の武将 源義家(みなもとのよしいえ)です。義家は12世紀末に鎌倉幕府を築いた源頼朝の先祖に当たり、東北地方にゆかりのある武将です。彼は勿来の関で短歌を詠んでいます。勿来は「来る勿(なか)れ」という意味で、勿来の関は和歌に詠まれた名所・旧跡として有名です。公園内には、源義家の歌碑や松尾芭蕉の句碑などが立てられています。往時を思い巡らせながら、緑の中を散策するのもいいですね。

September Edition
Nakoso-no-Seki Park,Iwaki City
Nakoso-no-Seki is located at the southernmost point of Iwaki City. It is one of the Three Checkpoints in “Ohshu,” an old name of the Tohoku region, along with Shirakawa-no-Seki in central Fukushima Prefecture and Nezuga-Seki in Yamagata Prefecture. “Seki” means a barrier or a checkpoint for travelers in Japanese. The Nakoso-no-Seki site was re-constructed and is today maintained as a park, where this statue of a samurai warrior stands. This samurai is Minamoto no Yoshiie from the 11th century, who had a connection to Tohoku. Besides, he is an ancestor of Minamoto no Yoritomo who established the Kamakura Shogunate towards the end of the 12th century. Yoshiie once made a tanka, a traditional short Japanese poem, here at Nakoso-no-Seki. “Nakoso” is an old Japanese, which literally means “Do not come.”? Nakoso-no-Seki is famous as an old spot whose name was referred in many tanka poems. There are a few monuments inscribed with poems composed by poets including Minamoto no Yoshiie and Matsuo Basho, a famous haiku poet in the Edo period. You would find it refreshing to walk around the park full of trees, pondering the past!

【Directions: Approx.10 min by car from Nakoso IC, Joban Expressway】

8月 | August

あだたらイルミネーション 【二本松市】

August Edition
Illumination at the Adatara Highlands, Nihonmatsu City
Decorative illuminations are a common sight in the winter. However, they appear in the mid-summer here at the Adatara ski resort at the foot of Mt.Adatara in Nihonmatsu City. Mt. Adatara is 1,709 meters above sea level. It is a volcano and was selected as one of the 100 Famous Mountains in Japan. During the event called “The Adatara Illumination”, held from July 28 to September 17, tens of thousands of lights are lit at night on the slopes. Look at the romantic 200-meter-long band of lights, as you also look at the Milky Way! Plus, charming and lovely flower-or-animal-shaped lights create a fantastic scene. Visitors can enjoy “walking in the sky” and a great view of the lights stretching below from a six-seat ropeway car, which runs from 7:00pm to 9:00 pm. How about experiencing a spectacular view like a fantasy as a memory of this summer?
【Directions: Approx.30 min by car from Nihonmatsu IC, Tohoku Expressway】

7月 | July

猪苗代ハーブ園 【猪苗代町】

July Edition
Inawashiro Herb Garden, Inawashiro Town
Inawashiro Herb Garden is located at the foot of Mt.Bandai, which is a symbol of Fukushima Prefecture. This extensive garden lies adjacent to “Hotel Listel Inawashiro” and boasts of some 500 kinds of herbs, and seasonal flowers as well.
We can see various kinds of flower carpets one after another, starting with “nanohana,” or rape blossoms, in spring, then roses and sunflowers in summer, and cosmoses in fall. Above all, around this season, we can have a magnificent view of lavenders in full bloom. The “Lavender Festival 2018” is held until July 16 this year. You can pick up lavender flowers, and can also taste lavender-flavored soft-serve ice cream or mint tea. We recommend that you visit this garden if you’d like to unwind from routine fatigue with the fragrance of lavender flowers.

【Directions: Approx.10 min by car from Inawashiro Bandai-kogen IC, Ban-Etsu Expressway】

6月 | June

鳥見山公園 【鏡石町】

June Edition
Torimiyama Park, Kagamiishi Town
Torimiyama Park is located in Kagamiishi Town in the southern part of the Nakadori District. The park is equipped with a few kinds of sports facilities such as heated swimming pools and tennis courts. In this season, beautiful purple flowers are in bloom at the iris garden inside the park. On Saturday, 23rd and Sunday, 24th of June, the “Kagamiishi Ayama Festival” will be held. “Ayame” means irises in Japanese. You will be able to participate a lot of fun events at the festival. By the way, many people associate Kagamiishi Town with “Tanbo Art,” or a rice paddy art, which is an art that uses rice of various types and colors to create giant pictures in rice fields. The best season to see the “Tanbo Art” is around July to August. You can see the paddy fields from the Municipal Library building. The town is also famous for a ranch, or a stock farm, and has a lot to see. Why don’t you come and look around Kagamiishi Town?

【Directions: Approx.10 min on foot from JR Tohoku Line Kagamiishi Station】

5月 | May

恋人坂の夕景 【喜多方市】

May Edition
Evening View from Lovers’Slope, Kitakata City
Nogi-zaka, Kagura-zaka, Iroha-zaka, … . “Saka” or” Zaka” means a slope in Japanese. There are a lot of fashionable slope names across Japan. This picture is seen from the slope called “Koibito-zaka” or “a lovers’ slope,” located near Oguni-numa. It is a marsh highland which extends to the west at the foot of Mt.Bandai. The view, especially at dusk, is so exquisitely romantic that lovers get together there before they know it. The view from the slope varies due to the change of seasons or the transit of the daytime. Around this time of the year, paddy fields are filled with water for rice planting, so you can imagine how particularly beautiful this rural landscape is! You can also command a wide view of the Aizu Basin and the Iide mountain range in the far distance. How about visiting this romantic sacred place with him or her in order to let your feelings be known?
【Directions: Approx. 25 min by car from Aizu-Wakamatsu IC, Ban-Etsu Expressway】

4月 | April

小高川の桜 【南相馬市】

April Edition
Cherry Trees Along the Odaka River,Minami-Soma City
Cherry trees on the banks along the Odaka River served as a beauty spot to enjoy before the Great Earthquake and the nuclear disaster in 2011. The river flows through the town of Odaka, Minami-Soma City, the northern coastal area of Fukushima Prefecture. Rows of about 300 cherry trees run for 1,800 meters and are now familiar with citizens in Odaka as a flower-viewing spot. The evacuation order of the Odaka District was relaxed in July, 2016, except for a part of the off-limits, or so-called ”difficult-to-return” zone. After this, the local volunteers established the “Odaka One Thousand Cherry Trees Project” so as to create an environment where the former residents of the town could return home. Tree-planting ceremonies are held twice a year, and early bloomers such as Kawazu cherry trees are planted in order to extend the rows of cherry trees year by year.
【Directions: Approx. 15 min on foot from JR Joban Line Odaka Station】

3月 | March

三崎公園「潮見台」 【いわき市】

March Edition
Shiomidai, Observation Spot at Misaki Park,Iwaki City
Misaki Park, which is famous for the Iwaki Marine Tower, is located in the east of Onahama Port in Iwaki City. At the southernmost spot of the park, you will find an observation facility called Shiomidai where you can have a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. This half-cylindrical observation deck, extending from the bluff, has a guard fence, but does not have any foundations or pillars. You can watch the sea right below! It will be thrilling to walk through the deck, watching waves crashing on the rocks, and feeling the sea breeze. Let’s go to Onahama to enjoy the magnificent view of the huge Pacific Ocean. Just for a tip, admission to Shiomidai is free!
【Directions: Approx. 20 min by car from Iwaki-Yumoto IC, Joban Expressway】

2月 | February

山本不動尊 【棚倉町】

February Edition
Yamamoto Fudoson Temple, Tanagura Town
Tanagura Town is located in south central Fukushima Prefecture. In the south of the town, there is a Zen Buddhist temple called Myoo-Mitsuji “Yamamoto Fudoson.“ It is said that this temple was originated when Kukai, a founder of the Singon sect which this temple adheres to, visited this place in the early 9th century. They built a praying enclosure where a sacred fire was lit for Kukai to defeat (Chobuku) evil demons which lived in the Yamizo mountain area. When you climb up the 130 stairs through a row of cedar trees which are over a hundred years old, you will reach a unique sacred cave where the diety is placed in a huge stone. Besides this, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of flowers such as azaleas in the spring. The area is designated as a prefectural natural park. Why don’t you pay a visit to this temple?
【Directions: Approx. 15 min by car from JR Suigun Line Chikatsu Station】

1月 | January

桧原湖(ひばらこ)の夜明け 【北塩原村】

January Edition
Dawn at Lake Hibara, Kita-Shiobara Village
There are more than 300 lakes and ponds in the Urabandai Area, meaning the backside of Mt.Bandai in Japanese, which is located in the middle part of Fukushima Prefecture. On and around Lake Hibara, the largest lake in the area, you can enjoy outdoor leisure activities such as camping, cycling and smelt fishing through all four seasons. Mt Bandai’s large eruption in 1888 killed as many as 477 people, and eventually formed a lot of lakes in the area. During some periods of the year, and at some places of the north lakeshore of Lake Hibara, you can see a torii, a gateway to a Shinto shrine,   or tombstones in former villages which were submerged by the formation of the lake. A famous Japanese singer-songwriter Ogura Kei (小椋佳) once visited this area and stayed at an inn called Ogura as a university student. His stage name was named after this place when he became a singer. Now we have welcomed the new year and are watching the lake surface reflecting the morning sun. We feel it is as refreshing and bracing as Ogura Kei’s songs, don’t we?
【Directions: Approx. 30 min by car from Inawashiro Bandai-kogen IC, Ban-Etsu Expressway】

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