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FUKUSHIMA Guide

Fukushima

Fukushima Prefecture locates at the southernmost part of the Tohoku region, and is the third largest prefecture in Japan. It spreads in length from east to west and is divided into three main regions.
There are three main regions: Aizu, with its many historical landmarks; Nakadori, blessed with orchards and hot springs; and Hamadori, with its cool summers and mild winters.
Fukushima is full with local charms, awaiting to be revealed by its visitors.


01. Aizu Higashiyama Onsen

02. Goshikinuma

03. Tadami Line

04. Kitakata Ramen, Kitakata city



Aizu Higashiyama Onsen

Aizu Higashiyama Onsen is conveniently located only 10 minutes by car from the center of Aizu-Wakamatsu. This historical hot spring is said to have been established over 1,300 years ago. Other notable hot springs in the vicinity include Takayu Onsen (Fukushima City) with its characteristic milky white water, and Dake Onsen (Nihonmatsu City), located on a plateau 600 meters above sea level, with its naturally acidic waters that have mellowed down to be pleasantly soft on the skin.
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Aizu-Wakamatsu is said to be a city of history and tradition. The notorious Tsuruga Castle is the historic symbol of the city, built about 630 years ago. There is also the local favourite “Wappa Meshi“, a dish made by steaming rice and ingredients in a traditional wooden container called the “mage-wappa”, originally the lunchbox of ancient Japanese woodsmen. You can also find decorated candles here, a well-loved traditional Aizu craft with delicately painted flowers and plants.


 

 

 

 

Goshikinuma

According to the locals, Goshikinuma does not refer to a single spot, but rather the cluster of colorful lakes and ponds that dot this area. The most famous of these include the Aonuma, skirted by leaves bleached pale white by its slightly acidic, surreal blue waters, and Bishamonnuma, the largest. Each pond is a different color: emerald green, cobalt blue, turquoise blue, emerald blue and pastel blue. But they can also appear to be a slightly different color depending on the season, weather, and time of day; so you’ll never tire of visiting.
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Fukushima Prefecture also has To-no-Hetsuri, a breathtaking cliffside gnawed by rain and wind into distinctive shapes; you can cross the suspension bridge to see the cliff from the inside, and walk on makeshift pathways of the eroded dips in the rock. There is also the Ouchi-juku, with its rows of thatched-roof houses, and Koriyama Nunobiki Wind Farm, with its sunflower fields in summer just waiting to be your next profile picture!


 

 

 

 

Tadami Line

The Tadami Line is a 135 km long rail track connecting Fukushima Prefecture to Niigata Prefecture. It gained hype in both Japan and abroad as "the world's most romantic railroad" because of the dreamy, untouched natural sceneries that can be enjoyed from the train windows as it chugs through many bridges and tunnels. It is especially popular for its fable-like spectacular views of autumn leaves and snow. Loved by photography enthusiasts, even the most amateur of camera-wielding tourists are guaranteed to get a good snap here!
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Tadami line also operates a windowless "trolley train" for a limited time in the summer, on which you can enjoy a more open view amidst gentle breezes. The graceful steam locomotive "SL Ban’etsu Monogatari" is also in operation here in Fukushima. Also within Tohoku, Iwate Prefecture is the operating grounds of a unique winter-time train that uses “kotatsu” (a traditional Japanese heated table consisting of a table top and a heat source underneath thick, warn blankets) as train seats.

 

 

 

 

Kitakata Ramen

This is one of the Three Great Ramens of Japan, which caused a nationwide boom in the 1980s: "Kitakata Ramen”, named after Kitakata City in Fukushima Prefecture, its birthplace.
Paired with distinctive curly noodles, it is commonly served with a light soy sauce-based pork infused soup that packs an unexpected punch. Though, this can vary from store to store: and in Kitakata, there are 120 ramen restaurants to choose from. Boasting the most number of ramen stores per capita in Japan, you can even have them for breakfast here.
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Tohoku has got many other unique ramen dishes to offer! Ofunato City of Iwate Prefecture takes pride in catching large hauls of Sanma (Pacific Saury) and shows it by serving “Sanma Ramen”, a ramen dish with locally caught Sanma served directly on top. In Aomori Prefecture, there is the curious, yet surprisingly well-balanced, butter-topped “Miso Curry Milk Ramen”; and in Yamagata, the bold-flavored “Spicy Miso Ramen” that has a spicy kick.

Let's have a look at other Tohoku region!

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