Originally created to boost the local economy after the coal industry declined, the most famous symbol of the resort is the Hula Girls, a performance group that inspired the 2006 hit movie of the same name.
Spa Resort Hawaiians is easily accessible by public transportation.
From Ueno Station in Tokyo, it’s a two-hour ride on the limited express Hitachi to Yumoto Station. A free shuttle bus from this station will take 15 minutes to reach the resort. Free buses for hotel guests can be reserved, if travelling from Tokyo or Yokohama.
Spa Hawaiians is Japan’s first theme park
The Edo Jowa Yoichi onsen is the largest outdoor bath in Japan
Contains four water parks and three hotels
With four themed spas or water parks available, guests will be spoiled for choice.
The Edo Jowa Yoichi is built in the style of an Edo period bathhouse. Fed by natural hot springs that this region is long famous for, it is in the Guinness Book of Records for its size, which covers some 1000 m2.
If you’re looking for some good old family fun, head to Water Park, containing water slides, wading pools and Aloha Town, a restaurant and shopping strip that recreates 1960s Hawaiian shopfronts, all kept at a balmy tropical temperature and adorned with swaying palm trees.
The other hot spring section is Spring Park, covering the third to fifth floors of the resort. After that, consider heading to relaxing outdoor Pareo spa area to soak in the sun.
If it’s pampering you’re after, ViR Port features all the salon services, beauty treatments and massages you could ever hope for, perfect to fill in some time between the aqua exercises and dance classes.
The undoubted stars and reason for the resort’s existence are the Hula Girls, who perform daily at the Water Park’s Beach Theater in an ensemble Polynesian show. In the aftermath of the 2011, the Hula Girls visited numerous evacuation centers, and toured Japan to promote tourism to Iwaki. As a result, they have a special place in the heart of the local people.
The resort is one of numerous hot springs in this area of Iwaki, known as Yumoto. Closer to Yumoto Station is the Iwaki Yumoto Onsen, which is one of the three oldest onsen in Japan.
There are also two daily buses connecting Spa Hawaiians with Aquamarine Fukushima, which boasts several recreated natural outdoor habitats as well as an enormous aquarium.
If you are heading into the Yumoto town area, be sure to visit the Coal and Fossil Museum, which showcases the coal mining industry and exhibits fossils (and dinosaur bones) that were dug up in the area when the mines were booming.
Further afield you’ll find the serene and beautiful 12th century Shiramizu Amida-do temple, a designated Japanese National Treasure and the only one to be recognized as such in Fukushima.