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Fukushima Travel Guide: Beautiful Parks & Samurai Towns

Fukushima is a stunning prefecture in the northwest of Japan famous for its floral scenery and historic samurai towns. In recent memory, the region is known for the tragic 2011 nuclear disaster, but over the past decade, the people of Fukushima rebuilt the area into a beautiful and welcoming destination once again.

I visited Fukushima in the spring of 2022 as an overnight trip from Tokyo. I particularly loved seeing the spectacular flowers blooming everywhere and seeing the architecture of historical Japan. Fukushima is home to many old onsens and ryokans (traditional Japanese-style inns), so I stayed at the famous Takayu Onsen Adachiya Ryokan during my trip.

In this Fukushima travel guide, I will share my recommendations for a fantastic trip to Fukushima.

What are the highlights of Fukushima?

How To Get There

Fukushima Station can be easily accessed via Shinkansen (high speed bullet train) from Tokyo in about 2 hours (will cost around ¥8,700 per adult one-way).

However, Fukushima is a large prefecture and many of the main attractions are fairly far from downtown Fukushima (where Fukushima Station is located).

If you hope to just take a quick one night trip or not rent a car, I recommend only visiting Hanamiya Park and Kasumigajo Castle Park from the places I suggest in the “What To Do” section of this article. The other suggested locations are further apart from each other and require more days to visit and/or a car to access more easily.

If you’d like to rent a car, I suggest taking the Shinkansen to Fukushima Station and then renting one. There are several car rental agencies near the station (like Toyota Rent A Car and Nippon Rent-a-car).

Where To Stay

Where you decide to stay depends a lot on what you would like to see in Fukushima. As I said, the prefecture is large and many of the main attractions are far apart from each other. If you won’t have a car or only plan to visit Hanamiyama Park and Kasumigajo Castle Park, I recommend staying in the general vicinity of downtown Fukushima.

During my trip, I stayed in Takayu Onsen Adachiya Ryokan, a rustic and famous ryokan (traditional Japanese-style inn) built next to a centuries-old onsen (natural hot spring). I took a bus from Fukushima Station to a bus stop very near the ryokan. I really enjoyed my stay because the ryokan itself was a great destination. Takayu Onsen Adachiya Ryokan is not located centrally so is not an ideal base unless you have a car.

What To Do

Hanamiyama Park

Field of yellow flowers in Hanamiyama Park

Hanamiyama Park is a beautiful park just west of downtown Fukushima and is famous for its flower fields and springtime cherry blossoms.

I visited Hanamiyama Park in the spring and absolutely loved walking along the trails and seeing the incredible floral blooms across the hillsides. You can either take a leisurely stroll around the base of the park’s hill or trek about 30-45 minutes to the top. On a clear day from the hillside, you can see the Azuma and Adatara Mountains to the west.

If you don’t have a car, I suggest taking a taxi to the park from downtown Fukushima. Another option is to take the bus from Fukushima Station East Exit Bus Stop No.8 to Hanamiyama Iriguchi stop. From Hanamiyama Iriguchi bus stop, walk about 25 minutes to the park’s entrance.

Kasumigajo Castle Park

Kasumigajo Castle Park is a scenic recreational park best known for its many cherry blossoms and the ruins of Nihonmatsu Castle, a 17th century castle.

I particularly recommend visiting this park in the spring when its nearly 2,000 cherry blossom trees bloom and surround the castle in a pink haze.

Kasumigajo Castle Park is about a 20 minute walk from JR Nihonmatsu Station. When I visited the park, I stopped for lunch at a great soba restaurant near the entrance called 戒石茶屋.

Ouchi-juku

Ouchi-juku used to be a post town along the Aizu-Nishi Kaido trade route in the Edo Period. These post towns formed along the route because the shogunate required travelers to voyage on foot and they needed rest stops for accommodation and food along the way.

Today, the restored Ouchi-juku looks as it did in the Edo Period. The main street is a popular tourist destination and is characterized by the thick thatched roof buildings of its many shops and restaurants.

I recommend having a car to access Ouchi-juku as it is about a 2 hour drive away from Fukushima station (or 4+ hours away by public transportation).

Aizu-Wakamatsu

Aizu-Wakamatsu is a small castle town known for its samurai traditions and roots – it even brands itself as “samurai city“. If you are looking to immerse yourself in the Japanese samurai culture, the Aizu region is one of the. best places in the country.

In addition to its samurai history, Aizu-Wakamatsu is also famous for its high-quality sake. I recommend visiting a sake brewery during your visit (like (資)辰泉酒造 or Suehiro Sake Brewery).

it takes roughly 1.5 hours to reach Aizu-Wakamatsu via bus from Fukushima Station. If you have a car, I suggest adding a stop at the beautiful and nearby Lake Inawashiro.

What To Eat

Two pieces of sushi and some vegetables on a slate grey plate

Dinner at Takayu Onsen Adachiya Ryokan


Fukushima is known for its quality, traditional Japanese dishes and is particularly famous for its sake production.

As always, I suggest booking at least one meal at your ryokan if you stay in one. The food is usually very high quality and served as a set course with many small dishes, so it’s a great way to sample a lot of regional specialties in one sitting.

Soba and tempura on a table

Soba from 戒石茶屋


Below are some of my specific restaurant recommendations for your visit to Fukushima:

  1. 戒石茶屋 (soba)

  2. Ramen Takeya (ramen)

  3. Emu Curry (Japanese curry)

  4. Kame Sushi (sushi)

  5. (資)辰泉酒造 (sake brewery)

  6. Suehiro Sake Brewery (sake brewery)

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