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Fukushima

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Fukushima (福島) [1]is the capital city of Fukushima Prefecture in Honshu, Japan in the Fukushima Basin and its surrounding parts. Fukushima prefecture is the third biggest prefecture in Japan (13,782.54 km²). Known for its fruit production, Fukushima is particularly proud of their peaches, but pears and apples and persimmons are also grown. Fukushima is called peach city, because it produces the most peaches in Japan.

Travel Warning WARNING: Fukushima Prefecture was hit by high magnitude earthquake in spring 2011. A local nuclear plant was damaged in the quake and an evacuation zone was established. Authorities advise against all travel to the exclusion zones around the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant identified by the Japanese authorities. These exclusion zones are kept under review. Even areas where evacuation orders are ready to be lifted (marked green on the map) are still subject to some restrictions - for instance visitors are not allowed to stay overnight. The exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has been designated a restricted area. Anyone entering this area illegally is liable to a fine of up to 100,000 yen (£589, $947) or detention.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

It is a 40-minute bus ride from Fukushima Airport to Koriyama station (¥800), from which you will then have to travel to Fukushima station by Shinkansen (¥2920, 15 minutes) or local train (¥820, 45 minutes). It may be a bit more convenient to arrive in Tokyo and take the Shinkansen from there.

By train[edit]

Fukushima is a stop on the Tohoku Shinkansen line between Tokyo and Sendai, and is also served by the JR Tohoku and Yamagata lines. The Yamagata Shinkansen branches off here, traveling over conventional lines to Yamagata and Shinjo.

The travel time from Tokyo to Fukushima by Shinkansen is approximately 1 hour 45 minutes, with 2 to 4 departures every hour at a cost of ¥8500 each way (non-reserved seats).

By bus[edit]

JR Bus' Abukuma makes five daily round-trips to Fukushima from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo (5 hours, ¥4800). At night, JR Bus runs the Dream Fukushima from Tokyo and Yokohama stations (6 hours from Tokyo, ¥4800). Tohoku Bus' overnight bus, called the Suite, is cheaper at ¥4500 but arrives earlier in the morning.

Kintetsu Bus and Fukushima Kotsu's Galaxy bus runs overnight to Fukushima from Kyoto (11 hours, ¥12130) and Osaka (12 hours, ¥12740).

Willer Express [2] offers bus service to Fukushima from Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka, with online bookings available in English. Willer Express' prices vary by the day you are traveling and the class of bus. Willer Express offers "Standard" (similar to Sakura's offering), and "Relax" (slightly larger seats with more leg room, a blanket, and a dome looking thing to keep the light from your eyes).

Get around[edit]

Be prepared to walk or take a taxi. The buses will take you out of Fukushima and the trains will do the same.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Iwaya-Kannon (岩谷観音). Iwaya-Kannon has sixty Buddhas carved into the rock face of Mount Shinobu (信夫山) and offers a decent place to take a look down at the city.  edit
  • Hanamiyama Park (花見山). This park is the place to go in spring for cherry blossom viewing. It is quickly becoming a place famous throughout Japan, be prepared for crowds. You can take a short trail up a hill and see some amazing panoramas as well as enjoy walking underneath gorgeous light-pink canopies. There are regular buses leaving for Hanamiyama from the train station. Ask the people at the tourist office for more details.  edit
  • Fukushima Small Bird Sanctuary (福島小鳥園). It's a steep walk up a small mountain. The trails at the top are short and quiet. It is very peaceful but not so special.  edit
  • Prefectural Art Museum, [3]. Small museum mostly with local art, though it does have some national and internal exhibits as well.  edit
  • Prefectural Culture Center, [4].  edit
  • Fukushima Racetrack. If you feel like betting on horses then this is the place to go in Fukushima. Live races only happen during certain times of the year, but video races are available year-round. Entry costs ¥100, plus whatever you bet when inside..  edit
  • Izaka Hot Springs.  edit
  • Takayu Hot Springs.  edit
  • Tsuchiyu Hot Springs.  edit
  • Shin-Noji Hot Springs. Nice hot Spring in Fukushima  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Waraji Festival. First Friday and Saturday in August. This festival involves tons of dancing, parades, food stalls, and a huge waraji (Japanese sandal).  edit
  • Obon Festival.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • fruit You can buy lots of fruit. Peaches and apples are very good from this region.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Mana's Rasoi has great authentic Indian food and excellent service. There are two in Fukushima. Shinmachi 3-20 Shinmachi first floor of Building No. 8 Longevity Culture. Hours 11:00-15:00 (Last Order 14:30), 17:00-23:00 (Last Order 20:00), closed on Tuesday.
  • Sake and Soba noodles Famous in the Aizu region. Several stores will offer various types of local sake and dried or fresh-packed noodles.
  • Peaches Fukushima city is famous for the peach and produces a large amount of delicious peaches every summer, try one.

Drink[edit][add listing]

There are lots of izakayas and beer gardens in Fukushima. Passeo Dori and the roads branching from it are where most of the best places are found. Two examples are Yatta Iwamora and Jyuhachiban (十八番).

  • Namazu-tei (なまず停). This bar, also known as "Catfish", is a cozy blues bar which has live music most weekends. The house band, "Blues Cruiser", has a cheap cover charge, and also a fantastic harmonica player. Namazu sometimes has a DJ playing, with more of a focus on bossanova and jazz. Johnny the barman speaks passable English, and knows pretty well all there is to know about the Blues, having in his past run "Gangster," a major blues venue in Tokyo. Door charge ¥400-4000, depending on the performer.  edit
  • Neo. Neo is the other club in Fukushima. A smaller smokey room with decent music and young clientele Door charge ¥2000, ¥500 per drink.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Get out[edit]

Routes through Fukushima
Shin-AomoriSendai
Shiroishi-Zaō ←
 N noframe S  KōriyamaTokyo
ShinjoYonezawa  N noframe S  → END → connects to Tōhoku line
AkitaYonezawa  N noframe S  END
Sendai ← Shiroishi ←  N noframe S  → Nihonmatsu → KoriyamaUtsunomiya
Sendai ← Shiroishi ←  N noframe S  → Nihonmatsu → KoriyamaUtsunomiya


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