Fukushima, Japan

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Fukushima, Japan

Region: Fukushima Prefecture


Geographic Coordinates: 37.760800, 140.475000
Temperature Range: -10.0°C to 35.0°C (14°F to 95°F)
Climate: Seasonal weather patterns in Fukushima, Japan vary widely. Summers are hot and humid while winters are cold with heavy snowfall. Spring and autumn are mild with occasional rainfall. The region is prone to typhoons and earthquakes throughout the year.
Population: 284282
Language: Japanese

Fukushima is a prefecture located in the northeastern part of Honshu, Japan’s main island. It is known for its beautiful nature, Including the Azuma mountain range and the Abukuma River. However, Fukushima is also infamous for the nuclear disaster that occurred in March 2011 when a massive earthquake and tsunami hit the region. The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was severely damaged by the natural disasters, Causing a meltdown of three reactors and resulting in radioactive contamination of the surrounding area. The disaster forced thousands of residents to evacuate their homes and caused significant economic damage to the region.

Since then, Extensive cleanup efforts have been underway to remove contaminated soil and debris from affected areas. The government has also implemented strict safety measures to prevent another nuclear accident from occurring. Despite this tragedy, Fukushima continues to attract visitors with its rich culture and history. One popular attraction is Tsuruga Castle which dates back to 1384 and offers stunning views of Fukushima City from its top floor. Another must-see destination is Ouchi-juku, A preserved Edo-period village that features traditional thatched-roof houses along a picturesque street lined with cherry blossom trees.

Fukushima also boasts several hot springs (onsen) where visitors can relax in mineral-rich waters while taking in breathtaking views of nature. One such onsen is Goshiki Onsen which translates to five-colored hot spring due to its water changing colors depending on temperature and sunlight. Foodies will enjoy trying local specialties such as Kozuyu (a traditional soup made with miso paste), Kitakata ramen (a type of noodle soup), Or Aizu-wakamatsu’s signature dish: sauce-katsudon (deep-fried pork cutlet served over rice with savory sauce).

Overall while Fukushima may be forever linked with one tragic event in history it remains an important cultural hub filled with natural beauty historic landmarks and delicious cuisine.



Important Landmarks

  1. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
  2. Tsuruga Castle
  3. Ouchi-juku Samurai Village
  4. Mount Bandai
  5. Goshiki-numa Ponds
  6. Hanamiyama Park
  7. Aizu-Wakamatsu City
  8. Shiramizu Amidado Temple
  9. Abukuma Cave
  10. Urabandai Ski Resort

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture: Fukushima is renowned for its rice, fruits, and vegetables.
  2. Manufacturing: The manufacturing industry in Fukushima encompasses electronics, machinery, and automobile parts.
  3. Energy: Fukushima has multiple nuclear power plants that suffered from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.
  4. Tourism: Despite the disaster, tourism has gradually begun to pick up in Fukushima due to its natural beauty and historical sites.
  5. Fishing: The fishing industry was also impacted by the disaster but is slowly recovering with stringent regulations on seafood safety.
  6. Healthcare: There are numerous hospitals and medical facilities in Fukushima that serve the local population as well as visitors from neighboring regions.

Noteable History

  1. Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster: In 2011, Japan was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami that caused a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. This event is considered one of the worst nuclear accidents in history.
  2. Matsuo Basho: Born in Iga-Ueno (now part of Fukushima Prefecture) in 1644, Basho was a famous poet from the Edo period known for his haiku poetry and travel writing.
  3. Date Masamune: A powerful daimyo during Japan’s feudal period, Date Masamune ruled over much of Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures with military prowess and diplomatic skills.
  4. Soma Nomaoi Festival: Held annually since the early 10th century in Minamisoma City, this festival features samurai horseback riding competitions and other traditional events.
  5. Taira no Masakado: A legendary figure from Japan’s Heian period who rebelled against the central government and declared himself emperor of an independent state in eastern Japan (including parts of modern-day Fukushima).
  6. Koriyama Castle: Built by Date Masamune in the early 17th century, Koriyama Castle was once one of northern Japan’s largest castles.
  7. Jomon Period Archaeological Sites: The Jomon period (14,000-300 BCE) is known for its distinctive pottery styles and hunter-gatherer lifestyle; many important archaeological sites from this era have been found throughout Fukushima Prefecture.
  8. Higashiyama Onsen Hot Springs Village: Located near Mt Bandai onsen village has been attracting visitors for over a thousand years with its hot springs that are said to have healing properties.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art showcases contemporary and traditional Japanese art, including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics.
  2. Ouchi-juku is a historic post town that has been preserved to look like it did during the Edo period (1603-1868).
  3. Shiramizu Amida-do Temple is an ancient temple with a beautiful wooden structure and serene gardens.
  4. Tsuruga Castle is a reconstructed castle that offers stunning views of the surrounding area.
  5. Jomon Village is a recreated village that shows how people lived during Japan’s prehistoric Jomon period (14,000-300 BCE).
  6. Abukuma Cave is a limestone cave that features impressive stalactites and stalagmites.
  7. Okunitama Shrine is one of Japan’s oldest shrines dating back to the 4th century AD.
  8. Mount Bandai is an active volcano with hiking trails offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
  9. Soma Nomaoi Festival Museum dedicated to the Soma Nomaoi festival, a traditional horse race held in Fukushima every summer since 930 AD.
  10. Adachi Museum of Art located in nearby Shimane Prefecture considered one of Japan’s best museums for its collection of Japanese art and its beautiful gardens featuring over 1,200 varieties of plants and trees.


Sports Teams

  1. Fukushima United FC was founded in 2007 and is a professional football club that plays in the J3 League. The team has been playing its home matches at the Toho Stadium since 2010.
  2. Aizu Bandai Ski Team is a skiing team based in Fukushima Prefecture, established in 1974, which has produced several national-level skiers over the years.
  3. Iwaki FC is a semi-professional football club based in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, founded in 2016 and currently playing its home matches at the Iwaki Green Stadium.
  4. V-Varen Nagasaki (Fukushima branch) is a professional football club with a branch office located in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture that provides training facilities for young players and promotes football development across the region.
  5. Tadami Junior High School Baseball Club is one of the most successful baseball teams from Fukushima Prefecture with several national championships won over time.
  6. Shirakawa High School Basketball Club is another successful sports team from Fukushima Prefecture that has won several national championships over time.
  7. Nihon University College of Science and Technology Rugby Football Club (Fukushima campus) provides training facilities for rugby players across Japan and also participates in various intercollegiate tournaments throughout Japan every year.


Cultural Events

  1. Aizu Festival is a traditional festival held in Aizu-Wakamatsu city, featuring parades, music, and dance performances.
  2. Soma Nomaoi is a three-day festival held in Minamisoma city where participants dressed as samurai ride horses and compete in various events.
  3. Fukushima Waraji Festival is a summer festival held in Fukushima city where giant straw sandals are carried through the streets.
  4. Koriyama Cider Festa is an event celebrating the famous local drink, cider, with live music and food stalls.
  5. Iwaki Yosakoi Festival is a dance festival featuring teams from all over Japan performing yosakoi, a traditional Japanese dance style.
  6. Sukagawa Matsuri is a three-day autumn festival held in Sukagawa city featuring parades, fireworks displays, and food stalls.
  7. Shirakawa Daruma-ichi Festival is a winter festival held in Shirakawa city where daruma dolls are sold and displayed throughout the town.
  8. Tadami Snow Festival is a winter event held in Tadami town featuring snow sculptures and light displays.

Cuisine

  • Kitakata Ramen is a local specialty in Kitakata city, known for its thick, curly noodles and rich pork broth.
  • Kaiseki Ryori is a traditional multi-course Japanese cuisine that features fresh seasonal ingredients, often served in high-end restaurants.
  • Aizu Sake from the Aizu region of Fukushima is known for its high-quality sake.
  • Fukushima Beef is premium wagyu beef raised in the prefecture and prized for its marbling and tenderness, similar to Kobe beef.
  • Warajiya Soba is a famous soba restaurant chain with several locations throughout Fukushima prefecture that serves handmade buckwheat noodles in various styles.
  • Restaurant Kawamichiya is a traditional Japanese restaurant located near Mt. Bandai that serves local specialties such as grilled river fish and wild mountain vegetables.
  • Oyama Yakiniku Koshu-en is a popular yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) restaurant featuring locally sourced meats including Fukushima beef and wild boar.
  • Izakaya Shichifuku-ya is a cozy izakaya (Japanese pub) serving various small plates including sashimi, tempura, grilled meats, and vegetables paired with sake or beer.
  • Rokkaku-do Tea House located within the grounds of Tsuruga Castle offers traditional Japanese sweets and tea ceremonies overlooking the castle moat as it’s an historic tea house.
  • Nakamura Suisan Seafood Market & Restaurant has an attached restaurant serving sushi, sashimi, and grilled fish dishes using locally caught seafood from Iwaki port city nearby.

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Hanamiyama Park is a popular destination for cherry blossom viewing during springtime.
    2. Ouchi-juku Samurai Village is a historic village that boasts traditional thatched-roof houses and samurai residences.
    3. Bandai-Asahi National Park is a vast park with hiking trails, scenic views, and hot springs for visitors to enjoy.
    4. Tsuruga Castle is a reconstructed castle featuring a museum and panoramic views of Fukushima City.
    5. Abukuma Cave offers visitors the chance to explore an underground limestone cave system.
    6. Inawashiro Lake is surrounded by mountains and provides picturesque scenery as well as opportunities for boating and fishing activities.
    7. Spa Resort Hawaiians features an indoor water park with hot springs, live performances, and Hawaiian-themed attractions for guests to enjoy.
    8. Aizu-Wakamatsu Castle Town showcases traditional samurai residences, workshops where local crafts are made, and cuisine unique to the region’s history.
    9. Koriyama City Fureai Science Museum offers interactive exhibits on various scientific topics for visitors of all ages to learn from.
    10. Iizaka Onsen Hot Spring Town is known for its traditional Japanese spa baths that have been in use since the Edo period (1603-1868).

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