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FUKUSHIMA Prefecture

Area:13,782 km2
Population: 1,946 million
Region: Tohoku
Capital: Fukushima

photo by Hetarllen Mumriken

Located in the Tōhoku region on the island of Honshu (about 200 km from Tokyo), Fukushima Prefecture is the third largest prefecture of Japan. The capital is the city of Fukushima.

Fukushima city is not a major tourist destination however it offers a variety of natural and seasonal attractions such as Hanamiyama, one of Japan’s most beautiful cherry blossom spots, hot springs and hiking trails in amazing volcanic landscapes.
Fukushima still preserves the traditional Japanese culture.
The area offers a wide variety of tourist attractions throughout the year such as: abundant greenery and wild birds in spring, camping, hiking and marine sports in summertime, breathtaking sceneries ion autumn, and winter sports and swan watching in winter.
Fukushima is home to over 130 hot springs such as Iizaka-onsen, Iwaki Yumoto-onsen and Higashiyama-onsen.
Some of the prefecture’s main attractions are:
Hanamiyama - beautiful cherry blossom site
Mount Azuma - Mount Azuma's appealing symmetrical crater and the nearby fumarolic area with its many hot springs is a popular tourist destination.
Tsuruga Castle - a samurai castle built in the late 1300s.
Mount Bandai in the Bandai Asahi National Park - Mount Bandai erupted in 1888 creating a large crater and numerous lakes. The area is popular with hikers and skiers. Tours are also offered in the winter.
Goshiki-numa - a cluster of 5 lakes situated at the foot of Mount Bandai.
Abukuma - do - a limestone cave discovered in August 15, 1969 and designated a natural heritage on February 7, 1971. Visitors can traverse a 600-meter-long path inside the cave as well as a 120-meter-long exploration course to view the stalactites and stalagmites. Each stalactite has taken more than eighty million years to form.

[Festivals and events]
Sōma's Nomaoi Festival - from July 23 to 25
The Nomaoi Festival horse riders dressed in complete samurai attire can be seen racing, chasing wild horses, and having contests that imitate a battle. The history behind the festival and events is over one thousand years old.
Aizuwakamatsu's Aizu Festival - held in late September
The Aizu festival is a celebration of the time of the samurai. It begins with a display of sword dancing and fighting, and is followed by a procession of around five hundred people. The people in the procession carry flags and tools representing well known feudal lords of long ago, and some are actually dressed as the lords themselves.
Taimatsu Akashi Fire Festival
A reflection of a long ago time of war, the Taimatsu Akashi Festival consists of men and women carrying large symbolic torches lit with a sacred fire to the top of Mt. Gorozan. Accompanied by drummers, the torchbearers reach the top and light a wooden frame representing an old local castle and the samurai that lived there. In more recent years the festival has been opened up so that anyone wanting to participate may carry a small symbolic torch along with the procession
By airplane
Fukushima is served by Fukushima Airport, located near Sukagawa to the south of Koriyama. The airport is served by JAL and ANA, with domestic services to Osaka, Sapporo and Naha. There are also international services to Shanghai and Seoul.

By train
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 travel time from Tokyo to Fukushima by Shinkansen is approximately 1 hour 45 minutes, with 2 to 4 departures every hour .

By bus
JR Bus' Abukuma makes five daily round-trips to Fukushima from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo.
There are also busses from Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka with online bookings available in English.
The majority of Fukushima has a humid subtropical climate, however the mountains that line the western border of the city have a humid continental climate. There is often a large temperature and weather difference between central Fukushima and the mountains on the edge of the city.
The hottest month is August, with an average high of 30.4 °C in central Fukushima and an average high of 21.7 °C in the mountains.
The coldest month is January, with an average low of -1.8 °C in central Fukushima and -9.0 in the mountains.
An average of 74 cm of snow falls in January, making it the snowiest month.
During summer, you should be fine if you wear a short-sleeved shirt, t-shirt or a dress, however a long sleeved shirt is highly recommended if you choose to go near water or to the mountains.
In the winter, be sure to bring warm clothes such as winter coat or jacket, hat, scarf and gloves.
For the spring and autumn a light jacket should keep you warm.
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