Fukushima’s Revitalization Educational One-Day Trip
- Coastal Area
- All Year
- 3 destinations
- One Day
This is a model itinerary for visitors who would like to learn about Fukushima’s revitalization.
The coastal area of Fukushima is the only place in the world to have survived a triple disaster: an earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear disaster. Following extensive decontamination efforts and a great deal of demolition and reconstruction, several areas that were once designated as ‘difficult to return’ have started welcoming both residents and visitors again, with many residents eager to share their stories with the world.
This itinerary centers on the towns of Futaba and Namie, both of which were severely affected by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in 2011.
The first stop is Futaba station and the surrounding Futaba Art District, a mural art initiative that pays homage to the residents and folk art of the town.
From there, you’ll visit the Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster Memorial Museum, which has a detailed account of the area before, during, and after the disaster. At the museum, you’ll learn about the stories and testimonies of locals, as well as the plans and ideas for the future of Fukushima.
The last stop is the remains of the Ukedo Elementary School in Namie town. Although the school building, located only 300 meters from the sea, sustained great damage from the tsunami, students, teachers and staff were able to evacuate from the school safely, for which it is known as a ‘miracle’ school.
This is a one-day itinerary, but we recommend staying somewhere in the coastal area of Fukushima after your visit.
JR Futaba Station
You can reach Futaba Station from Tokyo Station by train. Take the JR Hitachi Limited Express train bound for Sendai and get off at Futaba Station (3 h, 15 stops).
- Coastal Area
Cycle to The Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster Memorial Museum (the museum is 2 km from Futaba station). Alternatively, take the free shuttle bus to the museum from the station.
Pick up a bicycle and ride from The Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Disaster Memorial Museum to the The Remains of Ukedo Elementary School in Namie Town (approx. 2.8 km). Alternatively, walking from one place to the other takes approx. 40 minutes.
Go back to the JR Futaba Station and return the rental bicycles. Alternatively, walk back to the museum and take the shuttle bus to the station. We recommend staying overnight at the accommodation of your choice in the coastal area of Fukushima.
JR Futaba Station
Iwaki Area One Day Trip
Iwaki has plenty to offer families traveling in Japan! This area is well-known for its delicious seafood & its amazing interactive environmental aquarium Aquamarine Fukushima. Here’s a suggested day-trip for traveling by public transportation in Iwaki.
A Summertime Traditional Experience
There’s no better way to celebrate summertime in Japan than with an impressive display of fireworks and masterful pyrotechnics along the riverside with a cold drink. Begin your Japanese summer adventure at Fukushima Station and travel by bus to the site of the Fukushima Fireworks Festival. Be prepared to be wowed as the night sky comes alive with a spectacle of lights and color. Let the sound of the fireworks, like rolling thunder, wash over your senses as you ooh and ah at the magnificent displays. The next day, make your way to the Soma Nomaoi to see the masterful horsemanship before your very eyes. The Soma Nomaoi has been performed abroad and was originated hundreds of years ago from military training carried out on horseback. Feel history and culture come to life and ignore the heat of summer with these fascinating and awe-inspiring experiences. Finish up your trip at Fukushima Station where you can do a spot of shopping before heading home. Please note, while Fukushima Fireworks Festival and Soma Nomaoi are generally held on the same weekend in July, please make sure to check the dates before planning your trip. Also, please be aware that the Fukushima Fireworks Festival may be cancelled in the event of rain.
Cherry Blossoms and Hot Spring Relaxation
Get the full springtime cherry-blossom viewing experience on this two-day adventure through Fukushima. You'll hit all the major sites of the area and then even relax in a luxurious onsen! Your trip begins at Kitakata Station; from there you will walk to the start of the Nicchu Line walking path. This spot is famous for its over 1,000 cherry trees stretching along both sides of the 3 km-long road and park. Nicchu Line makes for a magical vista with cherry petals falling like fresh snow against a backdrop of springtime colors and fresh air. From there, travel on to Kyu Kai Honke Zurashiki to see the early 20th-century kura-style residences. Admire the architecture and quality lacquer work on the building. Finish the day with a sake brewery museum tour at Yamatogawa Brewery. No springtime cherry blossom viewing party in Japan is complete without the famous Japanese alcohol. Finish your two-day trip at the fantastic Higashiyama Onsen town where you can relax at any number of hotels or ryokan-style inns. It’s a truly Japanese spring experience.
Day Trip in Aizu-Wakamatsu City
This one-day trip around Aizu-Wakamatsu City includes everything your bucket list has: castles, sake breweries, temples, and onsen. Start with an Akabeko painting experience (1100 yen) at Tsurugajo Kaikan, before looking around the castle itself and enjoying a Japanese tea experience at the Rinkaku Tea Room.