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Senin, 08 Februari 2010

Fukushima Tohoku Lakes and Hot Spring

Fukushima (福島市) is the capital city of Fukushima Prefecture, and situated about 250 km north of Tokyo and 80 km south of Sendai .

Fukushima City and its surrounding area has many hot springs, which are in Iizaka, Takayu and Tsuchiyu for example. Fukushima is blessed with many natural resources. It has a lot of scenic beauty and various sightseeing places including the Bandai Azuma Skyline. It is one of the biggest tourist resort areas in Tohoku.

The city's location makes it highly accessible from many areas of Japan through a well organized transportation system. From Tokyo, it takes 3.5 hours by the Tohoku Express- way and it takes 1.5 hours by the Tohoku Shinkansen Line. Fukushima Airport was opened in 1993, making it easier for many people to visit the city from not only the metropolitan areas, but also from the Hokkaidou, Kansai,and Kyushu areas.

Fukushima's best known tourist attraction is the former castle town of Aizu-Wakamatsu.

Fukushima is the major tourist spot in Tohoku region. The main attractions including castle, lakes, and hot springs.

Fukushima Location
The city of Fukushima,which is located in the northern part of Fukushima Prefecture,covers an area of 746.43 sq km,stretching 29.9 km from east to west and 38.2 km from north to south. The Fukushima City Hall stands at latitude 37゚45'N and longitude 140゚28'E. Fukushima lies within 300 km of Tokyo.

Some of Fukushima best sightseeeing :
1. Five Colored Lakes (五色沼) are a beautiful attraction visited by many sightseers. The lakes were formed after Mount Bandai (磐梯山) erupted in the 1800's. The minerals from the eruption give each lake a different color.

2. Iwaya-Kannon (岩谷観音) 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.

3. Hanamiyama Park (花見山) 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.

4. 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.

5. Prefectural Art Museum Small museum mostly with local art, though it does have some national and internal exhibits as well. price varies.

6. Prefectural Culture Center Has different performances year-round.

7. Fukushima Museum. Fukushima Museum

8. 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. It costs ¥100 to get in.¥100.

9. Izaka hot springs

10. Takayu hot springs

11. Tsuchiyu hot springs

12. Shin-Noji hot springs

Fukushima Festival

1. WARAJI MATSURI(Straw Sandal Festival)
This festival on first Friday and first Saturday of August celebrates a huge straw sandal that is dedicated to the Haguro Shrine on February 10.

2. MIZUKAKE MATSURI (Water Throwing Festival)
Starting at Kashima Shrine, this event occurs at the end of the festivities on October 19.

3. SANBIKI SHISHI-MAI (Dance of the Three Lions)
This dance, handed down over generations in the Oonami district, occurs during the Sumiyoshi Shrine festival, October 11-12.

4. AKATSUKI-MAIRI (Visit to the Shrine in the Dawn)
This event occurs on February 10-11. People pray for protection against disasters and for a good harvest. An immense straw sandal is carried up Mt. Shinobu to the Haguro Shrine. The sandal is 12 meters long, weighs 2 tons and 80people carry it.

5. IIZAKA KENKA MATSURI (Fighting Feastival of Iizaka)
During the main festival on October 5, six floats parade through the street and on to the shrine with a portable shrine in the lead.

6. JUUNI KAGURA(The Twelve Sacred Arts)
This annual festival is held at Kuronuma Shinto Shrine in spring. The dancer wears “Kari-ginu”(hunting clothes),“Hakama”(an apron-like skirt), and “Tabi”(socks).

Fukushima Bars and Nightlife

Namazu-tei (なまず停), also known as "Catfish" is a cozy blues bar in Fukushima, which features live music most weekends. Cover charges range from ¥400-500 for the house band "Blues Cruiser" (highly recommended, with a fantastic harmonica player) through to ¥4,000 for more famous acts. 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.

Neo is the other club in Fukushima. Expect to pay a ¥2000 cover charge and then ¥500 for each drink and to be in a small very smokey room. The music is okay, the crowd is small at best. Expect to feel elderly if you're over 25.

Fukushima Photos and Pictures :

Fukushima City
Fukushima city looking east over the Fukushima city train station.

Aizu Tsuruga Fukushima Castle
Aizu Tsuruga Castle, Fukushima's best known tourist attraction.

Fukushima Museum
Fukushima Prefectural Museum stands just outside the outer moats of Tsuruga Castle Park. The closest stop of the Aizu Loop Bus is "Tsurugajo Sannomaru" (20 minutes from Aizu-Wakamatsu Station) just outside the museum.

Goshikunuma Five Coloured Lake
Goshiki-numa or Five Coloured Lake. Goshiki-numa has five marshes, namely Ao-numa, Ruri-numa, Benten-numa, Midoro-numa and Bishamon-numa, each having a water color of its own.

Fukushima View Hotel
Fukushima View Hotel. Located in front of West Exit of Fukushima Station and surrounded by nature. Japanese restaurant, Chinese restaurant, and French restaurant is available.

Train From Sendai to Fukushima
Train Station from Sendai to Fukushima

Watch 土湯Tsuchiyu Tunnel (R115, Fukushima City / Inawashiro Town, Fukushima Pref., 3360m) Video here

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