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See Snow In Japan! Fukushima's Winter Festivals, Food, And Nature

See Snow In Japan! Fukushima's Winter Festivals, Food, And Nature

Translated by Ken

Written by MATCHA-PR

Fukushima 2019.12.13 Bookmark

Many regions in Japan receive snow during the winter, like Fukushima Prefecture. Visitors can enjoy traditional winter festivals, gorgeous snowscapes, and many other activities in the snow. This article suggests winter travel destinations and things to do in Fukushima in winter!

Fukushima in All Its Winter Beauty

Snow, Festivals, And Food! A Winter Guide To Fukushima

Picture courtesy of Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association
Fukushima is a prefecture in the Tohoku Region of northeast Japan. It is known for its beautiful nature and delicious food year-round. The prefecture is also easily accessible. It is roughly 80 minutes on the Tohoku Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo or a direct ride from Asakusa on the Tobu Line's Revaty Limited Express.

Snowy Views Aboard the Tadami Train Line

The JR Tadami Line is a local train line that runs 135 kilometers between Aizu-Wakamatsu Station in Fukushima and Koide Station in Niigata. Considered to be the world's most romantic train ride, you can take in the breathtakingly beautiful scenery year-round.

Snow, Festivals, And Food! A Winter Guide To Fukushima

Picture courtesy of Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association
However, winter offers a phenomenal view. The No. 1 Tadami River Bridge is the perfect spot to capture a picture of the trains weaving through the snowy landscape. We recommend experiencing this marvelous scenery aboard the Tadami Line.

Snow, Festivals, And Food! A Winter Guide To Fukushima

Picture courtesy of Kenko Hoshi
As you take a ride on the train, you will come across different types of winter scenery. The views framed by the train windows are extraordinary.

Snow, Festivals, And Food! A Winter Guide To Fukushima

Picture courtesy of Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association
Another popular viewing point is located in Oshi District. Walk 20 minutes from Aizu-Kawaguchi Station, and a gorgeous scene will greet you as the Tadami Line travels along the Tadami River.

*The train line between Aizu-Kawaguchi Station and Tadami Station is currently not operating. Make sure to use the bus (Japanese) for transportation.

No. 1 Tadami River Bridge Viewpoint

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Kaneyama Fureai Hiroba

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park

Ouchi-Juku Snow Festival

Snow, Festivals, And Food! A Winter Guide To Fukushima

Picture courtesy of Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association
Travel back in time to the Edo Period at Ouchi-juku. The annual Ouchi-juku Snow Festival will be held on February 8 (Saturday) and 9 (Sunday) in 2020.

Ouchi-juku was a bustling post town (*1) during the Edo Period. Included among Japan's Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional Buildings, this town has numerous cafes, soba (buckwheat noodle) restaurants, and gift shops.

Snow, Festivals, And Food! A Winter Guide To Fukushima

Picture courtesy of Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association
When night falls at the Ouchi-juku Snow Festival, you can see snow huts and snow lanterns lit up along the snow-covered streets. The dreamy scenery will make you forget about the cold as this seasonal spectacle warms your heart.

Snow, Festivals, And Food! A Winter Guide To Fukushima

Picture courtesy of Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association
You can also enjoy the events that take place throughout the festival. Ouchi-juku is a great place not simply to admire the scenery, but also to participate in traditional Japanese festivities.

*1 Post town: a type of settlement, known as "shukubamachi," during the Edo Period where travelers rested while journeying from city to city.

Ouchi-juku

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Aizu Painted Candle Festival

Snow, Festivals, And Food! A Winter Guide To Fukushima

Picture courtesy of Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association
Tsurugajo Castle in Aizu-Wakamatsu is a prominent castle in Fukushima. It was the site of the Boshin War, where revolutionaries tried to overthrow the Edo Shogunate (*2) and government allies.

The Aizu Painted Candle Festival will be held at this castle in February 2020.

Snow, Festivals, And Food! A Winter Guide To Fukushima

Picture courtesy of Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association
Painted candles are a traditional craft of Aizu. Artisans make each candle with great attention to detail. The Aizu Painted Candle Festival is held every year to showcase this special art to more people. During the festival, around 10,000 candles are illuminated at night throughout the city, including at Tsurugajo Castle and Oyakuen Garden.

Snow, Festivals, And Food! A Winter Guide To Fukushima

Picture courtesy of Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association
Appreciate the beauty of traditional Japanese art at the Aizu Painted Candle Festival!

*2 Edo Shogunate: Government headed by the Tokugawa dynasty during the Edo Period. It was founded by Ieyasu Tokugawa and lasted until the 15th shogun Yoshinobu Tokugawa handed the administration to Emperor Meiji.

Tsuruga Castle

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Ashinomaki Onsen Snow Park

Snow, Festivals, And Food! A Winter Guide To Fukushima

Picture courtesy of Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association
Ashinomaki Onsen in Aizu-Wakamatsu overlooks Okawa Valley and its charming seasonal colors on display. This tranquil onsen (hot spring) town is a 20-minute drive from Ouchi-juku.

Snow, Festivals, And Food! A Winter Guide To Fukushima

Picture courtesy of Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association
Every winter, a snow park opens on the grounds of Ashinomaki Onsen. Visitors can try various activities at the Kamakura Plaza in Kagayaki Park, situated above the Ashinomaki Onsen Tunnel.

Snow, Festivals, And Food! A Winter Guide To Fukushima

Picture courtesy of Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association
Step inside a kamakura (snow hut) and savor mochi rice cakes and a warm drink. There is also plenty of room within the park grounds to sled and ride snowmobiles. We highly recommend the park to visitors who rarely experience snow back home.

Snow, Festivals, And Food! A Winter Guide To Fukushima

Picture courtesy of Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association
After spending a day out in the snow, soak in a warm hot spring. The winter landscape of Fukushima, combined with snow activities and hot springs, creates an ideal travel experience.

The snow park opens on January 20, 2020. Admission will cost 1,000 yen for adults and 800 yen for children.

Ashinomaki Onsen Tourism Association (Snow Park)
https://aizu-ashinomaki.jp/en

Ashinomakionsen Kagayaki Park

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park

A Cornucopia of Delicious Food

Stunning scenery and festivals aren't the only highlights of winter in Fukushima. There is also plenty of exquisite food. We will now cover some of the most popular regional dishes.

Negi Soba

Snow, Festivals, And Food! A Winter Guide To Fukushima

Picture courtesy of Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association
A staple of Ouchi-juku is negi soba (green onion and buckwheat noodles). A bowl of soba is topped with a whole green onion, which you use to eat the noodles. As a tip, we recommend eating the dish with the onion before biting into it. While it may take a while to get used to using an onion as a utensil for eating noodles, this experience is certainly one-of-a-kind.

Wappa-Meshi

Snow, Festivals, And Food! A Winter Guide To Fukushima

Picture courtesy of Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association

A wappa is a bento box made out of Japanese cedarwood. Wappa-meshi is a local dish in which rice and seasonal ingredients are steamed in a wappa box. Open the box, and you'll be pleasantly surprised with a beautiful presentation and a tasty meal.

Other Local Dishes to Try

Snow, Festivals, And Food! A Winter Guide To Fukushima

Picture courtesy of Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association

Snow, Festivals, And Food! A Winter Guide To Fukushima

Picture courtesy of Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association
In addition to negi soba and wappa-meshi, there are plenty of other flavorful dishes to try. Among them are oyako-don (rice topped with a chicken omelet) made using local Aizu chicken and awa-manju (a sweet bean-paste-filled bun).

The Snowy World of Fukushima

Admire the snowscapes along the Tadami Line and attend cultural events in Ouchi-juku and Aizu. Then, play in the snow at Ashinomaki Onsen and savor delicious food.

Fukushima is brimming with unique experiences during winter! Be sure to include Fukushima in your trip itinerary to enjoy the snow and great outdoors in Japan.

https://fukushima.travel/

Written by Shuhei Yagishita
Sponsored by Fukushima Prefecture Tourism & Local Products Association

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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