We started our adventure with a stop at the tourist information center Fukushima station. Having visited well over 100 information centers throughout Japan this one was by far the most helpful in providing answers and advice by friendly knowledgeable staff. Nihei Sachiko gave us directions, time tables, and very useful maps, while answering all of my rapid-fire questions.
Just a few blocks from our hotel (Hotel Sun Route) is a nice pathway along the Abukuma River. It is great for an early morning walk with a historical park near the prefecture offices, and you can choose your exercise on either side of the river.
The loop Momorin City bus (100 yen) took us to the Fukushima TV stop, which is only a few minutes to the entrance of Shinobuyama, a sacred mountain overlooking the Fukushima basin. There are several observation platforms providing panoramic views of all sides of the basin. You will pass numerous shrines and temples, even one dedicated to cats. When you leave the park make sure to head south over to the Iwaya Kannon with close to 60 Buddhist carvings from over 800 years ago.
Fukushima is known for some really tasty food. We tried their Miso based ramen, Aizu Soba, and Enban Gyoza. They even have their own beer brewery, which produces peach flavored ale.
With some extra time before our return train we walked a few blocks east of the station to Fushimi coffee shop. If you like coffee or scrumptious sweets then this is a must stop. The coffee and cheese cake were excellent and master Toshiya Fushimi brewing our coffee right in front of us made for a special experience.
The western part of the city has one of the largest fruit growing areas in Japan, known as the “Fruit Road”, where from early June to mid-December you can pick your own fruit (Cherries, Peaches, Pears, Grapes and Apples).
Near the train station there is a sitting area where you can listen to a piano concert by world famous Yuji Koseki.
A visit to Fukushima city is a must stop on your tour of Japan.