Fukushima Prefecture


            Though it is the third largest prefecture in Japan, most tourists had never heard of Fukushima before the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami which led to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster. The prefecture suffered terrible damage and loss of life from all of these incidents, and is still in the long process of rebuilding and recovering. Though it may not be a good choice for those who may have concerns about health and safety, such as families with small children or elderly visitors, some tourists still enjoy going to Fukushima.

Fukushima Prefecture Map (photo: Nemo's great uncle/flickr)

Fukushima Prefecture Map (photo: Nemo’s great uncle/flickr)

            Fukushima Prefecture is located in the Tohoku region of Japan’s main island, Honshu. There are three distinct regions which each have their own traditional culture and crafts, climate, and economy. The Hama-dori region with its fishing towns and industrial centers on the Pacific Ocean was most affected by the earthquake and subsequent crises. The middle section is Naka-dori, and the farthest west is called Aizu. Aizu is a mountainous area with a lot of natural beauty, hot springs, and hiking trails. It is a beautiful place for those in pursuit of outdoor activities any time during the year.

Outdoor Onsen bath in Aizuwakamatsu-shi, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan (photo:  Mika Ueno/flickr)

Outdoor Onsen bath in Aizuwakamatsu-shi, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan (photo: Mika Ueno/flickr)

            Historically, Fukushima Prefecture was the gateway to the far north, controlling access to valuable supplies like the horses and gold that were produced far from the cultural centers in Kyoto and Tokyo. There are still historical sites worth visiting, and some notable festivals unique to the area. Though it may not be the first choice for a visitor to Japan, Fukushima does have a lot to offer for those who go.

aizu-wakamatsu (photo:  YuriGB/flickr)

aizu-wakamatsu (photo: YuriGB/flickr)

For more information: http://www.tif.ne.jp/lang/en/

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