Looking for something to do now the weather is getting warmer? No plans yet for golden week? Here are a few events in Fukushima and neighboring prefectures that might be of interest to you:
April 20th: Ishikawa Sakura Matsuri
Where: Asahi Park and Machinaka Exchange Square, Ishikawa Town.
The Sakura tress will be illuminated and there will be various stage events on the day.
For more information and inquiries please contact Ishikawa Town Industrial Promotion Division: 0247-26-9113. http://www.town.ishikawa.fukushima.jp/
April 27th~29th: Adatara Highland Dake Onsen Sakura Matsuri
Where: Dake Onsen Street, Nihonmatsu City. During the festival period various events such as music events will be held.
For more information and inquiries please contact the Dake Onsen Tourism Association: 0243-24-2310. http://www.dakeonsen.or.jp/
April 30th~May 6th: Fukushima Ramen Show 2013
Where: Kaiseizan Park, Jiyu Square, Koriyama City. From 10am~8pm.
Famous Ramen restaurants from around Japan, Fukushima prefecture and Koriyama will be gathered in one place, so you can enjoy various types of unique ramen.
For more information and inquiries please contact the Fukushima Central Television Business Promotion Division: 024-923-3264. http://www.fct.co.jp/event/ra-men/
May 2nd& 3rd: Iwaki Yumoto Onsen Satsuki Matsuri
Where: Yumoto Onsen Shrine, near Yumoto Station.
This is an annual festival, with a small festival on the eve of the main festival on the 2nd and the main festival on the 3rd.
On the main festival there will be 6 omikoshi (portable shrine) carried through the town.
For more information and inquiries please contact the Yumoto Onsen Satsuki Matsuri Committee: 0246-42-4322.
May 3rd: Onahama Suwa Shrine Annual Matsuri
Where: Onahama, from 8:00am.
This is an annual omikoshi (portable shrine) festival held in Onahama. There will be various types of omikoshi carrying in Onahama area, including an omikoshi that weighs around 2 tons and children’s omikoshi. For more information and inquiries please contact Onahama Suwa Shrine: 0246-92-2656.
May 3rd& 4th: Okunitama Shrine Annual Matsuri
Where: Okunitama Shrine, Taira. There will be many traditional dance performances dedicated to the gods and omikoshi (portable shrine) carrying on the main festival day on the 4th.
For more information and inquiries please contact Okunitama Shrine: 0246-34-0092.
May 3rd: Uesugi Festival
Where: Yonezawa, Yamagata
See a re-enactment of the battle of Kawanakajima, the festival runs from April 29th – 3rd, and the final day is where the re-enactment of the battle happens.
(Thank you to Nam-Hee for event information!)
Hakone, an onsen town outside of Tokyo also makes an awesome weekend trip. A 5,000 yen round pass (Hakone Free Pass) is available from Shinjuku station, and lasts 2 days. It covers the round fare, use of the cable car and discounted admittance to several attractions around Hakone for 2 days. Check out the crazy onsen-spa of Kowakien Yunessun, you can relax in sake, green tea and wine baths.
Kamakura, a seaside town a short ride from Tokyo, also makes for an excellent day out. There are several beautiful shrines and temples in Kamakura, in my opinion they are some of the most beautiful in Japan! Admittance is usually between 200 – 500 yen, and the whole town can be walked in a day if you start early. Make sure you check out the Great Buddha!
Fuji-Q Highland is a large amusement park in Fujiyoshida, 1 – 2 hours from Tokyo. Fuji-Q is famous for it’s rollercoasters, but also has several other attractions. Tickets to Fuji-Q are slightly cheaper than Disney Sea/Tokyo Disneyland, but it does take longer to get there. Fujiyama Onsen is also close by.
Before it gets too hot you might want to check out some of Aizu’s beautiful onsens, onsens in Oku-Aizu maybe be smaller, but they often have amazing views.
Photograph by Jon Dart