+travel++japan++fukushima prefecture++iwaki++december 28 2010

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WINTER is a good time to travel in eastern Japan. It might be cold, but the skies are clear and blue. Jet contrails criss/cross the sky, while up in the high places, snow is thick and plentiful. This is school holiday season, Seishun 18 Kippu season, and my buddy Kenichi and I are always ready to travel at this time! Having introduced me to the white wastelands of Niigata Ken many winters ago, Kenichi has in recent years been steering me towards Tohoku, literally the "east-north" (north east) of Honshu Island. Tohoku comprises six prefectures, only one of which I have managed to visit so far in life... Fukushima Prefecture. Fukushima is the third largest prefecture in Japan, and the largest producer of energy. The prefecture is divided into three parts: Hama Dori (by the sea), Naka Dori (in the middle) and Aizu (in the mountains). Two years ago I travelled up to Aizu Wakamatsu in the Aizu region, to see the white castle blanketed in white snow. It is supposed to be real samurai country up there; the samurai spirit lives on. This winter I found myself marooned in Tokyo once again, and to cheer myself up, I bought a Seishun 18 Kippu five-pack (11,500 Yen for five days of train travel). I was walking home near sunset/moonrise on the banks of the Edo River, when I let Kenichi know of my purchase. He immediately suggested: let's go to Iwaki! Specifically, Iwaki-Yumoto! It's a little onsen town in the Hama Dori part of Fukushima Prefecture. We set a date for our planned expedition: Tuesday, December 28, 2010. Based on my previous travels with Kenichi, I knew I would be in for an eventful day...


Tourism Information of Fukushima Prefecture