If you’ve ever visited Fukushima once in the fall, then surely you have been overwhelmed with the beauty of its colorful. This article is not intended to praise its beauty in the fall, but I will tell you about my story exploring the mysterious beauty and full of charming about Fukushima as it put on the cloak of snow.
My story began with the ideological struggle with how I spend my weekend. Sitting at home for sleeping in bed late, waking up with a cup of hot cocoa and surfing facebook then jealous with my friend’s trips, or pack backpack up and go outside facing with cold weather to write my own story.
I started the first day of the trip by getting up early to catch up the first shinkansen train.
At 8 AM, I caught the train at Sendai station and it took about two hours by shinkansen to Iwanashiro station and from there I caught the bus to go straight to Lake Hibara.
Lake Hibara with many tents for ice fishing
Hibara Lake is one of the largest lakes Ura-Bandai region is formed as a result of the volcanic eruption in 1888 Bandai and the resulting debris avalanche created a natural dam which is then filled with water, submerging Hibara Village. The rest of Hibara Village remained at the bottom of the lake. It is a story full history of tragic, but that is not what I want to emphasize. What I want to emphasize are very popular entertainment activities in here such as ice fishing. Did you surprise about it? Before I just thought I have to go to Alaska or polar to do this, I can make a hole by myself for ice fishing like TV shows on National Geographic or Discovery channels right at Lake Hibara – Fukushima inside a warm wooden tent.
After the finish, you can enjoy grilled fish at the spot or send to the resort restaurant to make tradition tempura dishes. For me, I chose to eat in the cozy restaurant of the resort to enjoy my achievement as tempura crispy fried fish along with a bowl of miso hot bowl of soy sauce and huge fragrant pork cutlet.
Fragrant pork cutlet and Tempura fish
After fully charged up with a delicious lunch, I headed straight to Hotel Listel Inawashiro.
“Hotel Listel Inawashiro is a large resort facility in a beautiful location near Bandai Mountain and Lake Inawashiro, and we are also one of Inawashiro “Onsen”, or hot springs, in Aizu-Wakamatsu Bandai Kogen (Highland). We are only 10 minutes away from Bandai Kogen Exit on Bandai Highway, and it is also easy to make excursions to beautiful green Ura-Bandai and castle town Aizu-Wakamatsu, both of which are popular tourist sites located less than 40 minutes away.
At the elevation of 600m, our vast property is covered with seasonal flowers from spring to autumn, such as rape blossoms, camomile flowers, lavender, and cosmos. We are a great destination for enjoying sports, with a number of outdoor sports facilities including tennis, futsal, and park golf, as well as an affiliated golf course.
In winter, Hotel Listel Inawashiro is a lively winter resort where guests enjoy skiing and snowboarding at our ski slope where we host FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cups Mogul.”(Hotel Listel Iwanashiro website)
In here, I had an afternoon immersed in the snow. What a pity to miss if you come here without trying skiing. There is a most exciting game I’ve ever tried. Despite a lot of times, I fell down, finally, I could stand on my feet balance to slide down enchanting slopes. It gave me an exciting feeling, a little sense of adventure and full of charm that you do not want to stop.
Following an afternoon of activities at full capacity is a fantasy dinner exactly what I expected it. It ‘s a buffet party with lots of delicious food such as sushi, sashimi, steak, crab…that you just wish you had a very big belly to enjoy as much as you can
Fantasy buffet dinner at Listel Iwanashiro Hotel
To end a perfect day tour, it’s nothing better than relaxing in the onsen to recovery weary body.
Lake Inwanashiro with swans
My second day starts nothing more interesting than watching the sunrise at Lake Iwanashiro and watching the swans swimming around in the blue water mixing with sunlight. That is a spectacular view that you only can see in pictures,
You not only can see the swans were swimming but also you can also feed and take pictures with them. I think the swans chose Iwanashiro lake on their migratory seems not only to avoid the extremely cold weather in Siberia but also they want to take pictures with tourists coming from all over the world.
Not only has the dreamily beautiful natural scene, Fukushima also has ancient beauty with castles and the villages hiding in the snow.
With 410 yen, you can have a ticket to explore ancient castles, Tsuruga Castle. Inside the castle can see the typical architecture of wood and a lot of pictures and artifacts about the history of the castle downs. However, the most amazing thing is when you climb on the top floor of the castle, you will see the white landscape of the Aizuwakamatsu village.
Final destination in the emotional journey is Ouchijuku village, the village hiding in many layers of snow adorn rustic beauty and simplicity, but it still has mysterious,
Ouchijiku village – ancient village
With old houses made of wood, roofs made from grasses covered with snow in winter. To explore further the architecture of the house I chose a traditional restaurant to visit and enjoy a hot bowl of Negi-soba.
Negi-soba is a very popular dish and especially in this region. It’s special because you have to use an onion instead of chopsticks to eat like normal. That was a very exciting challenge for me because you have to use onions to eat.I could not resist the delicious dish, so I’ve overcome challenges quickly.
That’s the discovery story about my weekend and I hope you like it
Let’s write your own story and come to Fukushima place will give you the best raw material to write a perfect story for yourself.
Let’s go to experience by yourself because you can not know all the surprises are waiting for you by reading the stories of others.
- Lake Hibara
*Tokyo Station (shinkansen)—Koriyama Station (JR)—Inawashiro Station(bus)—urabandai (3 hrs, 8950 yen) *Sendai Station (shinkansen)—Koriyama Station (JR)—Inawashiro Station(bus)—urabandai (2 hrs, 6130 yen)
- Listel Iwanashiro Hotel resort
*Narita Airport (express bus)—Hotel Listel (5 hrs, 6000 yen)2 Tokyo Station (shinkansen)—Koriyama Station (JR)—Inawashiro Station( free shuttle bus)—Hotel Listel (3 hrs, 8950 yen)
*Tokyo Station (shinkansen)—Koriyama Station (JR)—Inawashiro Station( free shuttle bus)—Hotel Listel (3 hrs, 8950 yen)
*Sendai Station (shinkansen)—Koriyama Station (JR)—Inawashiro Station (free shuttle bus)—Hotel Listel (3hrs, 8950 yen)
- Lake Iwanashiro
JR from Inawashiro station to Aizuwakamatsu station
*Tokyo Station(Shinkansen)—Koriyama Station(bus)—Tsurugajo Bus Station (9300 yen, 3 hrs)
*Sendai Station(Shinkansen)—Koriyama Station(bus)—Tsurugajo Bus Station (6480yen, 2 hrs 10 minutes)
*Sendai Station East Exit (Express bus)— Tsurugajo Bus Station (2900yen, 2 hrs)
- Ouchijiku village
*From Nanukamachi Station – take JR Tadami Line/aizu tetsudo line to Yunokamionsen Station – walk 3min to Yunoueonsen Ekimae Bus Stop – take bus to Ouchika Bus Stop – walk 4 min to Ouchijuku Village
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Pham Van Manh – Vietnam