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Accompanying Husband on business trip and extra weekend.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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Accompanying Husband on business trip and extra weekend.

Hello everyone,

I will be accompanying my husband on his business trip to Fukishima late July 2018. Most days I will be completely on my own, including evenings where he will have dinners that I will likely be excluded from all but one or two nights. I have never been to this prefecture, and information about the area is limited. I am wondering if someone could suggest some things that are easy and fun to do for a gaijin woman to do alone. Also, while we are flying in and out of Tokyo, we have the option of arriving the weekend before and remaining the weekend after with maybe adding a vacation day or two to see something new.

The little I have read leaves me sort of lukewarm in my enthusiasm. I have been to Japan 6 times previously, including on March 11, 2011. Have traveled to Tokyo, and surrounds like Kamakura and Nikko, and we will be spending one day in Yokohama. Have also visited Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Hiroshima, and have climbed Mt. Fuji. Most of my trips have been short stays and mostly a "Greatest Hits" best of tourist sites tour. But once, we did a home exchange and go to live like a local. ( Well actually, a local European expat).. I am sort of at a loss as to what to do with myself during the week, and where to visit for my extended weekends. WE are open to travel to any destination. We are the kind of people that sometimes fly from the US to Asia or Europe for a long weekend, so we are not put off by distance or money for something truly unusual or worthwhile. We are always hungry to go somewhere new, but also don't mind visiting old favorites. I have never been to any of the coastal resorts, small villages or an Onsen.

Does anyone have an ideas for me? Also, what is the weather like in this prefecture? I have been to Japan in July before, and it was mostly unbearably hot and humid or raining.

Thanks for your assistance, am looking forward to suggestions.

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8 replies to this topic
Kobe, Japan
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1. Re: Accompanying Husband on business trip and extra weekend.

I would definitely recommend an overnight at an onsen resort/ryokan for the two of you. There is an abundance of choices. Here's one site that's helpful to find unique places.

https://www.onsentipster.com

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Accompanying Husband on business trip and extra weekend.

I would get a JR East Tokuko pass, and that gives you the freedom to travel within a wide area for 5 days. You could do a day trip to Tokyo, another further North (Kaukonodate), visit Sendai, Yamadera, Akita , Hirosaki....all kinds of places. Pick an onsen to go to one day in the mountains.

https://www.jreast.co.jp/e/eastpass_t/

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3. Re: Accompanying Husband on business trip and extra weekend.

Fukushima Prefecture is actually a quite pleasant place travel solo in a slow pace. Although most of my visits were in spring with great cherry blossom, I have fond memories of visits to Lake Inawashiro, Mt Bandai Area, Nihonmatsu Castle ruins, and Aizu Wakamatsu in summer. Bathing at hot spring resorts with cold shower and air con nap rooms should offer relief in hot summer days. The rainy season is (almost) over in 2018- this was an early and short year.

Having said all those things above, you might enjoy more if you get a JR East Tohoku Pass as suggested above and travel wide in this beautiful countryside area.

Yamadera Risshakuji, Matsushima, Hiraizumi Chusonji, Kakunodate, and Hirosaki are places of historico-cultural interest; add hot spring towns such as Akiu, Zao, Sakunami, or Naruko for relaxation. Personally, I recommend doing fruit picking, sake or whiskey brewery visits, hot springs, and some hike and explorations in and around Onsen towns. Yamagata Prefecture is quite ideal.

Try Yubeshi and Zunda-mochi snacks, which are traditional and popular in Yamagata and Miyagi Prefectures. The Tohoku Region produces the best sake in Japan, although Niigata might want to object to such simplification.

Most things that can be enjoyed like shopping and dining in Tokyo can be enjoyed at large cities like Sendai and Morioka. Fukushima and Koriyama are not very big cities but offers most anything at shopping malls, and the good thing is that people are more relaxed and welcoming.

You arerecommended to visit the local tourist information center for inspiration and suggestions. Rent an electrically assisted bike in regional cities to tour around local folk museums, suburban hot spring bathhouses, temples of local interest, shopping malls. What is on TripAdvisor or Japan-Forum are only a part of what the region offers.

Edited: 02 July 2018, 10:41
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4. Re: Accompanying Husband on business trip and extra weekend.

Urabandai (behind Mt. Bandai) is the best place to go in Fukushima, especially in summer, where is very cool and great to avoid the heat.

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7752.html

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7750.html

Goshiki-numa (Five Colored Ponds), the Magically Colored Ponds, are the best place to hike for @4 km in the Mt. Bandai Kogen(Highland).

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-…

If you stay at Fukushima, it is good to rent a car there and take the Bandai-Azuma Skyline, which offers spectacular views over the highlands and passes the scenic Mt. Azuma Kofuji and Nakatsugawa Gorge towards the panoramic Bandai-Azuma Lake Line to the Goshiki Numa-iriguchi (entrance).

veryjapanese.jp/tohoku/…

https://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/ttp/ptg/PS/pg-205.pdf#search=%27Fukushima+Bandai+Kogen+Bus%27

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5. Re: Accompanying Husband on business trip and extra weekend.

+1 vote to Goshiki-numa, Azuma-Bandai Skyline as mentioned by Mabei-sensei above.

If you drive, consider also Zao onsen and Okama crater in less than 100km from Fukushima city.

Other easy day trips include Yamadera, Matsushima Bay etc by frequent JR trains.

There are plenty of nice and historical onsens in Tohoku. More advice can be given when your itin has been fixed.

my 5th visit to Urabandai in Oct 2014.

japantravelinsights.com/2014-tohoku-part-2/

Bandai-Azuma Skyline at 1700m in Oct 2016.

japantravelinsights.com/2016-oct-tohoku-part…

Edited: 06 July 2018, 21:39
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6. Re: Accompanying Husband on business trip and extra weekend.

Wow, thank you Mr. DLi_hk, for the beautiful photos of Urabandai!! My ancestors are from Fukushima and my grandfather had his second house in Urabandai, so I had been to Urabandai numerous times, but you had also been there for 5 times from Hong Kong!! You are like a modern Ino Takataka, who was a Japanese surveyor and cartographer in 19th century, known for completing the first map of Japan using modern surveying techniques, visiting all over Japan!!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inō_Tadataka

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Fukushima
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Hong Kong, China
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7. Re: Accompanying Husband on business trip and extra weekend.

@Mabei-sensei,

Thank you for the compliment.

However, my visits in Japan fell far short of the achievements by Ino Tadataka. While I have no ambition to chart the coastline of Japan, the countryside of Japan has so much to offer in four seasons, including Fukushima Prefecture.

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K J
New York City, New...
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8. Re: Accompanying Husband on business trip and extra weekend.

There is a fantastic little onsen village 20 minutes from Fukushima station. Iizaka-onsen:20 min from JR Fukushima Station http://iizaka.info

https://fukushima-guide.jp

This link also has some ideas in the City.

The prefecture store near the station has great local items. It's just near the Richmond hotel. Which is a great hotel btw.

And others have pointed out some great ideas also.

Some are cautious about stuff like this but perhaps you can consider one the official tours in the exclusion zone.

https:/…real-fukushima.html

All official.

There is a LOT of stuff in a very large prefecture of Fukushima and much in Tohoku as noted.

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