Uncovering the Culture of Fukushima – Fukushima Inspiration

Culture GJ Editor

G'Day Japan! / Culture / Uncovering the Culture of Fukushima – Fukushima Inspiration

Passed down countless generations, Fukushima Prefecture has a plethora of unique cultures nurtured by the history and climate of each region.

Kimono Experience in Aizu-Wakamatsu City

Traditional Japanese kimono can be rented from Tsuruga Kimono Rental Shop, which is right next to Tsurugajo Castle in Aizu-Wakamatsu. This grand, historical castle was one of the final strongholds for samurai fighting against the new government during the Boshin War. After exploring the castle, stroll over to the nearby Nanokamachi-dori Street, which is lined by retro buildings typifying the streetscapes of traditional Japan.


Relaxing Tea Ceremony at Tsurugajo Castle

On the grounds of Tsurugajo Castle sits the Rinkaku Tea Ceremony Room, where you can relish authentic Japanese matcha paired with a seasonal sweet. The building and surrounding garden are imbued with the harmony of traditional Japanese aesthetics, including tatami straw mat flooring and a straw-thatched roof.


Soma Nomaoi

The annual Soma Nomaoi festival sees around 400 horsemen don samurai armour to race and battle to capture flags. According to legend, the Soma Nomaoi traces its origins back over 1,000 years, when the legendary samurai Taira no Masakado, said to be a distant relative of the Soma Clan, released wild horses into northwestern Chiba Prefecture for military training. The festival lasts for several exhilarating days, and is a great opportunity to witness the samurai spirit of Japan in action.


Oborisoma Ware Ceramics

Oborisoma ware is an ancient form of local pottery that developed around the Obori area of Namie in Hamadori. With over 300 years of history, Oborisoma ware ceramics are known for their distinctive blue cracks created by the use of celadon glaze, giving off a rustic, homely character. The material to create the glaze can only be found in Obori, making it a true local treasure. There are Oborisoma ware-making experiences held at the Michinoeki Namie roadside station, providing a hands-on appreciation for this remarkable artform.


Japanese Washi Paper Making Experience at Michinoeki Adachi

Michinoeki Adachi, a rest stop and cultural facility near Nihonmatsu between Fukushima City and Koriyama, offers experiences in the ancient art of “washi” paper making in the local style of “Kamikawasaki.” This traditional craft has over 1,000 years of history, and was the paper of choice for numerous nobles and prominent writers since the Heian period. Stunning washi paper products can also be purchased here, allowing you to enjoy both your own creations and the work of masters.


Fukushima Waraji Festival

The annual summertime Fukushima Waraji Festival takes place in Fukushima City in early August. Continuing since the Edo period for over 400 years, it is centred around a giant “waraji” straw sandal, the largest in Japan, which is carried through the streets by over 100 people before being dedicated to Haguro Shrine on Mt Shinobu, the symbol of Fukushima City. Many other rituals are also held, including traditional folk dances and races, showcasing the intense, passionate hearts of Fukushima locals.


Check out other Fukushima experiences at this website.

Suggested Itineraries for Fukushima Cultural Experiences

Stroll Through Two of Fukushima’s Biggest Icons in Traditional Kimono:
Discover Tsurugajo Castle and Ouchi-juku

Tour the Sights of Minamiaizu in Comfort While Mastering an Ancient Art:
Minamiaizu Private Taxi & Wood Working Experience (website not yet available)


Australia’s Official Fukushima Prefecture Representatives
For any enquiries regarding Fukushima tourism, please feel free to reach out to
sales_fukushima@nta.com.au or call
Simon Williamson (Australian Attractions): 0438 744 633
Nippon Travel Agency Australia Sydney Office: (02) 9275-9661