Enjoy a stunning drive through Fukushima’s mountains to see the autumn foliage along the scenic Bandai-Azuma Skyline and Fudosawa Bridge. After a volcanic hike at Jododaira for some breathtaking scenery, end the day in a hot spring bath at Takayu Onsen.
In Japan, you can find rental car companies located at various major train stations. Pick up your desired vehicle from Fukushima Station, which services a number of Japan Railway (JR) and local lines, including the JR Tohoku Shinkansen that connects directly to Tokyo.
About 40 mins by car
Situated in the mountains, Azuma-an is known for its Nagashi Somen, where you catch noodles sliding down from bamboo tubes with your chopsticks. Pair it with grilled river fish (iwana or masu) and watercress tempura. They open from late April to mid October, when you can also enjoy fishing.
|Address||Takenomori 1, Sabara, Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture 960-2158|
About 40 mins by car
This meandering mountain road not only commands panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, it is also one of the best places in Japan to enjoy the scenery of autumn leaves (late September to early October). It has been selected as one of the 100 Best Roads in Japan.
About 20 mins by car
Found in the middle of the Bandai-Azuma Skyline is Jododaira, a subalpine plateau that features rustic volcanic scenery and alpine plants. Take a break from driving and stretch your legs on the hiking routes here – a 20-minute hike up Mt. Azuma-Kofuji affords great views of the Jododaira area. Another hour will take you around the crater for a beautiful sight of Fukushima City below.
About 15 mins by car
The picturesque Fudosawa Bridge crosses the Tsubakuro Valley on the Bandai-Azuma Skyline, and is particularly renowned for its autumn foliage. Take in the sublime vista of the Fukushima basin and the bridge from the nearby "Kyu-fudosawa-bashi-ato" observation deck – built on remnants of the former Fudosawa Bridge – at the Tsubakuro Valley rest area, which has parking and restroom facilities as well.
About 30 mins by car
Takayu Onsen is a small hot spring resort area in the Azuma Mountains, with about a dozen inns that feature gorgeous open-air baths with mountain views.
Head over to Ryokan Tamagoyu and soak in the bluish milky waters of the naturally flowing spring, which has been running for the past 400 years without any artificial heating or addition of water. The ryokan is also known for its classic wooden bathhouse.
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