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Tomodachi Spring / Summer 2018

This is Japan

Discover Fukushima’s Hamadori

Experience Japanese Charm in the Tohoku Region

Japan’s Tohoku region is known for its scenic beauty. Although the region suffered an enormous amount of damage from the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, it is now vigorously carrying out reconstruction. The coastal area in the east of Fukushima Prefecture in Tohoku is called “Hamadori,” which means “the road along the coast.” A highway has run along this coast since olden times from which people can enjoy the beautiful shoreline stretching 160 km (100 mi.). In this area, which has a rich history, a large number of traditions and cultural practices have been handed down, enabling visitors to connect with the Japan of ancient times.
 

 

Events

The Soma Nomaoi festival, which takes place July 23 through 25, has its origins in the tenth century, when samurai Taira no Masakado caught wild horses and made offerings of them to the gods. With a history stretching over a thousand years, the festival has been designated a national important intangible folk culture asset. Scenes reminiscent of warring states unfold one after another, beginning with a ceremony held at the ruins of Soma Nakamura Castle before the supreme commander heads off to battle, followed by some 500 armor-clad samurai horsemen participating in cavalcades on horseback, horse racing with armored horsemen, and battles in which horsemen scramble to capture flags.

Resorts

Spa Resort Hawaiians, which hosted the 8th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM8) in May 2018, is a large theme park complex made up of five theme parks as well as hotels and golf courses. Amid a tropical mood evoking Hawaii, visitors can enjoy a water park featuring pools and water slides that use hot spring water, the world’s largest outdoor bath, with a bathing area of 1,000 m² (10,750 sq. ft.), and various amusements such as Polynesian shows.

Aquarium

In the sea off the coast of Hamadori is a junction line between two ocean currents: a cold current flowing from the northern part of the Pacific Ocean and a warm current flowing up from the south. Aquamarine Fukushima (the Fukushima Marine Science Museum) is an aquarium taking as its theme the junction line between two currents. Its large water tank, called the “sea where two currents meet,” allows visitors to observe schools of fish from up close through a tunnel, creating a powerful impression as the workings of the sea unfold before their eyes. In addition, this is an experience-oriented aquarium, offering behind-the-scenes tours, fishing, and other events daily.

Fruits

Fukushima Prefecture is blessed with a good climate and rich soil, enabling mouth-watering fruit to be produced in each of the four seasons. For that reason, Fukushima is known as the “kingdom of fruit.” While the Hamadori area also grows figs, kiwis, and other fruit, it is best known for its Japanese pears. From late August into late September, visitors can enjoy a wide variety of Japanese pears virtually bursting with their natural juices. Visitors can pick their own Japanese pears at some orchards, enabling them to enjoy the tastes of the Hamadori region to the full as they pick pears with their own hands.

Radiation doses (as of January 2018)


 

Thanks to the tireless efforts to recover from the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake, radiation doses in Fukushima Prefecture are now at roughly the same level as major cities such as Tokyo, New York, and London.
Source: Japan National Tourism Organization