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Letters from Tokyo
Japan Tourism and Fukushima: Abukuma Cave, Koriyama, and Ura-Bandai
By Lee Jay Walker
Tokyo Correspondent
Abukuma Cave in Fukushima

Fukushima is a stunning prefecture in Japan which is awash with amazing landscapes where people can escape the stresses of life. Koriyama is the commercial capital of Fukushima prefecture and for many tourists this city is an ideal base. Also, since the events of March 11, 2011, this part of Japan received international attention because of the nuclear crisis but for the vast majority of this lovely prefecture, life is in full swing and is open for business. Therefore, for internal tourists in Japan and international tourists, it is a great way to support the local economy and at the same time have an amazing holiday because of the stunning nature of Fukushima.

Koriyama is an ideal base because of the amenities available which are top notch. This applies to high quality hotels, modern transport system which is served by the Shinkansen train system, excellent restaurants, stylish boutiques and a buzzing fashion scene, accessible to many places to visit, and a host of other factors. Indeed, it is clear that Koriyama in 2012 is a dynamic city which is the heart of the ongoing development of this beautiful prefecture.

The Abukuma Cave in Fukushima is a great place to visit because this limestone cave is well looked after and provides amazing views inside. Individuals are given two options which apply to a relaxing walk within Abukuma Cave. Therefore, for individuals who are not so healthy then this walk is advised because you can enjoy at your own leisure. However, if you are healthy and adore a challenge then the complex route is most rewarding. Yet be prepared for two or three very difficult areas where you have to nearly crawl in order to get through and continue your walk.

Scenic views within the cave are enthralling and clearly this limestone cave is well preserved and serves tourism in Fukushima extremely well. The views outside Abukuma Cave are also richly rewarding and you have other tourist attractions to enjoy. Therefore, a visit to Abukuma Cave is extremely rewarding and the history behind the formation of stalactites and stalagmites is very interesting.

Another amazing places to visit in Fukushima is Ura-Bandai and this notably applies to Goshiki-numa (five ponds of color). Of course the entire area is awash with amazing scenary and walks to enjoy. Yet the walk in Goshiki-numa is extremely rewarding and will always stay with you because of the stunning scenary and the richness of color. The reason behind the different colors of ponds, and why you have so many ponds and lakes, is because of the volcanic eruption of 1888 which flowed naturally into the Nagase-gawa which is a major river.

Most notable lakes and ponds that were created after the lava from the eruption in 1888 occurred apply to Nakase-numa Pond, Lake Onogawa-ko, Oguni-numa Pond, Lake Hibara-ko, and Lake Akimoto-ko. You also have a wealth of marsh areas. In total you have more than 100 ponds and lakes within the Ura-Bandai area (Bandai-kogen Highlands) and the Goshiki-numa (five ponds of color) walk is a must for all nature lovers. After all, the richness of different colors is a wonder to behold and the walking trail is really enjoyable and for photographers it is a paradize.

Also, for lovers of art and culture you have a stunning museum to visit called Morohashi Museum of Modern Art. The architecture of this museum is really pleasing on the eye and the backdrop of stunning mountains and a stream passing by the art gallery is truly inspiring and melts the heart.

The Morohashi Museum of Modern Art concentrates on such great artists like Paul Cezanne, Salvador Dali, and Pablo Picasso. Currently, you have a major exhibition which highlights the work of Salvador Dali. Also, within this lovely art museum you have many galleries to explore other artists and you also have a nice place to drink coffee and eat cake. This enchanting museum is a must place to visit because it provides a lovely cultural angle which blends naturally within the stunning scenary of Ura-Bandai.

Throughout Fukushima you have many amazing places to visit and given the circumstances of March 11, 2011, it is essential for internal tourists to support the local economy. The same applies to international tourists because Fukushima prefecture and the Tohoku region needs to recover completely from the devastation of the tsunami which killed so many individuals and caused havoc.

At the same time, tourists will be richly rewarded because Fukushima prefecture is a real gem. In Koriyama you will notice a thriving commercial centre where fashion is a major feature. From this ideal base you can visit many tourist attractions including stunning mountain ranges, lakes, ponds, the amazing Abukuma Cave, Tsuruga Castle, Oyaku-en Garden, and so much more. Simply put, Fukushima prefecture is an ideal location for tourists to enjoy stunning nature and relax by visiting an onsen, whereby you can refresh your body and mind.

http://dali.jp/english/ – The Morohashi Museum of Modern Art

http://www.tohokukanko-fukkou.jp/en/371.html Ura-bandai and Goshiki-numa

Art image – MARC CHAGALL - currently on show at The Morohashi Museum of Modern Art

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

The above article is from Modern Tokyo Times.
http://moderntokyotimes.com



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Lee Jay Walker serves as Tokyo Correspondent of The Seoul Times. He specializes in int'l relations and geopolitics. He is also involved in analyst work and research on business. After finishing BA degree in East European Studies at the University of London, he earned MA degree in Asia Pacific Studies at Nottingham Trent University. His website is at http://www.leejaywalker.wordpress.com

 

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