Prefectures of Japan Fukushima
Prefectures of Japan Fukushima
• Japanese 福島県
• Rōmaji Fukushima-ken
Prefectures of Japan Fukushima – Profile Photos
Prefectures of Japan Fukushima
Largest city Iwaki
Subdivisions Districts: 13, Municipalities: 59
• Governor Masao Uchibori
• Total 13,783.90 km2 (5,321.99 sq mi)
Area rank 3rd
Population (1 May 2021)
• Total 1,810,286
• Rank 20th
• Density 130/km2 (340/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code JP-07
Bird Narcissus flycatcher (Ficedula narcissina)
Flower Nemotoshakunage (Rhododendron brachycarpum)
Tree Japanese zelkova (Zelkova serrata)
Prefectures of Japan Fukushima
Fukushima Prefecture (/ˌfuːkuːˈʃiːmə/; Japanese: 福島県, romanized: Fukushima-ken, pronounced [ɸɯ̥kɯɕimaꜜkeɴ]) is a prefecture of Japan located in the Tōhoku region of Honshu.
Fukushima Prefecture has a population of 1,810,286 (as of 1 May 2021) and has a geographic area of 13,783 square kilometres (5,322 sq mi).
Fukushima Prefecture borders Miyagi Prefecture and Yamagata Prefecture to the north, Niigata Prefecture to the west, Gunma Prefecture to the southwest, and Tochigi Prefecture and Ibaraki Prefecture to the south.
Fukushima is the capital and Iwaki is the largest city of Fukushima Prefecture, with other major cities including Kōriyama, Aizuwakamatsu, and Sukagawa.
Fukushima Prefecture is located on Japan’s eastern Pacific coast at the southernmost part of the Tōhoku region, and is home to Lake Inawashiro, the fourth-largest lake in Japan.
Fukushima Prefecture is the third-largest prefecture of Japan (after Hokkaido and Iwate Prefecture) and divided by mountain ranges into the three regions of Aizu, Nakadōri, and Hamadōri.
Fukushima is both the southernmost prefecture of Tōhoku region and the prefecture of Tōhoku region that is closest to Tokyo.
With an area size of 13,784 km2 (5,322 sq mi) it is the third-largest prefecture of Japan, behind Hokkaido and Iwate Prefecture.
It is divided by mountain ranges into three regions called (from west to east) Aizu, Nakadōri, and Hamadōri.
Fukushima city is located in the Fukushima Basin’s southwest area and nearby mountains.
Aizuwakamatsu is located in the western part of Fukushima Prefecture, in the southeast part of Aizu basin.
Mount Bandai is the highest mountain in the prefecture with an elevation of 1,819 m (5,968 ft).
Mount Azuma-kofuji is an active stratovolcano that is 1,705 m (5,594 ft) tall with many onsen nearby.
Lake Inawashiro is the 4th largest lake of Japan (103.3 km2 (39.9 sq mi)) in the center of the prefecture.
The coastal Hamadōri region lies on the Pacific Ocean and is the flattest and most temperate region, while the Nakadōri region is the agricultural heart of the prefecture and contains the capital, Fukushima City.
The mountainous Aizu region has scenic lakes, lush forests, and snowy winters.
As of April 1, 2012, 13% of the total land area of the prefecture was designated as Natural Parks, namely Bandai-Asahi, Nikkō, and Oze National Parks; Echigo Sanzan-Tadami Quasi-National Park; and eleven Prefectural Natural Parks.
The coastal region traditionally specializes in fishing and seafood industries, and is notable for its electric and particularly nuclear power-generating industry, while the upland regions are more focused on agriculture.
Thanks to Fukushima’s climate, various fruits are grown throughout the year. These include pears, peaches, cherries, grapes, and apples.
As of March 2011, the prefecture produced 20.6% of Japan’s peaches and 8.7% of cucumbers.
Fukushima also produces rice, that combined with pure water from mountain run-offs, is used to make sake.
Some sakes from the region are considered so tasteful that they are served to visiting royalty and world leaders by hosts.
Lacquerware is another popular product from Fukushima. Dating back over four hundred years, the process of making lacquerware involves carving an object out of wood, then putting a lacquer on it and decorating it.
Objects made are usually dishes, vases and writing materials.
Legend has it that an ogress, Adachigahara, once roamed the plain after whom it was named.
The Adachigahara plain lies close to the city of Fukushima.
Other stories, such as that of a large, strong, red cow that carried wood, influenced toys and superstitions.
The Akabeko cow is a small, red papier-mâché cow on a bamboo or wooden frame, and is believed to ease child birth, bring good health, and help children grow up as strong as the cow.
Another superstitious talisman of the region is the Okiagari-koboshi, or self-righting dharma doll. These dolls are seen as bringers of good luck and prosperity because they stand right back up when knocked down.
Miharu-goma are small, wooden, black or white toy horses painted with colorful designs.
Depending upon their design, they may be believed to bring things like long life to the owner.
Kokeshi dolls, while less symbolic, are also a popular traditional craft.
They are carved wooden dolls, with large round heads and hand painted bodies.
Kokeshi dolls are popular throughout many regions of Japan, but Fukushima is credited as their birthplace.
Notable festivals and events
Sōma’s Nomaoi Festival (相馬野馬追, Sōma Nomaoi) is held every summer.
The Nomaoi Festival horse riders dressed in complete samurai attire can be seen racing, chasing wild horses, or having contests that imitate a battle.
The history behind the festival and events is over one thousand years old.
Fukushima’s Waraji Festival (わらじまつり, Waraji Matsuri) is held on the first weekend of August
During the Waraji Festival, a large (12-meter, 38-ft) straw sandal built by locals is dedicated to a shrine.
There is also a traditional Taiwanese dragon dance, or Ryumai, performed by Taiwanese visitors.
Aizuwakamatsu’s Aizu Festival (会津まつり, Aizu Matsuri) is held in late September
The Aizu festival is a celebration of the time of the samurai.
It begins with a display of sword dancing and fighting, and is followed by a procession of around five hundred people. T
he people in the procession carry flags and tools representing well-known feudal lords of long ago, and some are actually dressed like the lords themselves.
Taimatsu Akashi Fire Festival
A reflection of a long ago time of war, the Taimatsu Akashi Festival consists of men and women carrying large symbolic torches lit with a sacred fire to the top of Mt. Gorozan.
Accompanied by drummers, the torchbearers reach the top and light a wooden frame representing an old local castle and the samurai that lived there.
In more recent years the festival has been opened up so that anyone wanting to participate may carry a small symbolic torch along with the procession.
Iizaka’s Fighting Festival (けんか祭り, Kenka Matsuri) is held in October
Nihonmatsu’s Lantern Festival (提灯祭り, Chōchin Matsuri) is held from October 4 to 6
Nihonmatsu’s Chrysanthemum doll exhibition (二本松の菊人形, Nihonmatsu no Kiku Ningyō) is held from October 1 to November 23
Kōriyama City’s Uneme Festival (うねめ祭り）is held early August in honor of the legend of Princess Uneme.
The festival features a large parade through the city center with thousands of contestants annually, with several festival floats and a giant taiko-drum.
Date City’s Ryozen Taiko Festival (霊山太鼓祭り) is held in August and features multiple troupes of taiko drum players as well as other musical and comedic performances.
Tsuruga castle, a samurai castle originally built in the late 14th century, was occupied by the region’s governor in the mid-19th century, during a time of war and governmental instability.
Because of this, Aizuwakamatsu was the site of an important battle in the Boshin War, during which 19 teenage members of the Byakkotai committed ritual seppuku suicide.
Their graves on Mt. Iimori are a popular tourist attraction.
Kitakata is well known for its distinctive Kitakata ramen noodles and well-preserved traditional storehouse buildings, while Ōuchi-juku in the town of Shimogo retains numerous thatched buildings from the Edo period.
Mount Bandai, in the Bandai-Asahi National Park, erupted in 1888, creating a large crater and numerous lakes, including the picturesque ‘Five Coloured Lakes’ (Goshiki-numa).
Bird watching crowds are not uncommon during migration season here.
The area is popular with hikers and skiers.
Guided snowshoe tours are also offered in the winter.
The Inawashiro Lake area of Bandai-Asahi National Park is Inawashiro-ko, where the parental home of Hideyo Noguchi (1876–1928) can still be found.
It was preserved along with some of Noguchi’s belongings and letters as part of a memorial.
Noguchi is famous not only for his research on yellow fever, but also for having his face on the 1,000 yen note.
The Miharu Takizakura is an ancient weeping higan cherry tree in Miharu, Fukushima.
It is over 1,000 years old.
Fukushima is known as a “Fruit Kingdom” because of its many seasonal fruits, and the fact that there is fruit being harvested every month of the year.
While peaches are the most famous, the prefecture also produces large quantities of cherries, nashi (Japanese pears), grapes, persimmons, and apples.
Is the prefecture’s signature beef.
The Japanese Black type cattle used to make Fukushima-Gyu are fed, raised, and processed within the prefecture. Only beef with a grade of 2 or 3 can be labeled as “Fukushima-Gyu” (福島牛）
Is shredded carrot and dried squid seasoned with soy sauce, cooking sake, mirin, etc.
It is a local cuisine from the northern parts of Fukushima Prefecture.
It is primarily made from the late autumn to winter in the household.
Is one of the Top 3 Ramen of Japan, along with Sapporo and Hakata.
The base is a soy-sauce soup, as historically soy sauce was readily available from the many storehouses around the town.
Niboshi (sardines), tonkotsu (pig bones) and sometimes chicken and vegetables are boiled to make the stock.
This is then topped with chashu (thinly sliced barbeque pork), spring onions, fermented bamboo shoots, and sometimes narutomaki, a pink and white swirl of cured fish cake.
Is the prefecture’s most famous confection.
The baked good has a milky red bean flavor center wrapped in a buttery dough.
The name means “People who drink mothers’ milk” in Spanish. It is produced by the Sanmangoku Company.
Creambox is prefecture’s second famous confection.
It is a sweet bread with a thick milk bread and white milk-flavored cream.
It is sold in Koriyama City at many bakery and school purchases.
The selling price is usually around 100 yen, and in some rare cases, the dough is round.
Since it looks simple and does not change much from normal bread when viewed from above, some processing may be performed on the cream, there are things that put almonds or draw the character’s face with chocolate
The Fukushima Prefecture Sake Brewers Cooperative is made up of nearly 60 sake breweries.
Additionally, the Annual Japan Sake Awards has awarded the prefecture the most gold prizes of all of Japan for four years running as of 2016.
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