In the Edo period, Koriyama acted as Fukushima’s transport hub and is still the central starting point for most Tohoku activities. Koriyama not only has plenty to offer in the Fukushima specialties of nature and hot springs but also is rich in history and culture. Many famous historical figures grew up in or were inspired by Koriyama’s humble beauty. Surrounded by multiple parks and mountains, it’s easy to also get lost in the same ambiance as those of yesteryear.
Fukushima is best known for its lush greenery and Koriyama is no exception. In spring, participate in hanami at Kaiseizan Park and its impressive 1,300 cherry blossom trees. Gohyakubuchi Park is quite a close walk and is known for its wild birds nesting around the pond. For a more heartier activity check out Mt. Takashino Forest Park’s hiking course. Climb up the mountain to Yamanami View Place, for the best panorama of the city.
The history of Koriyama is greatly preserved within its city limits. Learn about Koriyama through the Asaka Historical Museum, a renovated 19th century high school that Chogyu Takayama and Masao Kume, notable figures in the literary world, graduated from. The Kaiseikan museum offers learning materials detailing Koriyama’s largest historical event in the Meiji period: the Asaka Reclamation, a plan to build an irrigation canal using Lake Inawashiro.
The city is also well documented by poet Matsuo Basho who found inspiration within its greenery and nature. The mountains and trails of Asakayama Park were the subjects of some of Basho’s acclaimed haikus.
Uneme beef is Koriyama’s most popular delicacy. The thin, tender slices of beef are made from local black cows. Uneme beef is mainly served sukiyaki style, perfect for Koriyama’s chilly winter nights. Koriyama is also proud of its six sake breweries. Niida-Honke Brewery is the most well known for its 100% locally produced sake. The 300 year old brewery offers English tours where they demonstrate the making of their brew.
The Bandai-Atami hot spring resorts are Koriyama’s biggest draw into the city. Dotted along the Gohyaku river, the hot springs are not only used for relaxation but can also cure health ailments such as sore joints, injuries or colds.
Koriyama’s attractions are spread out throughout the city so it is best to rent a car for the journey. Most parks and places of interest are located away from train tracks so it will be easiest to navigate via rental car, local bus or bicycle. Koriyama is also a major transit hub for most Fukushima activities. It is possible to ski on Mt. Bandai, indulge in Kitakata ramen, or visit the Aquamarine Fukushima within less of an hour of Koriyama’s city limits.
NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR