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Itineraries

Bandai-Azuma Skyline

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Bandai-Azuma Skyline

This route begins close to Takayu Onsen, weaves through the mountains, and emerges at Lake Inawashiro. It reaches up to 1622 m at its highest point, with an average elevation of 1350 m.
As the seasons change, so too does the spectacular scenery along this route. Selected as one of Japan’s Best 100 Roads.
Seasonal sights: Yuki-no-Kairo (Snow Passageway) From the day it reopens until early May.
Spring Foliage: Early May until Mid-June
Fall Leaves
Jododaira Area: Late September.
Tengu-no-Niwa, Soryu-no-Tsuji, Umimi Pass: Early October.
Tsubakuro Valley, Tenpukyo: Mid-October.
Shirakaba-no-Mine, Kunimidai: Late October.

Point

About this Route

Fukushima-nishi I.C. (Tohoku Expressway)
Bandai-Azuma Skyline Takayu Gate

National Route 115, Prefectural Route 5 (Fruit Line), Prefectural Route 70. 15 km; 20 min.
Near Takayu Gate is Takayu Onsen Town, which has a distinctive sulfur smell from the natural hot springs.

Shirakaba-no-Mine Peak

Look out onto a sea of birch trees that spreads across the Zao and Adatara mountain ranges.

Tsubakuro Valley (Fudosawa Bridge)

At the time of its opening, this was the highest concrete bridge in Japan. The view of fall leaves from the bridge is a must-see. (Bridge Length: 170 m; Height: Approx. 84 m)

Tsubakuro Valley (Fudosawa Bridge)

Tengu-no-Niwa

Legends tell of Tengu – spirits from Japanese mythology – dancing amongst the boulders that lie scattered about this picturesque garden. In fall, stunning foliage covers the slopes.

Tengu-no-Niwa

Jododaira

This wetland nestled between Mt. Issaikyo and Mt. Azuma-kofuji is a treasure trove of alpine plants. Enjoy walks around Mt. Azuma-kofuji, Mt. Issaikyo, Kamanuma Pond, and Okenuma Pond from this starting point.

Jododaira

Soryu-no-Tsuji

Soryu-no-Tsuji (‘Twin Dragon Road’) was named for its expansive view of the Adatara and Bandai mountain ranges, which resemble a pair of dragons confronting each other in the sky.

Soryu-no-Tsuji

Umimi Pass

This ridgeline offers a panoramic view of Mt. Bandai encircled by Lake Inawashiro, Lake Akimoto, Lake Onogawa, and Lake Hibara.

Umimi Pass

Tenpukyo

In fall, the vivid colors of Japanese beech trees together with the white ribbon of the exquisite Makunotaki Waterfall bring to mind a scene from a Japanese scroll painting.

Tenpukyo

Kunimidai

A viewing platform with a panoramic view of the Aizu basin. Author Yasushi Inoue admired the view of the setting sun from this spot and described it as “gives the impression of the climax of a magnificent, symphonic poem”.

Kunimidai

Tsuchiyu Gate

Hot springs such as Noji, Washikura, and Yokomuki Onsen are scattered throughout the area near Tsuchiyu Gate. Continue a little further down Route 115 to reach the town of Tsuchiyu Onsen.

Inawashiro Bandaikogen I.C. (Ban’etsu Expressway)

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Lake Line

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Lake Line

Depending on which side of Mt. Bandai you view it from, the mountain looks very different. Following this route, you can see both extraordinary faces of Mt. Bandai, while passing by lakes and waterfalls.

Point

About this Route

Inawashiro Bandaikogen I.C. (Ban’etsu Expressway)
Tatsusawa Fudo Falls

The Fudo River originates at Mt. Funemyojin in the Adatara mountain range. Tatsusawa Fudo Falls are located along this river. The greater of the two falls gushes down over a sheer rock face, while on its west side, a smaller waterfall meanders down with quiet grace. They complement one another beautifully. At the base of the waterfall there is a shrine to Acala, a Buddhist god (known in Japanese as “Fudo”). While the atmosphere here is usually tranquil, it becomes lively with tourists coming to enjoy the scenery in fall and early spring.

Tatsusawa Fudo Falls

Nakatsugawa Valley Rest House

Located beside the beautiful cliffs of the Nakatsugawa Valley, this rest house contains a shop, dining hall, and free rest area. The walking trail that descends into the valley has its trailhead next to this building. Those planning to hike nearby are able to use the rest house parking lot. For hungry hikers, we recommend the Aizu Jidori Soboro Don (rice topped with Aizu chicken mince), which comes as a set with ice cream made from locally produced eggs.

Sanko Paradise

A view spot from which you can look out at the three lakes of Urabandai, while Mt. Bandai stands in the background.

Sanko Paradise

Goshiki-Numa Ponds

The emerald green Bishamon-Numa is the largest of the five lakes at Goshiki-numa Ponds. You can go boating here. There is also a walking course through the various lakes, in all their diverse colors, which takes about an hour one way. When you reach the end, you will find a local products center, where you can buy food and souvenirs.

Goshiki-Numa Ponds

Mt. Bandai Eruption Memorial Hall

In 1888, Mt. Bandai erupted in a steam-blast explosion. Lake Hibara, Lake Akimoto, and Goshiki-numa Ponds were formed as a result of this eruption. The items on display at the memorial hall provide an opportunity to learn about Mt. Bandai.

Kogane Daira

Get a close look at the crater wall that collapsed during the 1888 eruption of Mt Bandai.

Kogane Daira

Maboroshi-no-Taki

Little known before the establishment of the walking trail, this waterfall is known as Maboroshi-no-Taki (‘Phantom Falls’). A 5-minute walk from the Gold Line parking lot, cool off in the spray from the falls while taking in their mysterious beauty.

Maboroshi-no-Taki

Bandaisan-Enichiji Historical Museum

Established in August 1987, this museum serves to preserve, protect, and promote the historic site of Enichiji Temple and its related cultural assets.

Bandai Kawahigashi I.C. (Ban’etsu Expressway)

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Gold Line

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Gold Line

Dive fully into nature with this route that passes around the waterfalls and canyons of the Bandai-Azuma area.

Point

About this Route

Fukushima-nishi I.C. (Tohoku Expressway)
Takayu Fudo Falls

This waterfall descends from a height of 30 m. Beside the base of the falls there is a temple dedicated to the Buddhist god Acala. Areas of the path can be slippery, so please take care and wear appropriate hiking shoes.

Takayu Fudo Falls

Tsubakuro Valley and Fudosawa Bridge

This 170 m long, 84 m high bridge spans the Tsubakuro Valley. Enjoy a panoramic view of the Fukushima basin. There is a parking lot, rest area, and public toilet nearby. This spot is well-known for its fall leaves.

Tsubakuro Valley and Fudosawa Bridge

View of Makutaki Falls from Tenpukyo

In fall, the white ribbon of the exquisite Makutaki Falls runs through the vividly colored sea of beech trees

View of Makutaki Falls from Tenpukyo

Tatsusawa Fudo Falls

The greater of the two falls gushes down over a sheer rock face, while on its west side, a smaller fall meanders down with quiet grace. They beautifully complementing each other.

Tatsusawa Fudo Falls

Nakatsugawa Valley

The cliffs, worn smooth by many years of raging torrents, make a stunning contrast with the clear river water. We recommend coming here to see the fresh green colors in spring, and the sublime reds in fall.

Nakatsugawa Valley

Onogawa Fudo Falls

This bountiful waterfall descends from a height of 25 m. The Ono river spring which sources it was selected as one of the best 100 natural water sources in Japan. It feeds into Lake Onogawa.

Onogawa Fudo Falls

Maboroshi-no-Taki (Phantom Falls)

Best viewed in early Spring, when the water-level is high from melted snow.

Maboroshi-no-Taki (Phantom Falls)

Bandai Kawahigashi I.C. (Ban’etsu Expressway)