Last month I visited Yunokami Onsen during the cherry blossom season! This is something I’ve wanted to do since coming to Fukushima 3 years ago.
I was first inspired to visit Yunokami Onsen in spring after seeing the photo below.
We visited on the station on April 24 – which just so happened to be perfect timing! We were greeted with blue skies and sakura in full bloom.
Yunokami Onsen Station
Yunokami Onsen Station is a very picturesque local station on the Aizu Railway Line that connects Aizu-Wakamatsu City with Aizu Tajima, and further onto Asakusa Station in Tokyo.
This beautiful thatched-roof station must be one of my favourite stations in the prefecture – it’s got a public foot bath just outside so you can treat your feet to natural hot spring water before catching your train, there’s a traditional Japanese stove to warm yourself up with in winter, there’s a range of souvenirs on sale, and it’s extremely photogenic – what’s not to love?!
I wrote a blog post about this station a couple of years ago when I first visited it. See my post here.
There are many cherry blossom trees surrounding the station, which had caught the attention of quite a few tourists, who were busy snapping photos with the blossoms.
If you look directly at the front of the station, turn right and walk down the hill, you’ll reach the bus stop for Ouchi-juku. It’s the dark green bus in the photos below.
We took photos outside of the station while we waited for the prime time to take a photo like the one that inspired me 3 years ago – a photo of the moment when the local train passes in front of Yunokami Onsen Station.
You can check when the train will pass in front of the station by checking the timetable listed inside the station.
In order to take a photo like the one at the start of this blog post, you have to pass through the barriers in the station. It’s necessary to buy a ticket that will let you access the train platform.
Once we passed through the barriers, we walked onto the platform, then crossed over onto the other side of the tracks, where there were a number of reporters and photographers waiting.
Taking a photo of the train passing in front of the station was harder than I was expecting! After I got home, I looked back at the first photo and realised that the angle I had taken my photos from wasn’t quite right for including as much sakura in one shot as possible.
It’s good to know this for next time!
At the tourist information desk at Yunokami Onsen Station, the staff let me know that the cherry blossom at Nakayama Fuketsu were also in full bloom, so we decided to go check it out.
This viewpoint is 2.5 km away from the station and much of this is up a steep hill with no footpath, so you may be difficult to reach if you aren’t travelling by car.
We were travelling by car so it wasn’t a problem for us.
Nakayama Fuketsu Viewpoint
I had never been to this view point before. It was a bit of an adventure getting to the viewpoint, because it involved driving up quite a narrow mountain road. But it was worth it for the beautiful views, especially ones of the snow-topped mountains behind pale pink cherry blossom.
As well as snaps of the scenery, My colleague managed to snap this beautiful photo of me looking very professional taking photos…
Lunch at Mother Lip
After we had explored the cherry blossom spots, we went to Mother Lip Café for lunch. I’ve wanted to go to this café for ages! Mostly because of its intriguing name.
The coffee was delicious and the spaghetti was really nice. I chose “Napolitan”, which is actually a Japanese spaghetti recipe originating from Yokohama.
I really recommend you visit this area in late April when you get the chance. It’s really beautiful and makes for a very pleasant drive.
I’ve included Ouchi-juku, To-no-Hetsuri, as well as the places mentioned in this blog post, in the Google Map below.
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