|Subdivisions||Districts: 13, Municipalities: 59|
|• Governor||Masao Uchibori|
|• Total||13,783.90 km2 (5,321.99 sq mi)|
(June 1, 2019)
|• Density||130/km2 (350/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||JP-07|
|Bird||Narcissus flycatcher (Ficedula narcissina)|
|Flower||Nemotoshakunage (Rhododendron brachycarpum)|
|Tree||Japanese zelkova (Zelkova serrata)|
The Shirakawa Barrier and the Nakoso Barrier were built around the 5th century to protect 'civilized Japan' from the 'barbarians' to the north. Fukushima became a Province of Mutsu after the Taika Reforms were established in 646.
This region of Japan is also known as Michinoku and Ōshū.
On Friday, March 11, 2011, 14:46 JST, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake occurred off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture. Shindo measurements throughout the prefecture reached as high as 6-upper in isolated regions of Hama-dōri on the eastern coast and as low as a 2 in portions of the Aizu region in the western part of the prefecture. Fukushima City, located in Naka-dōri and the capital of Fukushima Prefecture, measured 6-lower.
Following the earthquake there were isolated reports of major damage to structures, including the failure of Fujinuma Dam as well as damage from landslides. The earthquake also triggered a massive tsunami that hit the eastern coast of the prefecture and caused widespread destruction and loss of life.
In the two years following the earthquake, 1,817 residents of Fukushima Prefecture had either been confirmed dead or were missing as a result of the earthquake and tsunami.
In the aftermath of the earthquake and the tsunami that followed, the outer housings of two of the six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Ōkuma exploded followed by a partial meltdown and fires at three of the other units. Many residents were evacuated to nearby localities due to the development of a large evacuation zone around the plant. Radiation levels near the plant peaked at 400 mSv/h (millisieverts per hour) after the earthquake and tsunami, due to damage sustained. This resulted in increased recorded radiation levels across Japan. On April 11, 2011, officials upgraded the disaster to a level 7 out of a possible 7, a rare occurrence not seen since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Several months later, officials announced that although the area nearest the melt down were still off limits, areas near the twenty kilometer radial safe zone could start seeing a return of the close to 47,000 residents that had been evacuated.
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 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.
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.
Thirteen cities are located in Fukushima Prefecture:
These are the towns and villages in each district:
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 Aka-beko 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 ko-boshi, 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 Koma 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.
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.
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.
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. The 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.
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.
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.
Fruits. 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.
Fukushima-Gyu 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）
Ikaninjin 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.
Kitakata Ramen 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.
Mamador 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.
Sake. 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.
Hideyo Noguchi, the doctor who contributed to knowledge in the fight against syphilis and yellow fever. The Japanese government created the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize in his honor. This was first awarded in May 2008.
Seishiro Okazaki (January 28, 1890 – July 12, 1951) was a Japanese American healer, martial artist, and founder of Danzan-ryū jujitsu. Born in Kakeda, Date County in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, he immigrated to Hawaii in 1906.
The Abukuma Kōgen Road (あぶくま高原道路 Abukuma Kōgen Dōro) is a two-lane toll road in Fukushima Prefecture connecting the cities Aomori and Hachinohe via Shichinohe. It serves as an alternate route between the Tōhoku Expressway and Ban-etsu Expressway through south-central the plains of Fukushima Prefecture. It was also built to serve as a bypass of a proposed location for a new capital of Japan in the aforementioned flat area. The road is managed by the Fukushima Prefecture Road Corporation and is numbered E80 under the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's "2016 Proposal for Realization of Expressway Numbering."Abukuma River
The Abukuma River (阿武隈川, Abukuma-gawa), with a length of 234 km (145 mi), is the second longest river in the Tōhoku region of Japan and the 6th longest river in Japan. It runs through Fukushima Prefecture and Miyagi Prefecture, rising from springs in the peaks of the Nasu mountains, collecting water from tributaries leaving the Ōu Mountains and the Abukuma Highlands (阿武隈高地, Abukuma-kōchi), then emptying into the Pacific Ocean as a major river. It has a 5,390 km² area watershed, and about 1.2 million people live along its basin.The Abukuma River flows north through Fukushima Prefecture's Nakadōri region, past the cities of Shirakawa, Sukagawa, Kōriyama, Nihonmatsu, Date, and Fukushima. The portion of the river flowing between Nihonmatsu and Fukushima forms a deep ravine called Hōrai-kyō (蓬莱峡). Crossing the northern edge of the long but low Abukuma hills, the Abukuma River then flows into Miyagi Prefecture, past the city of Kakuda and between Iwanuma and Watari before reaching the Pacific. Abukuma has a tributary called the Arakawa River.Adachi Station
Adachi Station (安達駅, Adachi-eki) is a railway station on the Tōhoku Main Line in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East).Aizu
Aizu (会津) is the westernmost of the three regions of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, the other two regions being Nakadōri in the central area of the prefecture and Hamadōri in the east. As of October 1, 2010, it had a population of 291,838. The principal city of the area is Aizuwakamatsu.
During the Edo period, Aizu was a feudal domain known as Aizu Domain (会津藩, Aizu-han). It was part of Mutsu Province; the area once was part of Iwase Province in the 8th century and, before the prefectural system, Iwashiro Province. Although never an official province in its own right, Aizu was considered as such de facto, and even today local Japan Rail stations prefix "Aizu-" to names instead of "Iwashiro-", as it was for stations around the center of Fukushima Prefecture.Asaka-Nagamori Station
Asaka-Nagamori Station (安積永盛駅, Asaka-Nagamori-eki) is a railway station in the city of Kōriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East).Fukushima Airport
Fukushima Airport (福島空港, Fukushima Kūkō) (IATA: FKS, ICAO: RJSF), is an airport serving northern and central Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, located in the city of Sukagawa. The airport is located 19.4 km (12.1 mi) southeast of Kōriyama Station in Kōriyama.Fukushima United FC
Fukushima United FC (福島ユナイテッドFC, Fukushima Yunaiteddo Efushī) is a Japanese football club from Fukushima City, the capital of Fukushima Prefecture.Hiwada Station
Hiwada Station (日和田駅, Hiwada-eki) is a railway station on the Tōhoku Main Line in the city of Kōriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East).Iwashiro Province
Iwashiro Province (岩代国, Iwashiro-no kuni) is an old province in the area of Fukushima Prefecture. It was sometimes called Ganshū (岩州).
The province occupies the western half of the central part of Fukushima Prefecture; the eastern half is Iwaki Province. More precisely, Date and Adachi districts in the north belong to Iwashiro and Higashishirakawa and Nishishirakawa districts in the south belong to Iwaki. The border between the two provinces is the Abukuma River. The former ichinomiya of the province is Isasumi Shrine.Kawanuma District, Fukushima
Kawanuma (河沼郡, Kawanuma-gun) is a district located in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.
As of 2003, the district has an estimated population of 36,117 and a density of 111.59 persons per km². The total area is 323.65 km².Koori, Fukushima
Koori (桑折町, Koori-machi) is a town located in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 May 2018, the town had an estimated population of 12,055 in 4598 households, and a population density of 280 persons per km². The total area the town was 42.97 square kilometres (16.59 sq mi).Kōriyama Station (Fukushima)
Kōriyama Station (郡山駅, Kōriyama-eki) is a railway station in the city of Kōriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East), with a freight terminal operated by the Japan Freight Railway Company.List of mergers in Fukushima Prefecture
Here is a list of mergers in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan since the Heisei era.Minami-Fukushima Station
Minami-Fukushima Station (南福島駅, Minami-Fukushima-eki) is a railway station on the Tōhoku Main Line in the city of Fukushima, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East).Sugita Station (Fukushima)
Sugita Station (杉田駅, Sugita-eki) is a railway station on the Tōhoku Main Line in the city of Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan operated by East Japan Railway Company (JR East).Sōma, Fukushima
Sōma (相馬市, Sōma-shi) is a city located in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 June 2019, the city had an estimated population of 37,602, and a population density of 190 persons per km² in 14,358 households. The total area of the city is 197.79 square kilometres (76.37 sq mi).Yamatsuri, Fukushima
Yamatsuri (矢祭町, Yamatsuri-machi) is a town located in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 May 2018, the town had an estimated population of 5,859 in 2057 households , and a population density of 50.0 persons per km². The total area of the town was 118.27 square kilometres (45.7 sq mi).Yanaizu, Fukushima
Yanaizu (柳津町, Yanaizu-machi) is a town located in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 December 2018, the town had an estimated population of 3,415 in 1,293 households , and a population density of 20.6 persons per km². The total area of the town was 175.82 square kilometres (67.88 sq mi).Ōnuma District, Fukushima
Ōnuma (大沼郡, Ōnuma-gun) is a district located in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.
As of 2008, the district has an estimated population of 29,787 and a density of 34.2 persons per km². The total area is 870.51 km².