Nicknamed “Sunshine Iwaki”, due to its favourable climate, Iwaki is backed by rugged mountains along the Pacific coast of Honshu. It’s home to a royal-built temple and cutting-edge aquarium, as well as a historic lighthouse with links to one of Japan’s most loved performers.
Things to do in Iwaki
Explore the 12th-century temple of Shiramizu Amidado, which has been designated a national treasure. Its wooden temple is one of the oldest buildings in the Iwaki region and is surrounded by a stunning Japanese garden showcasing traditional aesthetics and philosophical ideas.
Take in the sweeping coastal views from the Shioyazaki Lighthouse, which has carefully guided ships to safety for more than 100 years. It’s fronted by two stones, one of which is a memorial to the Japanese pop star Hibari Misora who featured the Shioyazaki Lighthouse in her most famous song.
Iwaki is home to the striking Aquamarine Fukushima, which focuses on the marine species of the Shiome Sea where the Kuroshio and Oyashio ocean currents meet. Get up close to walruses, seals and an array of fish species, then discover Fukushima’s plant life in the botanical garden.
If you’re interested in the local industrial history, visit the Iwaki City Coal and Fossil Museum that details the history of the Joban coal mine. Experience the living conditions in a replica 1930s miner’s room and step into the recreated Horuru Tunnel, then admire the collection of dinosaur fossils dating from the Paleozoic to Cenozoic eras.
Getting around Iwaki
Iwaki is just over one hour’s drive from Fukushima Airport and around two hours by train to Fukushima. Buses travel throughout the city and access most of Iwaki’s sights.