Last Updated: Jul 2, 2023

Fukushima’s Iwaki City

An Unsung Side of the Prefecture

Donny Kimball
11 min readJul 2, 2023

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A shot of the beach, the bright sunshine and the Pacific Ocean along the Hisanohama Coast in Iwaki Fukushima.

As many readers will already know, I’ve long been fascinated by Fukushima. Normally neglected by international visitors due to the stigma surrounding the March 11 triple disaster, the prefecture just can’t seem to shake its lingering bad rap. Alas, much of what you have heard in the international news is simply now nonsense. For starters, Fukushima is the third largest prefecture in all of Japan. Moreover, it is divided into three distinct sections that extend deep into the center of Japan’s main island. Honestly speaking, outside of the “no entry zone” surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, the rest of the prefecture is harmless.

In the past, I’ve covered the ever-amazing region of Aizu-Wakamatsu and the other interesting parts of central Fukushima Prefecture. I’ll leave links to my prior work in the Other Nearby Attractions section at the end of this article. Today though, I want to instead turn your attention towards the coastal city of Iwaki. Long on my radar due to my undying love of Fukushima, Iwaki is a place with a varied history that dates back to before the founding of many European nations. Moreover, the city is also home to an amazing theme park that will leave you feeling as if you were magically transported to Hawaii.

Now, Iwaki is located around 50 kilometers to the south of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant (yes, it’s totally safe since I know you’ll ask). As a result, it was subject to similar floodings due to the enormous tsunami that battered Japan’s eastern side on that fateful day. These days, much of the scarring of 2011 is gone but if you know where to look, you can still see the deep wounds that day left on Iwaki. Thankfully though, as with the other cities nearby in Fukushima, most things have gotten back to normal despite the catastrophic calamity.

While I will say that I prefer the inner parts of Fukushima to Iwaki at the end of the day, my weekend stint in town was certainly memorable. Though I couldn’t really recommend a visit for people who have never experienced Japan before, Iwaki is a great option for those of you who are looking to experience a very different side of the nation on your next visit. Moreover, unlike with the likes of Kyoto and…

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Donny Kimball

I'm a travel writer and freelance digital marketer who blogs about the sides of Japan that you can't find in the mainstream media. https://donnykimball.com/