TORETABI JAPAN

“FruiTea Fukushima”

An Illustrated Guide to Train Journey’s Trains

*Between Koriyama and Aizu-Wakamatsu*

Joyful Train that serves original sweets

Fukushima Prefecture is teeming with an abundance of fruit that includes apples, peaches, Japanese pears and grapes. A train that leverages that aspect of Fukushima by serving original sweets and drinks made with fruits produced in the prefecture inside its cars, “FruiTea Fukushima” incorporates an exterior design on its cars based on an image of the red-tile roofing of Tsuruga Castle and the black stucco walls of old Japanese folk homes. The design also expresses the harmony between the unique scenery along the train line, a showcase of the Western modern tastes of the Meiji and Taisho periods, and the surrounding expanse of nature.

Additionally, the insides of the train cars on “FruiTea Fukushima” contain elegant space whose design has been influenced by modern architecture from the Meiji and Taisho eras and the lustrous texture of Aizu lacquerware. This is complemented by a café counter on Car No. 1 on the side of the train facing Koriyama, and table-fitted seating in Car No. 2 on the side of the train facing Aizu-Wakamatsu.

Moreover, on “FruiTea Fukushima,” passengers are offered original sweets made with fruit and other produce from Fukushima Prefecture that varies according to the season. These are served as a combo with fruit juice made using produce from the prefecture, hot coffee, and other beverages.

Exterior of train cars

“FruiTea Fukushima” incorporates a modern design conceived with elements such as the red-tile roofing of Tsuruga Castle and the black stucco walls of old Japanese folk homes in mind. The “FruiTea” logo can be found on the front and lateral surfaces of the train.

Inside of Car No. 1

Running the entire length of the car in an arc, the café counter is an excellent accompaniment to an elegant train journey. The counter has open seating, just one more way to enjoy your ride on the FruiTea Fukushima.

Inside of Car No. 2

Seats and tables have been placed to enable you enjoy sweets and conversation at your own leisure. Four box seats that seat two, six box seats that sit four and four seats for one are available.

Free space

The end of Car No. 2 contains free space and bench seats. Additionally, the end of the café counter in Car No. 1 houses counter seating for six that any passenger can freely use.

Sweets combo

Passengers can enjoy a sweets combo that contains two original sweets made with fruits produced in Fukushima Prefecture as well as fruit juice made with Fukushima produce or another beverage.

FruiTea logo

The “FruiTea” logo was designed as a fusion of “fruit” to indicate the base ingredients of the train’s original sweets and “tea” as a symbol of the café serving as the train’s base concept.

Taking a Journey to Aizu on the “FruiTea Fukushima”

Bandai Atami Hot Springs

Considered one of Bandai’s three foremost sources of hot water for beauty, this hot spring resort area in Koriyama was formed out of the Japanese-style ryokan inns located around Bandai Atami Station and along the Gohyaku River. Hot springs to soak your feet in are available in front of the station and along the river.

Lake Inawashiro

Located practically in the center of Fukushima Prefecture, Lake Inawashiro has the fourth largest area of any lake in Japan. It is also called “Heavenly Mirror Lake” based on the fact that the majestic view of Mount Bandai as it changes through the seasons is reflected on the lake’s surface.

Goshiki-Numa Lakes

This cluster of several dozen lakes of varying size is located on the Urabandai Kogen highlands, which is approx. 800m above sea level. The Goshiki-Numa Nature Trail lets visitors take scenic walks complete with views of the lakes’ richly-varied colors, which include cobalt, blue and copper.

Lake Hibara

An eruption of Mount Bandai produced an avalanche of mountain debris that resulted in the formation of this dammed lake. On the lake’s east bank is a lakeside hiking trail. On its west bank is a hiking trail of the Urabandai Yacho No Mori forest. Finally, a boarding area for lake sightseeing boats can be found on the lake’s south bank.

Tsuruga Castle

This residential castle of the Aizu Clan was said to be impenetrable. The castle keep was reconstructed in 1965. In 2011, it became the sole structure in Japan to sport red-tile roofing from the final days of the Tokugawa shogunate.

Higashiyama Hot Springs

Counted among the Tohoku region’s top three hot spring resort areas, the famous Higashiyama Hot Springs boasts a history of about 1,300 years. Its murmuring hot water surrounded by gorgeous nature have a popular following, and it is also loved by writers and artists as one of Aizu’s noted hot spring resort areas.

Text by: Yoshiyuki Kekke
Photos courtesy of: Fukushima No Tabi/Kotsu Shimbun Service
*Data contained above is as of May 2015.

TOP