Tohoku Trip, DAY 2: Exploring Bandai National Park

Day 2 - 3

The day started off with me waking up after way too little sleep. When I finally made it out of bed at 9am and had finished eating my Family Mart-breakfast (some very ketchuppy Omu-Raisu), I headed North towards Fukushima city (approx. 45km).

Fukushima. I know what comes to most people’s mind. The Daiichi nuclear power plant is around 70km East from my hotel in Koriyama, and Fukushima city is actually further away from it. Fukushima is a prefecture within Japan, like Pennsylvania. And just like Pennsylvania is not a single “Three Mile Island”, Fukushima also has a lot more to offer than radioactive contamination.

The prefecture offers beautiful nature.

The prefecture offers beautiful nature.

Day 2 - 7

At 1400m near Mt. Bandai

The goal for today was to explore Bandai Azuma Skyline and Goshikinuma. The first goal has to be postponed until later in the summer because the actual Skyline roadway was closed due to excess volcanic gasses being released from the crater. It’s the first time this happened since its opening in 1959, d’oh!

Day 2 - 1

Down “Gold Line” in Bandai National Park during sunset.

Fukushima's vibrant green landscape.

Fukushima’s vibrant green landscape.

I proceeded to explore the Bandai Plateau with its beautiful “Lakeline” (レイクライン) drive. The entire area is full of hot springs, and it smells a lot like boiled eggs everywhere – a beautiful landscape full of seismic activity.

Day 2 - 8 IMG_1358 IMG_1347 IMG_1300

I later reached Goshikinuma, the five-coloured ponds created by Mt. Bandai’s big eruption in 1888. The lakes along this short hiking trail… well, short is relative. I had been up all day and then I was hiking for around 7km with all my motorcycle gear at 26 degrees!!… anyways, the lakes long this hiking trail are in multiple hues of strong, light colours, ranging from turquoise blue over deep green and red from algues.

Overall, I covered around 200km today, and 470 since I started yesterday.

IMG_5994 IMG_5992IMG_5989

Tomorrow, I will leave my hotel in Koriyama and dash towards the Western coastline of Japan for Joetsu. 🙂

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