December 26, 2018: Welcome to Fukushima page was updated.
Welcome to Fukushima page was updated for the coming new year 2019. Please look at Welcome to Fukushima 2019 欢迎来到福岛县 후쿠시마현에환영.
December 8, 2018: Studying about recent international students in Fukushima.
As our monthly group study, we invited a director of international division at FSG College League based in Koriyama. An international student from Vietnam also attended. Currently more than 200 international students study at the college mainly from Southeast Asian countries. At first we had a lecture from the director about the latest situation of international students coming into Japan, particularly in Fukushima, --- More details are in activity report.
November 7, 2018: Omotenashi Guide Fukushima 2019 calendar
Omotenashi Guide Fukushima 2019 calendar was announced today. Please look at the link: http://omotenashifukushima.jp/calendar2019.html.
October 27-28, 2018: Attending a group of international students from Hiroshima.
Some of our members attended a 3-day study tour for a group of 16 international students from Hiroshima University. Our main destination included Tomioka and Namie towns which were hit by a triple disaster 7.5 years ago but were lifted evacuation order 1.5 years ago and are now moving forward toward reconstruction. We visited several places in the area such as Reprun Fukushima --- More details are in activity report.
October 11, 2018: Attending Italian photographers on their visit to Hamadori region.
One of our members attended a couple of Italian photographers who wanted to take pictures of tsunami hit coastal area which was now significantly recovered. We started from Soma in the north stopping at memorial hall and monument at Haragama, then traveled through Matsukawaura-Ohashi Bridge (reopened in 2017) and Osu-Matsukawa coastal road (reopened in 2018), --- More details are in activity report.
September 29, 2018: Guiding an Australian couple through Fukushima.
One of our members attended an Australian couple through Fukushima for their one day tour in the prefecture. Their first stop was UFO Fureaikan in Fukushima City, which was a local interaction museum for UFO’s. Then they moved to Inawashiro Town in the south and visited a local winery and wine making workshop “Aizu”. --- More details are in activity report.
August 24, 2018: Extra study occasion for learning sake at Daishichi Sake Brewery.
Today, we had an intensive study opportunity of learning sake by courtesy of Daishichi Sake Brewery which was founded in 1752 at Nihonmatsu. We first had an English lecture by a company executive of Daishichi on basic sake brewing process including traditional Kimoto method of making starter culture. --- More details are in activity report.
August 19, 2018: Guiding practice at Commutan Fukushima in Miharu Town.
Today, we had a regular monthly study at Miharu Town which attracts great many tourists during April every year for its gigantic thousand-year-old Takizakura and other gorgeous cherry trees. In the morning we shared each other recent guiding activities, at the town’s modern interaction center Mahora located in the center of the town. --- More details are in activity report.
July 31, 2018: Guiding high school students from UK at Commutan Fukushima.
A couple of our group members attended a joint group of high school students from UK and Fukushima High through the tour at Commutan Fukushima facility in Miharu Town. About 30 high school students from different parts in UK visited Fukushima today to participate in joint science workshop together with students from Fukushima High School which was designated as a Super Science High School. --- More details are in activity report.
July 8, 2018: Study on Soma Nomaoi guiding and decommissioning status at 1F.
As our monthly group study, we had two different kinds of study sessions at Koriyama. In the morning hours, we had an intensive study session on Soma Nomaoi Festival, which was a traditional festival of Soma region passed down from more than 1000 years ago making it a national important cultural asset. --- More details are in activity report.
June 25, 2018: Attending a family trip from the United States.
A member of our group attended a family trip from the United States during a tour in Fukushima Pref. The 4-member family visited Japan for 10 days, starting from Tokyo and Nikko. Their destination in Fukushima was Aizuwakamatsu, --- More details are in activity report.
June 20, 2018: Attending a business meeting at Koriyama.
One of our members attended a business meeting on whisky import at Koriyama as an English translator. A foreign businessman visited a distiller in Koriyama for his business meeting on importing whisky products. He took plenty of time for in-depth distillery tour --- More details are in activity report.
May 13, 2018: Great experience of Minamiaizu by Aizu Railway train.
As our monthly group study, we had a great experience of day trip to Minamiaizu, a southern mountainous area of Aizu region. There is direct limited express train service “Revaty” to this area four times a day from Asakusa, Tokyo, which is a popular spot for foreign travelers. Our destination today was Okuaizu Museum, located about 15-minute walk from Sansondojo Station of Aizu Railway. --- More details are in activity report.
April 25-26, 2018: Attending a TV crew at Ebisu Circuit, Nihonmatsu.
One of our members attended a Japanese TV crew for 2-day coverage of Ebisu Circuit in Nihonmatsu. Ebisu Circuit, located on the foot of Mt. Adatara, is a paradise for drift riding fans, where enthusiasts from around the world can enjoy drift driving or take a drift taxi on the circuit. --- More details are in activity report.
April 17, 2018: Attending a family trip from Indonesia.
A member of our group has attended a family from Indonesia. This was their 6th visit to Japan. The purpose this time was cherry blossoms viewing in Fukushima and Yamagata Prefectures. The guide picked them up at a hotel near JR Koriyama Station --- More details are in activity report.
April 16-17, 2018: Attending an inbound monitor tour of the central region.
A couple of our members have attended an inbound monitor tour for foreign tourists visiting central parts of Fukushima, as English and Chinese interpreter each. On the first day we welcomed the tourists’ group at JR Koriyama Station and guided through some of the famous cherry trees in the neighborhood, --- More details are in activity report.
April 13-17, 2018: Attending Cherry Blossom Tour from Singapore.
Some of our members have attended Cherry Blossom Tour for 19 tourists from Singapore. Many of them were frequent travelers to Japan but it was their first time to come over to Fukushima. Ouchijuku was the first stop in Fukushima. Then, --- More details are in activity report.
April 16, 2018: Attending a group from Singapore at Daishichi Brewery.
An English interpreter of our group has attended a tourists’ group from Singapore through a brewery tour at Nihonmatsu. The brewery specialized in traditional method of sake making process called “kimoto” method. --- More details are in activity report.
April 13, 2018: Attending a French trainees’ group at Daishichi Brewery.
A French interpreter of our group has attended a French trainees’ group for a brewery tour in Nihonmatsu. The 6-member group from Normandy, France visited Japan mainly for studying trade and industry. They wanted to study and experience Fukushima’s quality sake, --- More details are in activity report.
April 1, 2018: Guiding an American through tsunami affected Hamadori area.
A couple of our members have attended an American professor of architecture who usually works in Germany. He once had a group tour before through the tsunami affected region but he wanted to visit the sites again taking some time for photographs. --- More details are in activity report.
March 29-30, 2018: Attending a French TV journalist through Hamadori region.
A member has attended a French TV journalist for his 2-day coverage through Hamadori or coastal region. This was his third visit to Fukushima since the first visit on March 2011. We first visited Naraha and then moved to Iitate, where he covered a local farmer testing radioactivity for his locally grown vegetable and firewood. --- More details are in activity report.
March 16-17, 2018: Attending a Hope Tourism Study Tour for JICA trainees.
A couple of our members attended 2-day Hope Tourism Study Tour as English interpreters for JICA trainees. They were from Egypt, Senegal, Cameroon, and Kenya, all of whom were studying at a graduate school in Tohoku region. We started from JR Sendai Station and first visited Wada strawberry farm in Soma, --- More details are in activity report.
March 10, 2018: Attending Asaka Development tour for foreigners.
Three of our members have attended a tour of Asaka Development for foreigners. Four foreigners from Mongolia, Myanmar, and India participated in the tour. The tour included Asaka Development Center Kaiseikan in Koriyama, such places as Joko Toshuko water gate in Inawashiro --- More details are in activity report.
Feb. 18, 2018: Intercultural session with foreigners.
As our monthly group study, we had an interesting meeting with a couple of residents from foreign countries. They were each from Alabama, U.S. and Ireland. Both now live in Koriyama and work as high school English teachers. They first gave us what was their life like in their home countries and then --- More details are in activity report.
Feb. 3, 2018: Sake making experience in Aizu.
Some of our members had a precious experience of sake making process at a major traditional brewery in Aizuwakamatsu. This was part of sake brewery tour in Aizu region promoted by a travel agency. We participated in the last process of 3-step preparation for the fermentation,--- More details are in activity report.
Jan. 28, 2018: Attending Aizu Deep White Tour.
A member of our group attended “Aizu Deep White Tour” where foreign media tourists from South Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand, and Australia together with supporting members traveled through deep Aizu region. The focus was on fantastic snow scenery and local experiences.--- More details are in activity report.
Jan. 20, 2018: Guiding foreign students of Aizu University
A couple of our members have attended a group of foreign students in Aizu University on a bus tour of Aizu region. They visited some of the tourists’ attraction sites including Lake Inawashiro with swans and ducks, and a spectacular viewing spot in Mishima Town --- More details are in activity report.
Jan. 11-12, 2018: Attending a blogger from Thailand through Aizu
A member from our group has attended a popular blogger from Thailand on a 2-day tour through Aizu region. She arrived at JR Koriyama Station in the center of Fukushima and started by a rental car. The 1st stop was a spectacular viewpoint in Mishima Town which overlooked JR Tadami Line train --- More details are in activity report.
Jan. 12, 2018: Attending an Australian visitor’s brewery tour
A couple of our members have attended an Australian woman who wanted to have an extensive study on Japanese sake making during her tour in Japan. She visited two major sake breweries in Fukushima, one at Nihonmatsu, another at Aizuwakamatsu. The focus was on traditional Kimoto method. She also realized that the difference in water source played a major role on quality of taste, through the in-depth tasting experience at the brewery.
Dec. 26, 2017: Welcome to Fukushima page was updated.
Welcome to Fukushima page was updated for the coming year 2018. Please look at Welcome to Fukushima 欢迎来到福岛县 2018.
Dec. 16-17, 2017: Attending an Italian photographer
Two of our members have attended a photographer who wanted to visit tsunami hit coastal or Hamadori region. He usually works at Switzerland as an engineer and he was during his business trip to Japan. We guided him through the tsunami hit area mainly Minamisoma and Soma, --- More details are in activity report.
Dec. 14, 2017: Iwaki up-to-date tour
As our monthly group study, we had a tour through Iwaki city and learned a lot about the recovery of the city. We first visited Lala mew which was Iwaki City tourism and products center located at Onahama Port (50-minute local bus ride from JR Iwaki Sta.). On the 2nd floor of the venue there was a large exhibition of photos and descriptions of how Iwaki was hit and how far it has recovered from triple disaster --- More details are in activity report.
Dec. 12, 2017: Guiding through Tsunami hit area
Two of our members have attended a tourist from Australia for a 1-day trip through tsunami affected area of Fukushima. During his stay in Japan he has already traveled other destinations including large cities of Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo, and today he requested to visit tsunami hit area. We guided him through Minamisoma and Namie, --- More details are in activity report.
Dec. 10, 2017: Cooperation with Mexico on Dr. Noguchi memorial events
One of our members from Koriyama, who now works in Mexico and who is also a member of Japanese-Mexican Society has visited Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Hall in Inawashiro. This was his second visit following the October of last year --- More details are in activity report.
Dec. 2-3, 2017: Fukushima tourism and products event in Tokyo
Some of our members (English and Chinese interpreters) have attended Fukushima tourism and products promotion event held at Asakusa, Tokyo. The event was organized by Fukushima Prefecture intended to promote particularly the northern area. The 2-day event was clouded with foreign travelers partly thanks to the fine weather. It was impressive that many shops had their own ideas for foreign tourists’ attraction.
Nov. 16, 2017: A deep countryside tour of Towa district, Nihonmatsu
As our monthly group study, we had an amazing countryside tour of Towa district, Nihonmatsu City. The area expands to northeast of JR Nihonmatsu Station. It includes historic sites deep inside mountain woods of Mount Kohata (666m). Local specialties such as organic wine produced with grapes from local vineyard, --- More details are in activity report.
Nov. 11, 2017: English guide introduction for a high school
Five of our members attended as instructors for an English guide introduction program at Asaka Kaisei High School, Koriyama City. The main theme of the guide training today was “Asaka Canal” which was designated as a Japan Heritage last year. --- More details are in activity report.
Oct. 25, 2017: National Treasure tour in Aizu
As our monthly group study, we had a valuable experience at Yugawa Village and Aizumisato Town, looking deeply into several of National Treasures kept in this region. The area was located right west of Aizuwakamatsu castle town. We started from Shojoji Temple in Yugawa Village, where a number of valuable wooden statues carved in early 800’s were kept. Then we moved to Ryukoji Temple in Aizumisato Town, --- More details are in activity report.
Oct. 13, 2017: Omotenashi Guide Fukushima 2018 calendar
Omotenashi Guide Fukushima 2018 calendar was announced today. Please look at the link: http://omotenashifukushima.jp/calendar2018.html.
Sept. 24, 2017: Koriyama Asaka Development tour
As our monthly group study, we had a wonderful study tour in Koriyama City with two foreigners from the U.S. and Afghanistan attended. The tour was focused mainly on spectacular Asaka Development Project in early Meiji Period including the development of Asaka Canal. These sites were designated as Japan Heritage last year. --- More details are in activity report.
July 2, 2017: Kawauchi one-day tour
As our monthly group study, we had a wonderful experience at Kawauchi Village, with 10 local English teachers from foreign countries attended. Kawauchi Village is located in a remote mountainous area within coastal Hamadori region of Fukushima. It boasts a great wilderness such as Hebusunuma Pond, --- More details are in activity report.
June 11, 2017: Nihonmatsu rediscovery tour
We had a lot of Nihonmatsu experiences today during our monthly group study. First in the morning, we walked along a trail on the slope of Mount Adatara, which was Adatara Valley Nature Trail, with full of fresh green leaves and waterfalls. After lunch, we visited Ebisu Circuit --- More details are in activity report.
May 16, 2017: Basic Chinese orientation
We have many qualified Chinese interpreter guides in our group this fiscal year. As Chinese speaking tourists increase in Fukushima Prefecture, it is preferable that even English speaking guides understand basic Chinese conversation. Today, we had an extra group study --- More details are in activity report.
May 14, 2017: Okuaizu Tadami Line tour
As our monthly group study, we visited Okuaizu region taking a ride on JR Tadami Line train. The train slowly traveled through deep valleys along the Tadami River and at first took us to Mishima Town. We had a wonderful experience of making a handmade strap by weaving dried wild vine at Seikatsukogeikan --- More details are in activity report.
April 24, 2017: Hamadori recovery tour
As our monthly group study, we had a significant experience through a tour of Hamadori region which had been severely affected by earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear plant accident 6 years ago. Minamisoma City was one of them. We visited two of the iconic recovery sites: --- More details are in activity report.
Mar. 26, 2017: As our monthly group study, we practiced English guiding tour for Miharu Takizakura giant cherry tree in Miharu Town. The tour was held jointly with Fukushima Bilingual Association, a non-profit organization based in Miharu Town, which promotes an early English education program for children. --- More details are in activity report.
Mar. 12, 2017: Some of our members have attended a guide training course for Asaka Canal, which has been designated as a Japan Heritage in 2016. The training class was promoted by Koriyama City. The water starts from Lake Inawashiro, --- More details are in activity report.
Mar. 7, 2017: 'Radioactive concerns?' page was updated based on the latest data. Evacuation zone shrinks to one third as of coming April 1, which means less than 3% of the whole Fukushima area. --- More details are in Radioactive concerns?.
Jan. 28-29, 2017: Two of our members have attended a group tour of deep Aizu Region along Tadami Line train, which runs through snow-capped valleys and mountainsides along the Tadami River. This was a group of 75 young foreigners from 16 different Asian and European countries. --- More details are in activity report.
Jan. 16-18, 2017: A member of our group has attended a photographer from Thailand as a translator for his shooting pictures mainly in Aizu Region, where he could find beautiful snow-covered landscape. He chose some places as viewpoints for JR Tadami Line train, --- More details are in activity report.
Dec. 18, 2016: This will be the last activity report of this year. As our monthly group study, we invited Mr. Matsueda as a speaker, who was a former official of Futaba Town where a part of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is located. --- More details are in activity report.
Dec. 11, 2016: Omotenashi Guide Fukushima 2017 calendar was released today. Please look at the link: http://omotenashifukushima.jp/calendar2017.html.
Nov. 26, 2016: Some of our members have participated in a panel discussion event, which was a part of Hirono International Forum at Hirono Town. The theme was “How we people in Fukushima can send out correct messages to the international world”. Then all the attendees had fruitful group discussions with about 70 people participating in groups of all generations. --- Link to the newspaper article (Fukushima Minpo).
Nov. 20, 2016: We had a great communication tour experience with 4 ALTs who live in Fukushima, 11 staff members and officials from municipalities in the northern Fukushima as well as from prefecture office, who promoted this event. The tour included two of the major attraction sites in the northern Fukushima: --- More details are in activity report.
Nov. 13, 2016: As our monthly group study, we had a special tour of Date City featured the famous Date samurai family whose home town was in this district, and Anpo-gaki or sweet half-dried persimmon which is a great specialty of this town. --- More details are in activity report.
Oct. 22, 2016: As our monthly group study, we invited Mr. Ashworth as an English guide instructor. Mr. Ashworth is from Detroit, U.S., and is an English teacher at schools in Fukushima as well as helping tourism in Fukushima City for foreigners. We visited three of the attractions in the city: --- More details are in activity report.
Oct. 4, 2016: One of our members, who now lived in Mexico, came back to Japan attending four tourists from Mexico. He guided them during their visit to Fukushima. --- More details are in activity report.
Sept. 11, 2016: As our monthly group study, we visited some of the tourist attractions near the northwestern shore of Lake Inawashiro. First, we visited Dr. Noguchi Memorial Hall, which had been renovated last year --- More details are in activity report.
Aug. 30, 2016: A member of our group has reported her recent two experiences as an interpreter. On July 13th, she attended a high school teacher from the U.S. for his interview with some members of Katsurao Village Office. --- More details are in activity report. And on Aug. 7th, she guided a group of foreign students of Aizu University for their one day tour in Tamura City. They first had a nice local specialty curry dish called Yasai Curry and then --- More details are in activity report.
Aug. 20, 2016: As our monthly group study, we invited Mr. Chinthaka Kumara Wijesinghe from Sri Lanka, who now works for i-Medical College in Koriyama City, as a guest speaker. First we learned a lot about his country Sri Lanka, its history, culture, --- More details are in activity report.
July 27, 2016: One of our members guided an Australian researcher who was an Energy and Climate Change Specialist, during her visit to AIPOWER Company in Kitakata City. AIPOWER has been developing renewable energy power plants in Aizu Region, --- More details are in activity report.
July 26-27, 2016: One of our members attended a newspaper journalist from the Netherlands. The journalist first visited vice mayor of Minamisoma City, and then moved to Odaka District of the city, where evacuation order had just been lifted this month, and talked with some returned people. The next day, he visited Naraha Town in the south, where evacuation order had already been lifted last September, and talked with many town residents, getting the latest recovery information.
July 24, 2016: As our extra group study, we visited Soma Nomaoi Festival in Minamisoma City, which is a traditional regional festival from more than 1000 years ago. The event occurs in late July every year, --- More details are in activity report.
July 21, 2016: One of our members guided a Croat who visited evacuation zone of Namie Town. He was a graduate student of architecture and his purpose was to take pictures of buildings in the evacuation zone for his study. He also took pictures of a convenience store which opened two years ago as a symbol of recovery.
July 16, 2016: As our monthly group study, we had an opportunity to study about radiation in English, conducted by Mr. Aoki, Technical Advisor at Decontamination Information Plaza (Fukushima City) of the Ministry of the Environment. We reviewed --- More details are in activity report.
June 18, 2016: As our extra group study, we visited Jomopia Miyahata, which is a National Historic Site in Fukushima City. ---In the afternoon, we moved to Kori Town --- More details are in activity report.
June 12, 2016: As our monthly group study, we had a special monitoring tour throughout Tamura City. It was arranged by our Tamura members in cooperation with city supporters. First, we visited --- More details are in activity report.
May 15, 2016: As our monthly group study, we invited Mr. Joost Kralt, who is a foreign staff at International Policy Division in the Culture & Sports Department of Koriyama City. --- More details are in activity report.
April 22, 2016: We had a report from one of our members that she and her son jointly attended a photo journalist from Australia and guided through his coverage mainly on Naraha Town which was located in the coastal region just south of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant. It took five days during last February and the documented article includes a variety of the honest feelings of the town residents interviewed, where evacuation order has been lifted last September. --- Here is the article.
April 10, 2016: As our monthly group study, we invited Ms. Kumiko Imoto from Tokyo, who is an energetic business woman on commercial design. She studied art of design at university in Georgia, U.S. --- More details are in activity report.
March 29, 2016: A member of Omotenashi Guide Fukushima has guided two women tourists from Thailand and Hong Kong in Aizuwakamatsu City. First they had a traditional lunch of Aizu and then visited Tsurunoe Sake Brewery and experienced an interesting brewery tour and sake tasting. More details are in activity report.
March 1 and 8, 2016: A member of Omotenashi Guide Fukushima guided an American gentleman who applied for a Japanese Driver's License at Fukushima City. This job requires special experience and knowhow dedicated to the procedure at Driver's License Center. The interpreter guide had an experience of a similar case and finally the client succeeded to get the license.
February 20, 2016: As our monthly group study, we looked back at our earthquake and nuclear disaster five years ago. We invited Ms. Kataoka from Aizu Radiation Information Center as a guest speaker and shared severe experience at that time as well as the current recovery status. On another session, we studied Chernobyl nuclear accident from English translation "Voices from Chernobyl" by Svetlana Alexievich. More details are in activity report.
February 12, 2016: A member of Omotenashi Guide Fukushima has guided a couple from Los Angeles, U.S. They visited tsunami affected coastline area between Soma City and Namie Town. Namie Town is still under evacuation order due to the nuclear plant accident. The interpreter guide was a resident from the area and they could learn a lot of details from her story. The couple had an invaluable experience in Fukushima.
February 1, 2016: "Welcome to Fukushima 2016" page was updated. "Trains", "Cycling", "Renewable energy" were added as new categories.
January 17, 2016: As our first group study in 2016, we invited a Chinese and a Korean guests and had a free discussion on social and cultural difference in daily lives. In another session, we studied about Isabella Bird's tracks in Aizu, Fukushima from her "Unbeaten tracks in Japan". More details are in activity report.
January 9, 2016: "Welcome to Fukushima" page was updated for 2016 including twelve new sites.