Komine Castle

Shirakawa (白河) is a city in Fukushima


Shirakawa is the southernmost city in Fukushima prefecture, with population of approximately 60,000 people. The city was originally a castle town, situated at the border of the civilized Kanto region and the wilder Tohoku to the north. A park and memorial are situated at the site where the actual barrier gate (白河の関-Shirakawanoseki) is believed to have been located. The famous haiku poet Basho is said to have passed through Shirakawa on his travels.

Get in

Shirakawa is served by the Tohoku Shinkansen, which stops at Shinshirakawa station. The journey from Tokyo takes about 90 minutes and costs around ¥6000 one way. Shirakawa is also served by the Tohoku Main Line, which links Shinshirakawa station with Shirakawa station. By car, the trip from Tokyo to Shirakawa takes around three hours using the Tohoku expressway. Regular highway buses from Shinjuku also serve Shirakawa, arriving and departing from the Nishigo bus stop to the west of Shinshirakawa station. The journey costs ¥3400 one way, and takes three hours.

Get around

Although Shirakawa is not a large city and a circuit of town can be completed in about an hour, it is best explored by car, bus or taxi. Bus stops and taxi stands are located outside both Shirakawa and Shinshirakawa station. There is a JR car rental office at Shinshirakawa station.



While Shirakawa itself does not have a large number of attractions, it is a pleasant rural city, close to several local attractions. (See the "Go next" section below).

Daruma Ichi is held on Foundation Day in February of each year. During this festival, daruma (traditional papier mache dolls) are sold in the streets of Motomachi. According to tradition (and the local sellers), a larger doll should be purchased each year.

Chochin Matsuri (Lantern Festival) is held between September 13th and 15th of every second year. The next festival will be in 2009. A smaller festival is being trialled for intervening years. During this festival, representatives from each of the villages making up the city parade through the streets carrying lanterns and mikoshi (portable shrines). The higlight of the festival is on the last night, when the parade wades through the Abukuma river to the Renhouji temple (聯芳寺).



Shirakawa is famous in the region for it's ramen noodles. There are claimed to be more than 100 ramen shops in the city.


Shirakawa has several sake breweries, and it is possible to try local sake at one of the many izakaya (Japanese-style pubs) in town.


Shirakawa has several hotels, mainly located close to Shinshirakawa station.

Housing Rentals

Affordable apartment rentals (3 minutes walking distance to the shinshirakawa station which is a shinkansen stop) 1k (¥38000), 1LDK (¥53000). For additional information please email: to get pictures, size in meters and availavility.


Shirakawa City Tourism Section 0248-22-1111 (Japanese only); Shirakawa City Office, 7-1 Hachiman-koji Shirakawa city.

Japan Travel Phone is a service provided by the Japan National Tourist Office. They have English language operators from 9am to 5pm daily. 0088-22-4800.

Go next

Shirakawa is close to the ski and hot springs resorts of Hatoriko and Mount Jeans.

Numerous restaurants, cafes, animal parks and theme parks are located in neigboring Nasu town, in Tochigi prefecture.

Routes through Shirakawa

Sendai Koriyama  N  S  Nasu-Shiobara Tokyo
Fukushima Sukagawa  N  S  Nasu-Shiobara Utsunomiya
Fukushima Sukagawa  N  S  Nasu Utsunomiya

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, October 05, 2013. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.