Diamond Route Japan
What is Japan's Diamond Route?
The Diamond Route connects Fukushima, Tochigi and Ibaraki prefectures. Each prefecture holds numerous and unique features, like history, culture, nature, food and outdoor activities. All of these experiences are waiting for you in this vast area where you will feel the Japanese heartland.
Just one hour from Tokyo, Ibaraki Prefecture marks the start of the Diamond Route, a series of routes that take travellers away from the traditional tourist circuits in Japan. Far from the well-known Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka—of Japan’s famous Golden Route—the Diamond Route is aimed more at travellers wishing to immerse themselves in Japan’s less-visited areas, combining outdoor activities, cultural excursions, and the discovery of Japanese hot springs.
Nature and samurai culture
This tourism project took shape in 2018 with a clear goal: to present less well-known aspects of Japanese culture through a collection of videos, sounds, and photos that immerse viewers, and perhaps prospective travellers, within three prefectures (Fukushima, Tochigi, and Ibaraki) that are relatively neglected by tourists from overseas.
With its varied range of landscapes (mountains, lush forests, rivers…), this gem of the East is primarily aimed at travellers who enjoy nature, outdoor activities, and extreme sports. The dynamic programme is balanced with cultural excursions, particularly relating to the samurai culture—the heritage of which has been especially well preserved. Travellers will also be immersed in the regional culinary specialities.
All the details on the Diamond Route can be found on its website, created jointly by the three prefectures behind the project.
Discover the 10 themes of Diamond Route.
A place where can find the origins of Bushido in Aizu. You can also enjoy Mount Bandai with its world famous snow field, Mount Ouchijuku and its ancient post town and the World Heritage renowned Nikko with Toshogu Shrine. A shrine dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu first Shogun during the Edo period. The Kaihin-Koen park with its various beautiful flowers and the Ashikaga Flower Park.
The Diamond Route is part of Aizu area, which from the civil war until the Edo period was the heart of the Samuari code as part of the Tohoku region. In Aizuwakamatsu are the principal battlefields of the Boshin war that filled Samurai spirits with righteousness, as well as its symbolic manifestation Tsuruga castle, and Nisshin-kan, the Samurai school in Aizu. Others sites include Matsudaira-byo, the mausoleum of the Aizu Matsudaira family, Iimori hill that brings thoughts of the "Byakkotai" samurai group. In Nikko, which is connected with the Aizu Nishi Kaido route, there is the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu (who founded the Edo government), the Nikko Toshogu shrine, the Futarasan shrine and the Rinno-ji temple. The shrine to Kashima, the god of battle, rises from a vast field facing the Pacific ocean. The Diamond Route is rich with the samurai spirit.
Fukushima, Tochigi and Ibaraki have a strong local culture that dates back over 2000 years. The practices spread from one hill to the next over the region over the centuries, and the local festivals are traditions from ancient times. The rich local culture has been preserved in a museum. The best way to discover this area is by walking, which provides opportunities to talk with local people. You'll be sure to learn about the local culture.
In extreme sports, the limits are only nature and yourself. With river rapids, deep forests with nearly endless paths, and mountains to climb, you can push yourself to the extreme limit of your ability and feel the rush of excitement and fulfillment. You can push yourself to the limit of your possibilities in the Diamond Route.
From meadows to highlands, high mountains, forests or even beachs, the Diamond Route has the full variety of environments found in Japan. The praire ecosystems with wild grasses and plants tare particularly diverse. Beautiful flowers such as cherry blossms, wisterias, crepe myrtle, camellias and lilies bloom in each season. Sign of its quality, the vast rice field in Tochigi was selected to use in Daiijo-sai, the most important Shinto ceremony. Royal ferns, ostrich ferns, butterbur sprouts, chestnuts, kakis and chocolate vines, are like gifts from nature that illuminate the countryside. Fukushima, Tochigi and Ibaraki are a kingdom of flowers.
The circle of nutrients. Taking plants and animals that were once alive is the starting point of food for humans. In Japan, we begin our meals by saying "Itadakimasu" which means "I'm going to take (lives)". Gifts from the earth, forests, streams, the ocean and animals: cuisine for us means our thankness for nature and the circle of life on planet Earth. We invite you to experience the food from Fukushima, Tochigi and Ibaraki and understand how it coexists with nature.
Nature & Wellbeing
Surrounded by nature, Fukushima, Tochigi and Ibaraki illustrate the beauty of Japanese nature unified with mountains, hills and the Pacific ocean. The environment includes deep vivid forest, gorges with clear stream, and wild animals such as deer, monkeys, boas and birds. This harmony of coexisting with the natural environment is important for human being to live happily. This environment brings well-being, which is an important take away for your travels.
Diamond Route has number of hotspring sites that are typical of Japan such as Oku-Aizu in Fukushima, Oku-Nikko in Tochigi, Abukuma mountanious and Mount Bandai. The water is clear with lots of minerals, and the variety of hotsprings and their quality is impressive. Since the hotsprings are in nature, you are surrounded by fresh green leaves in early summer, have dappled sunlight through the forest leaves during summer, are surrounded with fall foliage in the autumn, and surrounded by snow in winter. The possibilites to enjoy the landscape of hotspring in each season are unlimited.
Get off the beaten track with outdoor sports. Whether you are looking for running in the mountains, swimming in the ocean, paddling in a river or walking in the forest, you can connect to nature with different sports like mountain biking, kayaking, paragliding or snow walking. You'll find the wild side of nature. One of the best regions for outdoor sports in Japan is waiting for you.
Explore it All
Diamond Route is a path that will allow you to experience the deep and rich culture of Japan