I can't think of a country outside America that has as much to offer as Japan. The major cities of Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Sapporo have interesting shopping, entertainment, nightlife, and museums and other tourist attractions to explore. All of Japan is covered with castles and temples and piles of history. And Japan's location and size means there are several different climates and environments that result in enviable seasons and amazing natural locations.
The boardwalk area isn't part of the "actual" trail, forming a small detour through some wetlands. Be warned: this is real nature, and being a marshy area with lots of standing water and a bit of heat in the summer, there are lots of mosquitoes. I gave up within two or three minutes of starting the trail. After walking down the street to a convenience store to buy their last can of bug spray, and needing to literally cover my entire body in it including my shirt, pants, shoes, bag... well, things got a bit better.
The trail is popular, especially during vacations. It wasn't crowded, but I was rarely alone.
Return buses to either station depart Urabandai Kogen about once every two hours. Be sure to check the bus schedules carefully to plan your trip. Without really stopping, the hike takes about 60-80 minutes from one end to the other; stopping to take photos and watching snakes and enjoying the rushing water of the streams adds on some extra time.
My trip started in Inawashiro Station, arriving about 8:00 from Aizu-Wakamatsu; the bus from Inawashiro got me to the eastern trailhead about 9:00. The bug spray issue meant I didn't start until 9:30. I went at a very leisurely pace, taking lots of photos, and finished my hike at 11:00. That left me with about 90 minutes to relax at the visitor's center and get some ramen before the bus to take me to Kitakata Station.
The Urabandai area and the Goshikinuma Trail is the most popular tourist destination in Fukushima Prefecture for good reason. If the opportunity arises again, I would like to visit in the fall for the changing colors!