Traveling through the Tohoku region can be as rewarding as it is frustrating. The area certainly holds many hidden delights but they remain troublesome to get to. Actually many locals will be ill informed of what their town has to offer and it will taking some real sleuthing to discover the wonders of this area.
With that being said, to truly explore this area it would be wise to rent a car and travel on your own. Public transportation is spotty at best and will only get to the very major tourist spots in this area, usually in an untimely fashion as well. In addition, tour groups are even worse at directing people to really amazing sites in this area, which why most Japanese have an unfavorable view of this area.
Certainly if you’ve decided to visit the Tohoku area it is out of a desire to see a hidden and out of the way part of Japan. Really go for it and explore the area with vigor and independence.
(I have posted this tip on all my pages in the Tohoku area so as to reach a larger group of people. The multiple reproductions are not a mistake.)
It takes about 2 hrs 15 mins by the Hatsukari LEX (Limited Express) from Morioka to Aomori. This train ends at Hakodate which is another 2 hours from Aomori.
About 5 hours by Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo.
Tohoku JR Bus.
It takes about 2+ hours from Aomori to Oirase (Nenokuchi) where one can board the boat to cruise around Lake Towada (40 mins cruise).
As of the end of 2010, Aomori is now connected to Tokyo by the bullet train. The Shinkansen network now extends from Kagoshima in the south to Shin-Aomori in the north, a distance of over 2000km.