If you have a chance in August, head to the Nebuta Matsuri. It's a huge parade of handmade giant paper floats. Most have a warrior theme to them. As with any festival in Japan, there will be plenty of food, beverages, and stalls where you can buy just about anything. Also traditional dancing, costumes and the best people watching.more
Hanami in Japan is not to be missed! This is the quintessential Japanese tradition. Anywhere you go is absolutely fantastic and even the smallest little hamlet is likely to have a big do during this brief time. Hanami means cherry blossom viewing and the Japanese have this down to a fine art. The trees blossom briefly for about a week. If you watch...more
If you are into jacuzzies, you've got to try the Onsens (hot baths). It'll be an experience you'll never forget.If you dont mind being nude in a crowd, its for you. I probably cant post the pictures but I'll describe it for you. Imagine a jacuzzi with scenery like a lake, Hawaiian waterfalls or a beautiful botanical garden. A serene atmosphere with...more
OIRASE: A stream whose source is in the lake. Within a thickly wooded valley, this is a great place for the Fall momiji viewing. One can hike, bike or take a leisure stroll down the 9 km promenade between Nenokuchi & Ishigedo. It takes about 3 hours or so to complete the trails. There's also buses that ply along this route but they are irregular &...more
HAKKODA MOUNTAINS: A really cool place with lots of onsen & ski resorts. Hakkoda was a little foggy on the day I passed through & there's an air of mystique & fantasy which I found very enchanting. I hope I'll have a chance to return for a longer stay & to indulge myself in the relaxing power of the hot springs.more
Good hotel in Aomori, about 40 minutes drive from the Misawa Airport. Very nice staff, a great help...more
Good hotel with reasonable facilities, including a good communal bath. Buffet breakfast was also...more
SUKAYU ONSEN RYOKAN. US$100.00. Please call to check: Tel: (071) 738 6400. Famous for its 'bath...more
The food was very good but the portions were Japanese size, that is to say they were tiny! We ordered the Lazagna, mixed grilled veggies, Pizza, spicy penne and some deserts...all were very small portions but very tasty, well the Lazagna was just OK really. Italian restaurants are supposed to be large portions and you just don't get that here in Japan...and I've been to many Italian places here. But the food is good, just don't expect real "Italian Family SIze" meals and expect high prices.
Actually, I think we were still hungry when we left
Favorite Dish: I would say the Dessert was very good..I had the Tirrimisu adn it was small but tasty, Robbie had a Pear pie or something and Melanie had a Chocolate mouse cake that was REALLY tiny and not at all worth it.
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...more
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).more
This is similar to "ikameshi" cuisine native to nearby Hakodate across the strait in Hokkaido. "Ikameshi" is boiled squid stuffed with rice boiled in squid broth. On the other side is broth-flavoured rice topped with steamed scallops sprinked with "ikura" salmon eggs, with pickles on the side.Generally, it is available for purchase only in this...more
KOKESHI DOLLS: Generally termed Kokeshi when they are of a joined wooden cylinder and sphere. They were originally made as the souvenirs of the Tohoku hot springs area since 1800. Well know hot spa areas often have their own Kokeshi. Kokeshi dolls have become popular for their gentle features embodying an ideal of femininity. In the 6 prefectures...more
AOMORI PREFECTURAL GOVERNMENT CULTURE & TOURISM PROMOTION DIVISION: Pref.Aomori.jp.
AOMORI APTI.NET: Apti.Net.Pref.Aomori.jp.
HIROSAKI CITY: Aomori.jp.
Coffee of Oirase. Thought it's refreshing to have a drink named after a place. Taste ok but nothing great. Just something to capture the attention of tourists, I guess. Same price as all the other canned coffee.
No trip to Aomori prefecture would complete without a visit Osore-zan, the terrible mountain. So called because of its dismal surroundings, this is truly a place that is an eerie spectacle. The mountain is a dormant volcano so the landscape is charred and dead. The foul smell of sulfur hangs in the air, adding to visual assault of the lifeless landscape. On top of that it’s a bit of a haul from Aomori city with almost no real public transportation to get there. If you are willing to brave all that you will find an interesting outing, with blind mediators who will converse with the dead, for a price, multi colored pool (ranging from blood red to yellow to green), bubbling and steaming ground and stacks of rocks made by the souls of dead children. Truly a unique experience.
In order to go on the mountain you have to pay 500 yen to enter Osorezan-Bodaiji (may to Oct 6am to 6pm) the shrine on Osore-zan.
Osore-zan’s summer festival is held on July 20-24.
Try its apples. Apples are very popular in Japan. There's over 600 varieties! Northern Tohoku is famous as an apple-producing district. Being the most important crop, many events such as the Apple Marathon (A civic marathon where athletes run through apple orchards) & the Apple Party (featuring apple cuisine) are held to celebrate this crop.more