12-14 January (1000-1600) Tonami Winter Festival (Michi-no Eki - Tonami Clan Memorial Park)
13 January (1300 - ????) - Coming of Age Ceremony (Misawa Civic Center)
14 January (0900-1000) - Misawa Folk Art Performance Show (Misawa Civic Center)
19 January (1000-1300) - Shougatsu (New Year's) Events (Misawa International Association)
1 March (0900-1200) - 8th Annual International Children's Ice Festival (Misawa Ice Arena)
- Ice Bowling, Ice Basket Ball, Rubber Sled Race, Tug-o-War on Ice
In the Aomori rice fields and forest hills you will find the biggest Buddha in Japan. Officially completed in 30 Sept 1984 , this Buddha stands seventy feet high and weighs in at 220 tons.
Along the grounds you will find a pagoda, a shrine , a bell and couple of different statues of other Buddhist Gods.
Inside the Buddha you will notice metal plates with Chinese characters. According to the park literature , these are for Japanese soldiers who perished during WW2 in here the citizens pray for their happines after their death. They also pay respect to the American soldiers who lost their lives during the war.
One of the things you will see along the path are pinwheels which honor the children who have passed away. Their parents leave their children's favorite toy, candy or clothing.
Another statue you might see is an angry looking warrior (Fudoh-Muyoh). According to Buddhism his mission is to get rid of worldly wrong desires of the people.
The park literature handout state that the reason why they build this Buddha is to preserve the Buddhist belief of patience, purification, endeavor , rewarding good and punishing evil. This perception which seems lost on the younger genrations but not to the war bereaved families so a small undertaken in Aomori spread all over Japan and this is the fruit of that belief
Located in Nenokuchi just outside the shores of Lake Towada is Oirase stream a very picturesque stream that flows down the narrow and densely Oirase Valley.
There is a 10 km hike that wll take you about 2 hrs and lead you towards Lake Towada. Unfortunately for hikers there is a road that along the stream which can be distraction when you are trying to enjoy the the numerous falls along the gorge. When we we're hiking sometimes the noise of the streams and the birds overpowered those of the vehicles that was passing by. But almost everybody forgot about the road even a couple of painters that we saw along the trail.
About an hour trip from Misawa is Hirosaki castle. Located in a beautiful park the castle is one of Japan's most famous cherry blossoms spots. If you want to see 2600 trees in full blooms swing by this place during the Golden Week (last week of April to first week of May) during the sakura matsuri (cherry blossoms festival)
This castle was completed in 1611 and housed several generations of the Tsugaru Clan. The grounds includes three concentric moats, five castle gates and three corner keeps. The original five-storied tower was struck by lightning and burned down, the current three-storied tower replaced it. Inside the tower they have a small exhibit about the Tsugaru Clan.
The castle ground is open from 0900-1700, April 1 to Nov. 23. The admission charge is 300 yen for adults and 100 yen for kids.
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